James Boasberg
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James Boasberg
James E. Boasberg
Boasberg J.jpg
Judge of the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court

May 18, 2014
John Roberts
Reggie Walton
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia

March 17, 2011
Barack Obama
Thomas F. Hogan
Associate Judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia

September 2002 - March 14, 2011
George W. Bush
Gregory E. Mize
John F. McCabe Jr.[1]
Personal details
James Emanuel Boasberg

(1963-02-20) February 20, 1963 (age 56)
San Francisco, California
EducationYale University (B.A.)
Yale Law School (J.D.)
University of Oxford (M.St.)

James Emanuel "Jeb" Boasberg (born February 20, 1963)[2] is a United States District Judge on the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, also serving as a Judge on the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court; and former associate judge on the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.

Early life and education

Boasberg was born in San Francisco, California in 1963,[3] to Sarah Margaret (Szold) and Emanuel Boasberg III.[4][5] The family moved to Washington, D.C. when Boasberg's father accepted a position in Sargent Shriver's Office of Economic Opportunity, a Great Society agency responsible for implementing and administering many of Lyndon B. Johnson's War on Poverty programs.[6][7] Boasberg received a Bachelor of Arts from Yale University in 1985, where he was a member of Skull and Bones,[8] and a Master of Studies the following year from Oxford University.[9] He then earned his Juris Doctor from Yale Law School in 1990.[9][10]

Clerkship and legal career

After completing law school, Boasberg served as a law clerk for Judge Dorothy W. Nelson of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit for the 1990-91 term.[9] He then went into private practice, working at firms first in San Francisco (1991-94) and then in the District of Columbia (1995-96).[11] In 1996, Boasberg joined the office of the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia where he would spend 5.5 years as a prosecutor, specializing in homicides.[11][10]

Judicial service

Photo of Boasberg in 2016

In September 2002, Boasberg became an Associate Judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, where he served in the Civil and Criminal Divisions and the Domestic Violence Branch until his appointment to the federal bench in 2011.[11] During the 111th Congress, Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton recommended Boasberg to fill a judicial vacancy on the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.[12] On June 17, 2010, President Barack Obama formally nominated Boasberg to the District Court for the District of Columbia.[9] Boasberg was confirmed on March 14, 2011 by a vote of 96 ayes to 0 nays.[13] He received his commission on March 17, 2011.[10]

Osama Bin Laden photos

On April 26, 2012, Boasberg ruled that the public had no right to view government photos of a deceased Osama Bin Laden. Judicial Watch, a conservative legal group, had filed a request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), but were unsuccessful in convincing the Judge that FOIA rights outweighed national-security factors.[14]

Registered tax return preparer regulations

On January 18, 2013, Boasberg issued a permanent injunction prohibiting the Internal Revenue Service from enforcing regulations on Registered Tax Return Preparers, which otherwise required tax return preparers to register with the IRS and pass a written test as evidence of competency. Loving v. Internal Revenue Service, No. 12-385 (U.S.D.C. D.C. 1/18/2013).[15] The IRS appealed and in 2014, the Court of Appeals upheld Boasberg's district court decision.[16]

Appointment to United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court

On February 7, 2014 Chief Justice John G. Roberts announced that he would appoint Boasberg to the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court for a term starting May 18, 2014 to a seat being vacated by Reggie Walton.[17][18] His term began May 18, 2014.[10]

Hillary Clinton emails

On August 22, 2016, Boasberg ordered the release of over 14,000 emails found in the United States Department of State correspondence of Hillary Clinton by the FBI during an investigation of Clinton's private server.[19] These emails were requested by Judicial Watch, a conservative legal group, because the FBI has indicated that emails were work-related and not entirely private as Clinton had previously said.[19]

Trump tax returns

On August 18, 2017, Boasberg dismissed a lawsuit from the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), which had sued the IRS under FOIA seeking President Donald Trump's personal tax returns from 2010 to the present to be released. Boasberg concluded that because personal tax returns are confidential, they may only be obtained either by permission from Trump himself or if Congress's Joint Committee on Taxation signed off to allow the disclosure.[20]

Medicaid work rules

On March 27, 2019, Boasberg blocked a work requirement for recipients of Medicaid in Arkansas and Kentucky.[21]

Personal life

Boasberg married Elizabeth Leslie Manson in 1991.[4] His brother, Tom Boasberg, succeeded Michael Bennet as Superintendent of Denver Public Schools after Colorado Governor Bill Ritter appointed Bennet to the United States Senate in January 2009.[22][23]

He is an aficionado of William Shakespeare's plays. In February 2018, he played a crown prosecutor in The Trial of Hamlet that was presented at the Shakespeare Theatre Company.[24]

See also


  1. ^ Report of District of Columbia Judicial Nomination Commission
  2. ^ U.S. Congress, Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs (2002). Hearing before the Committee on Governmental Affairs, United States Senate, One Hundred Seventh Congress, second session, on the nomination of James "Jeb" E. Boasberg to be an associate judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, June 26, 2002 (Volume 107, Issue 561 of S. hrg, United States Congress ed.). Washington, D.C.: U.S. G.P.O. Retrieved 2017.
  3. ^ United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary (January 5, 2011). "Questionnaire for Judicial Nominees: James Emanuel Boasberg" (PDF). Retrieved 2011.
  4. ^ a b   (August 26, 1991). "Elizabeth Leslie Manson Is Married To J. E. Boasberg in New Hampshire". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  5. ^ "Sally Boasberg, landscape designer and advocate for District's green spaces, dies at 74 - The Washington Post". washingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2015.
  6. ^ Mitchell, Nancy (January 9, 2009). "Boasberg sole finalist for DPS superintendent job". Rocky Mountain News. Retrieved 2011.
  7. ^ Meyer, Jeremy P. (January 21, 2009). "Boosters say Boasberg's the man to lead DPS". The Denver Post. Retrieved 2011.
  8. ^ Robbins, Alexandra (July 2004). "Powerful Secrets". Vanity Fair. p. 116.
  9. ^ a b c d The White House: Office of the Press Secretary (June 17, 2010). "President Obama Names Three to United States District Court, 6/17/10". whitehouse.gov. Archived from the original on January 20, 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  10. ^ a b c d "Boasberg, James Emanuel - Federal Judicial Center". www.fjc.gov.
  11. ^ a b c U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. "Official Biography". Retrieved 2017.
  12. ^ Palazzolo, Joe (February 8, 2010). "White House Vetting OPR Chief for Federal Judgeship". Main Justice. Retrieved 2011.
  13. ^ "Judicial Nominations and Confirmations: 112th Congress". Archived from the original on 2011-01-08. Retrieved 2015.
  14. ^ "Federal judge blocks release of bin Laden death photos - CNN.com". cnn.com. Retrieved 2015.
  15. ^ https://www.irs.gov/uac/IRS-Statement-on-Court-Ruling-Related-to-Return-Preparers (Retrieved 1/25/2013)
  16. ^ Donnelly, Madaline. Meet the Single Mom Who Took On the IRS, Daily Signal, October 9, 2015.
  17. ^ "FISA Court Appointments, Potential Reforms, and More from CRS". Secrecy News. Archived from the original on February 21, 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  18. ^ "Two Judges Appointed to Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court". Federation of American Scientists. Retrieved 2014.
  19. ^ a b Reid, Paula (August 22, 2016). "Judge orders expedited release of 15,000 Hillary Clinton documents found by FBI". CBS News. New York City, New York. Retrieved 2016. Initially, the State Department attorney would not answer Judge James Boasberg's repeated questions about the number of emails recovered by the FBI. The judge urged the State Department to expedite its review of what is called "Disc 1," which is one of two discs handed over from FBI to the State Department in late July.
  20. ^ Seipel, Brooke (2017-08-18). "Federal court can't force IRS to release Trump's tax returns". TheHill. Retrieved .
  21. ^ "Federal judge blocks Medicaid work rules in blow to Trump". Associated Press. March 27, 2019.
  22. ^ Meyer, Jeremy P. (January 9, 2009). "Finalist is the face behind recent efforts". The Denver Post. Retrieved 2011.
  23. ^ Osher, Christopher N. (January 23, 2009). "Boasberg is unanimous pick for superintendent". The Denver Post. Retrieved 2011.
  24. ^ "The Trial of Hamlet". Shakespeare Theatre Company in the District of Columbia. Retrieved 2018.

External links

Legal offices
Preceded by
Thomas F. Hogan

Preceded by
Reggie Walton


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