Linda R. Reade

Linda Rae Reade (born February 1, 1948[1]) is a Senior United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa.

Linda Rae Reade
Senior Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa
Assumed office
October 1, 2017
Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa
In office
January 1, 2007 – February 11, 2017
Preceded byMark W. Bennett
Succeeded byLeonard Terry Strand
Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa
In office
November 26, 2002 – October 1, 2017
Appointed byGeorge W. Bush
Preceded byMichael Joseph Melloy
Succeeded byC. J. Williams
Personal details
Born (1948-02-01) February 1, 1948 (age 72)
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
EducationDrake University (BA)
Iowa State University (MS)
Drake University Law School (JD)

Early life and educationEdit

Born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Reade graduated from Drake University with her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1970, Iowa State University with a Master of Science degree in 1973, and Drake University Law School with a Juris Doctor with honors and Order of the Coif in 1980. During law school, Reade worked at two firms in Des Moines, Rosenberg & Marguiles and Brown, Winick, Graves, Donnelly, & Baskerville, and campaigned for Lawrence Pope.[1] She also published a case note in the Drake Law Review.[2]

Legal and state judicial careerEdit

Following her graduation, Reade was in private practice as an attorney in Des Moines at Brown, Winick from 1980 to 1981, at Rosenberg & Marguiles from 1981 to 1984, and at Rosenberg, Rosenberg, & Reade from 1984 to 1986. She also served as president of the Des Moines League of Women Voters from 1985 to 1987.[1]

Reade was an Assistant United States Attorney in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Iowa from 1986 to 1993, serving as Chief of the General Criminal Prosecutions Division from 1990 to 1993.[1]

Reade was appointed to serve on the Iowa District Court in Des Moines in 1993 and continued until her appointment to the federal bench in 2002. During that time, she served on many committees for the Iowa Supreme Court, the Iowa Judges' Association, and the Iowa State Bar Association. While serving on the District Court, eighteen of her cases were reversed.[1]

Federal judicial careerEdit

On the recommendation of Senator Chuck Grassley, Reade was nominated to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa by President George W. Bush on June 26, 2002 to a seat vacated by Michael Joseph Melloy. Reade was confirmed by the Senate on November 14, 2002 and received her commission on November 26, 2002. She became Chief Judge on January 1, 2007. Her term as Chief Judge ended on February 11, 2017. She assumed senior status on October 1, 2017.[3]

Notable casesEdit

Rubashkin caseEdit

Reade presided over the trial and sentencing of kosher slaughterhouse operator Sholom Rubashkin.[4] The case and Judge Reade's 27-year sentence garnered the attention of many prominent politicians and received widespread media coverage.[5] Rubashkin alleged on appeal that Reade improperly met with prosecutors before the Postville raid without disclosing her involvement, but the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit unanimously affirmed.[6][7] On December 20, 2017, after having served eight years of his 27-year sentence, Donald Trump commuted Rubashkin's sentence.[8]

Aossey caseEdit

Reade presided over the case of William Aossey, the founder of Midamar Corporation and Islamic Services of America, who was convicted of fraud for falsifying labels on beef exported to Malaysia and Indonesia. Aossey was found guilty and Reade departed from federal guidelines, sentencing Aossey to two years.[9][10]

Dierks caseEdit

On June 13, 2018, Joseph Dierks was sentenced by Judge Linda Reade to six years in prison for threatening to kill Senator Joni Ernst on Twitter. The sentence, which exceeded federal sentencing guidelines, was imposed on Dierks for disparaging comments he made regarding Reade, the prosecutor, the prosecutor's children, and black corrections officers.[11]


  1. ^ a b c d e 107-1 Hearings: Confirmation Hearings on Federal Appointments, S. Hrg. 107-584, Part 5, August 1, 2002, Etc. Government Printing Office. 2003.
  2. ^ 27 Drake L. Rev. 736 (1978).
  3. ^ "Reade, Linda R." Federal Judicial Center.
  4. ^ Preston, Julia (21 June 2010). "27-Year Sentence for Plant Manager" – via
  5. ^ Rodgers, Grant (May 11, 2016). "New Rubashkin claims garner Who's Who list of supporters". The Des Moines Register.
  6. ^ Bennett L. Gershman and Joel Cohen (June 13, 2011). "When a Judge Stumbles, Do "Appearances" Matter?". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2014-04-19.
  7. ^ "8th Circ. Won't Order New Trial For Agriprocessors Exec". Law360. September 16, 2011.
  8. ^ "Sholom Rubashkin bank fraud prison sentence commuted by Trump". The Washington Times. Retrieved 2017-12-20.
  9. ^ "Halal foods pioneer gets 2-year term for fraud".
  10. ^ Mehaffey, Trish. "Midamar founder Aossey sentenced to two years in prison, $60,000 fine - The Gazette".
  11. ^ "Threats to Joni Ernst lead to prison Waterloo man receives 6 years for tweets about U.S. senator". The Gazette. Retrieved 21 October 2020.


Legal offices
Preceded by
Michael Joseph Melloy
Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa
Succeeded by
C. J. Williams
Preceded by
Mark W. Bennett
Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa
Succeeded by
Leonard Terry Strand