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However her prospects are complicated by being the sister of Democratic voting rights activist and Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams. background-color: red; The two met at an event for the Georgias Black Women Lawyers Association. Even though Gardners defense team was not allowed to view the lab results showing that the person who committed the rapes had a different blood type from Gardners, and even though the states stance was that the same person had committed both rapes, he was acquitted of the charges related to Ruckman (pdf) but convicted of rape (of Galati), assault (of Ferrell), battery, robbery and burglary because Zain said that Gardner was one of the few people on the planet who matched the DNA. clear: both; background-color: white; On Monday, November 17, 2014 cloture was invoked by a 6828 vote. width: 250px; Used with permission. .widget-key { Court Personnel Leslie Abrams Gardner, U.S. District Judge Staff Information Felicia Rushing, Courtroom Deputy/Scheduling Clerk,, (229) 431-2510 Chambers of Judge Leslie Abrams Gardner 201 West Broad Avenue Albany, Georgia 31701 Trial Trial: Judge Gardner's Voir Dire Questions - Civil Trials 100% remote. font-weight: bold; An additional 150 were from Ben Hill County, which Trump won by a wide margin. She also spent several years working in the private sector, mostly for the firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, and was a federal law clerk in Maryland early in her career. A federal district court judge in Georgia, Leslie Abrams Gardner was appointed to the bench by Obama in 2014. She would stand out as the first justice nominated in three decades with experience as a state supreme court justice. color: white; Another name that stands out is Ketanji Brown Jackson, 49, a judge in Washington who was . [1] She is the first female black federal judge in Georgia. She received a Juris Doctor in 2002 from Yale Law School. She has written about the importance of diversity among judges in federal and state courts. A federal judge in Georgia on Monday ordered two counties to reverse a decision removing more than 4,000 voters from the rolls ahead of the Jan. 5 runoff elections that will decide control of the U.S. Senate. Between seasons, he enrolled in his first college classes, imagining the day when hed walk across a stage, flip his tassel, and take home a degree in business management. [1], On January 27, 2022, United States Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer officially announced he would retire at the start of the court's summer recess, which typically took place in late June or early July. Here are some of the people whose names have been discussed as prime candidates for an open Supreme Court seat. 'The following Friday, I got the call from my lawyer telling me that my conviction had been vacated and Goodwin had given me an automatic release. .widget-row { The Abrams aren't the only high-profile names Gardner has mingled with since his release - he has also connected with John Lewis, Gardner works at the Innocence Project alongside Amanda Knox, who attended an exoneree event in April 2018 (pictured above), Exonerated prisoners from around the world gathered for a march (pictured above) in April. Hes married to a high-profile woman whos become his biggest supporter. 'But no one took on the case. Its a great opportunity to have two minds come together and be able to share opinions and just really get to know each other.. [4][5] NBC News had previously reported the retirement on January 26. Jimmie and Leslie Gardner met and were married after his release. Gardner is the daughter of the Reverend Carolyn and the Reverend Robert Abrams, originally of Hattiesburg, Mississippi. We are no longer accepting comments on this article. Ifill, who spent part of her career at the American Civil Liberties Union, has an undergraduate degree from Vassar College and a law degree from New York University School of Law. She was also a law firm partner, focusing on labor and employment law. I kept telling individuals, Im doing to fight until the day I die. background-color: #f9f9f9; And that person will be the first Black woman ever nominated to the United States Supreme Court."[8]. The conversation flowered into a romantic relationship, and the two are engaged to be married later this year. A former prosecutor nominated by Obama in 2014, she became the . U.S. President | Kruger graduated from Harvard and received her J.D. Two months later, another woman was sexually assaulted. background-color: #f9f9f9; I just try to be a good person, I try to treat people with respect.'. She was appointed by former California Governor Jerry Brown and is the second-ever Black woman on that states Supreme Court. At 23 years old, he was sentenced to up to 110 years in prison. Her husband was wrongly imprisoned for 26 years for a rape and robbery he didnt commit before getting exonerated. These dupes are the price of the iconic sweater, but still as sleek as a slicked-back bun and hoops. A former prosecutor nominated by Obama in 2014, she became the first Black female federal judge in Georgia, winning confirmation 100-0. After he was released, Gardner began working with Georgia schools, prisons and organizations as a motivational speaker and criminal-justice advocate. Gardner was eventually released on bond on April 1, 2016, and on Sept. 7, 2016, all charges against him were dismissed. The case in question was Majority Forward and Gamaliel Warren Turner vs. Ben Hill County Board of Elections et al. 'I watched hundreds of guys dying from eating the bad food, dirty water, disease, succumbing to the environment - killing themselves, or getting killed. Leslie Joyce Abrams has had a distinguished legal career and I am honored to ask her to continue her public service on the federal bench. She challenges me from a great position and I challenge her from a good position, he said. text-align: center; font-weight: bold; Her work has triggered FBI investigations, landed her appearances on national TV and radio outlets, and helped her win some of the top journalism awards in the western United States. Her freetime is filled with traveling, hiking, reading, crafting and scheming about new ways to make the world a more informed, just and joyful place. .widget-row.Libertarian { She is also a former assistant federal public defender in D.C. and clerked for several jurists including Breyer. A federal district court judge in Georgia, Leslie Abrams Gardner was appointed to the bench by Obama in 2014. She also occasionally teaches community college and writes nonfiction, with her co-authored book Stealing from the Worlds Best Schools available now wherever books are sold. Gardner is the sister of Democratic activist and failed gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams. She graduated from Brown University and Yale Law School and, as a private attorney, represented big corporations including Alphabet Inc.s Google and Bank of America Corp. Contrary to Collins' claim, Abrams was not a "party" to the Majority Forward litigation on which her sister ruled in December 2020. The new injunction from U.S. District Court Judge Leslie Abrams Gardner, issued just before midnight on Wednesday, replaces an earlier restraining order she had issued that prevented Muscogee. .widget-row.value-only { Judge Leslie Abrams Gardner, the sister of former gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, found that the counties seemed to have improperly relied on unverified change-of-address data to. Circuit to take the seat held by now-Attorney General Merrick Garland. A federal judge in Georgia on Monday ordered two counties to reverse a decision removing more than 4,000 voters from the rolls The judge, Leslie Abrams Gardner the sister of former gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams. Cochran was in prison for gang-related offenses and was part of the Aryan Brotherhood, a neo-Nazi white supremacist group. It's traumatic for the parents. Brooke lives in the Inland Empire with her husband and their much-loved pets. { Gardner was one of eight kids born in Georgia to a dad who built houses and a mom who worked for a sewing thread manufacturer. While he was in prison, Gardner started hatching a plan to become a motivational speaker. [3], Gardner earned her B.A. } Circuit served as a springboard for future justices, including Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh. Oh - how these liberal minds work! But he also continued taking classes, with professors from nearby colleges teaching a room full of inmates everything from computers to heating and air conditioning repair to culinary arts. 'I'm very familiar with laws, and I got talking with Leslie, we were discussing for hours about judicial laws and different processes. 'I give fingerprints again, pubic hairs, saliva, blood samples, I mean, what have I got to hide? .widget-row.Independent, .widget-row.Nonpartisan, .widget-row.Constitution { Justice Leslie Abrams Gardner, a federal prosecutor turned federal district court judge, has had her name . How those two things are related is a fascinating tale of criminal injustice involving a professional athlete whose career was stolen after he spent more than a quarter of a century in prison for crimes he didnt commit. 'I was stuck for 23 years in state court. She could become the nation's first Black woman governor", "The fate of the Democrats' future may lie in Georgia", "President Obama Nominates Leslie Joyce Abrams to Serve on the United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia", "Abrams, Leslie Joyce Federal Judicial Center", "Presidential Nominations Sent to the Senate", "On the Cloture Motion (Motion to Invoke Cloture on the Nomination of Leslie Joyce Abrams, of Georgia, to be U.S. District Judge)", "On the Nomination (Confirmation Leslie Joyce Abrams, of Georgia, to be U.S. District Judge)",, Judges of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia, United States district court judges appointed by Barack Obama, Short description is different from Wikidata, Wikipedia articles incorporating text from the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License 3.0, This page was last edited on 28 February 2023, at 15:46. For Stacey Abrams sister to refuse to recuse and issue this decision despite her indisputable bias undermines the integrity of the entire judicial system." Jimmie Gardner was released from a West Virginia prison in 2016, 26 years after being wrongly convicted of sexual assault, robbery and unlawful entry related to break-ins that occurred in the 1980s. Donald Trump Jr. wrote "Nothing shady here", Doug Collins, the outgoing Republican congressman who ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate in 2020, said Abrams Gardner should recuse herself from the case because "her own sister is a party!". 'In the beginning she wouldn't give me a key and took the door off my room, saying: 'I don't want you bringing girls into the house'. display: inline-block; Circuit and worked in President Barack Obamas Justice Department as a deputy assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Counsel. The Abrams are daughters of two Methodist ministers from Mississippi and have welcomed Gardner with open arms into their family, who he says are 'extraordinary and remarkable'. A couple months later, another Charleston woman was assaulted in her home by a man with a similar description. Thats also how long a judge sentenced an innocent man to serve in prison. She also has an influential backer in Representative Jim Clyburn, the South Carolina Democrat whose endorsement of Biden in the 2020 presidential primary helped rescue his flailing campaign. Whatever was offered, I took it. Click here to contact our editorial staff, and click here to report an error. Although her resume may not excite progressives seeking more professional diversity on the federal bench, Gardner understands the criminal justice system in a way few justices have. Collins stated a significant falsehood in claiming otherwise. 'I met a lot of her judge friends, and they were honored to meet me, as I was them,' he added. In 1993 the West Virginia Supreme Court found that Zain had a long history of falsifying evidence in criminal prosecutions. An investigation concluded that Zains pattern and practice of misconduct completely undermined the validity and reliability of any forensic work he performed or reported and that as a matter of law, any testimonial or documentary evidence offered by Zain at any time in any criminal prosecution should be deemed invalid, unreliable, and inadmissible . Leslie Joyce Abrams was nominated by President Barack Obama to the United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia on March 11, 2014. Ballot measures, Who represents me? There are comparatively few Black women in the highest reaches of the federal judiciary. Judge Leslie Abrams Gardner; Judge Clay D. Land; Judge Tilman E. (Tripp) Self; Sr. Judge Hugh Lawson; Sr. Judge W. Louis Sands; Sr. Judge C. Ashley Royal; Mag Judge M. Stephen Hyles; Mag Judge Thomas Q. Langstaff; Mag Judge Charles H. Weigle; For Attorneys. But Gardner was impressed with her accomplishments and more than a bit smitten. He's still a friend today. Leslie Abrams Gardner husband: Who is Jimmie Gardner? And on September 7, 2016, the prosecution dismissed the charges.'. Postal Service's National Change of Address database, Roberts contended that those voters had moved out of the state and were therefore no longer eligible to vote in Ben Hill County. [16], The United States Senate confirmed Abrams on November 18, 2014, on a vote of 100-0.[3]. width: 57%; Theres a moment Jimmie Gardner has rehearsed in his head for more than three decades. I wanted to keep busy. And he plans to keep fighting for others who are still sitting in prison cells, nursing their own deferred dreams. Gardner said he has heard about Chapmans struggles to attract and support Black students. Given the revelations about Zains testimony, Gardner first filed for the West Virginia courts to review his conviction in 1993. While working alongside schools and prisons in Georgia, he met his future wife Leslie at a gathering of black female judges. Gardner, who has not received compensation from West Virginia for the false imprisonment, jumped right into his new life and forged a career as a motivational speaker and an advocate for the wrongly convicted. margin-bottom:0px; State and local courts | Kruger clerked for the late Justice John Paul Stevens and Judge David Tatel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. AP Photo/Charles Dharapak. She graduated from Brown University before attending Yale Law School. The southern California native has traditional bona fides, including 12 Supreme Court arguments. background-color: green; 'All the computer classes, I got three degrees inside, learned whatever I could, like how to strip floors, carpentry, restaurant management, air conditioning/heating, plumbing, staying abreast with the Internet and mobiles, car mechanics, anything to keep my mind active. Gardner plans to use his communications degree to continue sharing his story, shedding light on other wrongful conviction cases and inspiring people to keep fighting for justice. } Ketanji Brown Jackson is sworn in at her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Gardner received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1997 from Brown University. Childs is a favorite of top Black Caucus members including Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) and G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.), according to two senior Democratic aides. From 2010 to 2014, she served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Northern District of Georgia. Some other possible front-runners include 45-year-old California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger and Georgia U.S. District Court Judge Leslie Abrams Gardner, who is 47 and the sister of Stacey Abrams, who is running for governor in Georgia. She is a former professor who spent 20 years at the University of Maryland School of Law in Baltimore. Shes written for dozens of newspapers and magazines across the country, with projects that have taken her from a zero gravity flight over Queens to a fishing village in Ghana. .clearfix { 'These individuals need hope. .infobox p { Leslie Abrams Gardner is a federal judge for the United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia. During her tenure she argued a dozen cases before the Supreme Court on behalf of the government, according to her state supreme court bio. 'I am thrilled to have the opportunity to be with such an awesome individual. Learn more about a Bloomberg Law subscription. On March 11, 2014, President Barack Obama nominated Abrams to the United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia. Justice Leslie Abrams Gardner, a federal prosecutor turned federal district court judge, has had her name appear on lists in such publications as the Washington Post, Politico, and Bloomberg of . [7], President Joe Biden (D) did not announce a list of nominees he was considering. | But the story of Leslies fiance, Jimmie Gardner, is as extraordinary as that of his soon-to-be family members. Kevin Lamarque/Pool via AP. Circuit Court of Appeals. This is an obvious case for recusal. The judge said I had been held in legal purgatory for 23 years in state court and it was a complete miscarriage of justice, Gardner recalled. From October 2016 to October 2017, with support from family and advocates, he volunteered to share his story and to advocate for social justice reform everywhere he could. Abrams interest could therefore be substantially affected by the outcome of this proceeding. U.S. District Judge Leslie Abrams Gardner attracted considerable criticism when she declined to recuse herself from a challenge over voter eligibility. Many felt it was inappropriate for Gardner to rule on the case, a concern that was Justice Leslie Abrams Gardner has served as a federal district court judge in Georgia since 2014. The pair got married in November 2018, and he said, Its just been wonderful ever since. | 'I stand at 6ft 3in and I'm very dark-skinned. Childs would bring a different set of experiences to the Supreme Court as a non-Ivy League law school graduate -- she graduated from the University of South Carolina -- and a former South Carolina labor official. } The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline. } Im very familiar with laws, and I got talking with Leslie; we were discussing for hours about judicial laws and different processes.. He beat her, raped her 60-year-old daughter, then stole $90 and a cassette player. He grew up in Tampa, Fl., where he earned good grades and was a standout on his high school baseball team. } He is also involved in the Innocence Project, an organization that takes on cases in hopes of freeing people who have been wrongly convicted. In Muscogee County, a man named Ralph Russell brought a similar challenge, claiming to have found 4,033 registered voters in Muscogee County who, according to the National Change of Address database, had moved out of state. U.S. District Judge Leslie Abrams Gardner, the sister of voting rights activist Stacey Abrams , has been the center of attention in recent weeks as Republicans continue to criticize her role in . Gardner, 47, is another judge who would be making an unlikely leap from serving on a federal district court. Gardner recalled: 'My mother told me on a Sunday that she'd gone out to pray and God had said that you can pack up and you're coming home. padding-left: 10px; } There are comparatively few Black women in the highest reaches of the federal judiciary, though Biden has been active in bolstering those numbers as part of a broader emphasis on diversifying the courts, both in terms of demographics and professional background. On Dec. 28, Abrams Gardner granted that order, meaning the counties were ordered, for the next eight days, not to remove the targeted voters from registration lists, or require them to cast only provisional ballots. 'She's the perfect person to provide energy for the state of Georgia. Elections in 2023 | 'I then wrote to the Innocence Projects all over the US and even Germany. On March 25, 2016, the judge ruled in his favor. from Brown University in 1997 and her J.D. Turner was one of those targeted voters. Possible Joe Biden nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, United States District Court for the District of Maryland, United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia website,, Pages using DynamicPageList dplreplace parser function, Pages using DynamicPageList parser function, Federal judge, Middle District of Georgia, Conflicts in school board elections, 2021-2022, Special Congressional elections (2023-2024), 2022 Congressional Competitiveness Report, State Executive Competitiveness Report, 2022, State Legislative Competitiveness Report, 2022, Partisanship in 2022 United States local elections. Justice Stephen Breyers retirement announcement gives President Joe Biden the chance to fulfill his campaign promise to put the first Black woman on the U.S. Supreme Court. Police interviewed all of the black players on the Charleston Wheelers, including Gardner, as part of their investigation. On Feb. 1, 1990, Jimmie Gardner was sentenced to serve between 33 and 110 years in prison. That's how I live my life. It was through this work that he met his wife, Leslie Abrams Gardner, who became the first Black woman appointed as a federal judge in Georgia in 2014 and is sister to voting rights activist Stacey Abrams. During that time, Gardner had been studying the law. Gardner struggled to adjust to life in prison, as he lost the opportunity to watch his daughter, who was only three when he was incarcerated, grow up. Before that she worked as a prosecutor in the U.S. Attorneys Office for the Northern District of Georgia, which includes Atlanta. Prior to that Kruger, 45, held several high-ranking posts at the Department of Justice, including as deputy assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Counsel which provides legal guidance for the executive branch and as an official in the solicitor generals office. Published: 12:37 EST, 24 May 2018 | Updated: 13:48 EST, 24 May 2018. But he never got the chance,' Gardner said. | Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images. But if the last few decades have taught him anything its that, while life too often isnt fair and dreams do in fact explode, they also can sometimes be put together again. A century and a decade. 'I'll keep fighting for injustice, wrongful convictions and for people who haven't got voices,' Gardner said. [4][5], On March 11, 2014, President Barack Obama nominated Gardner to serve as a U.S. District Judge for the Middle District of Georgia, to the seat being vacated by Judge W. Louis Sands, who assumed senior status on April 12, 2014. Prior to being appointed to the bench, she was an Assistant United States Attorney.[1]. Police interviewed all of the black players on the Charleston Wheelers, including Gardner, as part of their investigation. The judge, Leslie Abrams Gardner the sister of former gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, a prominent ally of President-elect Joe Biden who has led voter registration efforts across the state concluded that the counties appeared to have improperly relied on unverified change-of-address data to invalidate registrations in the two counties.