William K. Sessions III

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William K. Sessions III (born 1947 in Hartford, Connecticut) is serving as a Senior United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Vermont and has served as the Vice Chair and eventually as Chair of the United States Sentencing Commission. He was confirmed on October 21, 2009 as Chair of the United States Sentencing Commission, and served until December 22, 2010.[1]

William K. Sessions III
Chief Judge William K. Sessions 0.jpg
Senior Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Vermont
Assumed office
June 15, 2014
Chair of the United States Sentencing Commission
In office
2009–2010
Appointed byBarack Obama
Preceded byMichael E. Horowitz
Succeeded byPatti B. Saris
Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Vermont
In office
2002–2010
Preceded byJohn Garvan Murtha
Succeeded byChristina Reiss
Vice Chair of the Sentencing Commission
In office
1999–2009
Succeeded byCharles R. Breyer
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Vermont
In office
August 14, 1995 – June 15, 2014
Appointed byBill Clinton
Preceded byFred I. Parker
Succeeded byGeoffrey W. Crawford
Personal details
Born
William K. Sessions III

1947 (age 73–74)
Hartford, Connecticut
EducationMiddlebury College (B.A.)
George Washington University Law School (J.D.)

Education and careerEdit

Sessions was educated at Middlebury College where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1969. He earned a Juris Doctor in 1972 from the George Washington University Law School. Sessions served as a United States Army First Lieutenant. He was a law clerk for Judge Hilton Dier in Addison County District Court in 1973. He later worked for the Addison County Public Defender before entering private practice in 1978. He also worked as an adjunct professor at Vermont Law School from 1978 until 1995. In 1992 he managed the successful reelection campaign of Senator Patrick Leahy, who defeated Jim Douglas.

Federal judicial serviceEdit

Sessions was nominated by Bill Clinton on June 30, 1995, to a seat vacated by Fred I. Parker. He was confirmed by the Senate on August 11, 1995, and received his commission on August 14, 1995. Sessions served as chief judge from 2002 to 2010. He assumed senior status on June 15, 2014.

Notable caseEdit

On September 12, 2007, Judge Sessions ruled in favor of the Sierra Club, the states of Vermont and New York, and other environmental groups in rejecting the auto industry’s attempt to block states from regulating emissions from cars. Sessions' ruling opens the doors for New York and Vermont to proceed with enacting the California Clean Car (Pavley) Standards, pending United States Environmental Protection Agency approval. These standards, adopted by California and at least 11 other states, aim to reduce emissions from cars by 30 percent when fully implemented in 2016. This precedent will likely have an important impact on similar cases pending in California and Rhode Island.[2]

Sentencing commissionEdit

On April 20, 2009, President Barack Obama nominated Sessions to be Chair of the United States Sentencing Commission.[3] Sessions' nomination languished with no full Senate vote for more than six months, with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid contending that Senate Republicans had stalled Sessions' nomination in retaliation for the speed of Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation process.[4] Reid filed cloture on Sessions' nomination on October 20, 2009, and the Senate confirmed Sessions in a voice vote on October 21, 2009.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Former Commissioner Information". United States Sentencing Commission.
  2. ^ "Sierra Club website".
  3. ^ States Sentencing Commission Nomination
  4. ^ "Obama Taps Another MoFo Lawyer". The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times.

SourcesEdit

Legal offices
Preceded by
Fred I. Parker
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Vermont
1995–2014
Succeeded by
Geoffrey W. Crawford
Preceded by
Unknown
Vice Chair of the United States Sentencing Commission
1999–2009
Succeeded by
Charles R. Breyer
Preceded by
John Garvan Murtha
Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Vermont
2002–2010
Succeeded by
Christina Reiss
Preceded by
Michael E. Horowitz
Chair of the United States Sentencing Commission
2009–2010
Succeeded by
Patti B. Saris