Gregg Jeffrey Costa (born June 19, 1972) is a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and former United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas.
Gregg Jeffrey Costa
|Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit|
|Assumed office |
June 2, 2014
|Appointed by||Barack Obama|
|Preceded by||Fortunato Benavides|
|Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas|
April 26, 2012 – June 2, 2014
|Appointed by||Barack Obama|
|Preceded by||John David Rainey|
|Succeeded by||Fernando Rodriguez Jr.|
|Born||June 19, 1972|
|Education||Dartmouth College (B.A.)|
University of Texas School of Law (J.D.)
Early life and educationEdit
Costa was born in Baltimore, Maryland, but grew up in Richardson, Texas, where he attended Richardson High School. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1994 from Dartmouth College. While at Dartmouth, Costa interned for the Democratic National Committee. After college, Costa taught elementary school in Sunflower, Mississippi as part of the Teach for America program from 1994 until 1996. He then earned a Juris Doctor from the University of Texas School of Law in 1999, where he was the Editor-in-Chief of the Texas Law Review. From 1999 until 2000, Costa served as a law clerk to Judge A. Raymond Randolph on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He then served as a law clerk to Chief Justice William Rehnquist on the U.S. Supreme Court from 2001 until 2002.
From 2002 until 2005, Costa worked as an associate at the law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges in Houston. From 2005–2012, Costa served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of Texas.
Allen Stanford prosecutionEdit
Likely Costa's highest-profile prosecution in his six years as a federal prosecutor has been the case against alleged Ponzi schemer Allen Stanford, who was indicted in 2009. In January 2011, Stanford's legal team requested a delay of the start of his scheduled January 24, 2011 trial, noting that they had only taken over his defense in October 2010. Costa told the judge presiding over the trial that while he did not object to some delay in the trial, "the requested continuance of two years is excessive." In February 2011, Stanford sued Costa and his fellow prosecutor Paul Pelletier, along with several employees of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, complaining of "abusive law enforcement" and seeking $7.2 billion in damages. In March 2011, Stanford's attorneys argued that the defendant's right to a speedy trial had been violated. Costa, however, told the Associated Press that delays largely were the result of Stanford's own requests for continuances. In March 2012, Stanford was found guilty on 13 of 14 counts including fraud, obstructing investigators and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Federal judicial serviceEdit
Service on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of TexasEdit
In July 2011, Texas's two Republican senators, John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchison, sent a letter to President Barack Obama, recommending that he nominate Costa to the vacant seat on the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas that had been created when Judge John David Rainey took senior status in June 2010. The seat would be based in the Galveston Division. The anticipated nomination earned bipartisan support, as Democratic United States Representative Lloyd Doggett, who serves as the spokesman for Texas Democrats on federal judicial matters, urged the president to nominate Costa as well. On September 8, 2011, President Obama nominated Costa to the seat on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas. He received a hearing by the Senate Judiciary Committee on November 2, 2011, and his nomination was reported to the floor on December 1, 2011. Costa's nomination was approved by the U.S. Senate on April 26, 2012, by a 97–2 vote and he received his commission the same day.
Service on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth CircuitEdit
On December 19, 2013 President Obama nominated Judge Costa to a vacant seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit due to Fortunato Benavides assuming senior status. He received a hearing before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on February 25, 2014. On March 27, 2014, Costa's nomination was reported out of committee by voice vote. On May 13, 2014, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid filed for cloture on Costa's nomination. On Thursday May 15, 2014 the Senate voted 58–36 on the motion to invoke cloture. On Tuesday, May 20, 2014 the Senate voted 97–0 for final confirmation and elevation to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. He was commissioned as a judge for the Fifth Circuit on June 2, 2014.
- Brennan, Lisa (February 22, 2012). "Houston Prosecutor Gregg Costa Has Kept Stanford Case on Track". Main Justice. Archived from the original on February 13, 2017. Retrieved December 21, 2013.
- "Costa, Gregg Jeffrey – Federal Judicial Center". www.fjc.gov.
- The White House: Office of the Press Secretary (September 8, 2011). "President Obama Nominates Gregg Jeffrey Costa to Serve on the US District Court". whitehouse.gov. Retrieved September 12, 2011.
- "Prosecutors agree to postpone Allen Stanford trial". Financial Post. Bloomberg News. January 4, 2011. Retrieved September 12, 2011.
- "Allen Stanford, Indicted Financier, Sues Authorities". The New York Times. Bloomberg News. February 17, 2011. Retrieved September 12, 2011.
- "Jailed Texas financier R. Allen Stanford seeks release awaiting trial". The Times-Picayune. Associated Press. March 2, 2011. Retrieved September 12, 2011.
- "Stanford Guilty in Ponzi Scheme". The Wall Street Journal. March 6, 2012. Retrieved March 7, 2012.
- Martin, Gary (July 19, 2011). "Obama urged to fill two federal bench vacancies in Texas". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved September 12, 2011.
- The White House: Office of the Press Secretary (September 8, 2011). "Presidential Nominations Sent to the Senate". whitehouse.gov. Retrieved September 12, 2011.
- "President Obama Nominates Two to Serve on the United States Courts of Appeals". The White House. Retrieved 21 December 2013.
- "Nominations". United States Senate. Committee on the Judiciary. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
- "Executive Business Meeting" (PDF). United States Senate. Committee on the Judiciary. Retrieved 27 March 2014.
- "U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 113th Congress – 2nd Session". Vote Summary: Vote Number 156. United States Senate. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
- "U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 113th Congress – 2nd Session". Vote Summary: Vote Number 158. United States Senate. Retrieved 20 May 2014.
- Gregg Costa at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center.
- Gregg Costa at Ballotpedia
John David Rainey
| Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas
Fernando Rodriguez Jr.
| Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit