Roberto Antonio Lange (born April 22, 1963) is the Chief United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the District of South Dakota.

Roberto Antonio Lange
Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of South Dakota
Assumed office
January 1, 2020
Preceded byJeffrey L. Viken
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of South Dakota
Assumed office
October 21, 2009
Appointed byBarack Obama
Preceded byCharles B. Kornmann
Personal details
Born
Roberto Antonio Lange

(1963-04-22) April 22, 1963 (age 56)
Pamplona, Spain
EducationUniversity of South Dakota (B.A.)
Northwestern University School of Law (J.D.)

Early life and educationEdit

Born in Pamplona, Spain, where his parents were English teachers. He was given a Spanish name by his parents assuming they would continue to live in Spain. However, his parents tenure in Spain was short and Lange was raised on a family farm near Madison, South Dakota.[1] Lange earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of South Dakota in 1985 where he graduated magna cum laude. He attended Northwestern University School of Law and received his Juris Doctor in 1988, cum laude.[1] During his time at law school, Lange worked as an editor and boardmember for the Northwestern University Law Review.

Legal careerEdit

After graduating law school, Lange worked as a law clerk in 1988 and 1989 for United States District Judge Donald Porter, who was Chief Judge for the District of South Dakota at the time.[1] Lange then joined the law firm Davenport, Evans, Hurwitz & Smith[2] in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, in 1989. Lange became a partner in 1993, and later served as the head of the firm's litigation section. Lange specialized in complex commercial litigation, products liability and significant injury cases, class action and ERISA litigation. During his twenty years with the firm, he handled business disputes for individuals, small businesses, and nationally known clients.[3]

In 2005, Lange argued the case of Rhines v. Weber[4] in front of the Supreme Court of the United States. As court-appointed counsel for a death-row inmate, he presented the issue of whether a federal court may stay a section 2254 habeas corpus petition which included exhausted and unexhausted claims. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Lange's client, by a 9–0 vote, reversed the Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, and allowed the district court to stay Rhines' petition.

Federal judicial serviceEdit

Upon the recommendation of U.S. Senator Tim Johnson,[1] President Barack Obama nominated Lange to a vacant seat on the United States District Court for the District of South Dakota on July 8, 2009 that had been created by Judge Charles B. Kornmann taking senior status.[5] The American Bar Association Standing Committee on the Judicial Nominations voted unanimously to rate Lange as "well qualified." The United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary reported Lange's nomination to the full Senate on October 1, 2009.[6] The full Senate confirmed Lange by a vote of 100–0 on October 21, 2009, and he received his commission the same day. He became Chief Judge on January 1, 2020.

TestimonyEdit

Lange in February 2014 testified before the United States Sentencing Commission on implementation of the Violence Against Women Act of 2013.[7] Lange's criminal case load is the highest among federal judges for Native American defendants and violent crime from reservations. Lange served on the national Tribal Issues Advisory Group,[8] and testified before the Sentencing Commission in July 2016 concerning the report of the Tribal Issues Advisory Group.[9]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d Zach Anderson, Lange nominated to serve in Federal District Court, The Madison Daily Leader (July 15, 2009).
  2. ^ "Davenport Evans Lawyers in Sioux Falls, SD -Davenport, Evans, Hurwitz & Smith, LLP".
  3. ^ Davenport, Evans, Hurtwitz, & Smith, http://www.dehs.com/home/2009_news_archive/lange_recommended_for_federal_judgeship
  4. ^ 544 U.S. 269, 125 S. Ct. 1528 (2005).
  5. ^ President Obama Nominates Irene Berger, Roberto Lange to Serve on the District Court Bench Archived 2009-07-15 at the Wayback Machine, whitehouse.gov (July 8, 2009).
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-11-04. Retrieved 2016-02-27.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ http://www.ussc.gov/amendment-process/public-hearings-and-meetings/20140213/agenda-february-13-2014.
  8. ^ http://www.ussc.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/amendment-process/public-comment/20141020/public-comment-JudgeLange.pdf.
  9. ^ "Public Hearing – July 21, 2016". 6 June 2016.

External linksEdit

Legal offices
Preceded by
Charles B. Kornmann
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of South Dakota
2009–present
Incumbent
Preceded by
Jeffrey L. Viken
Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of South Dakota
2020–present