Gavel Grab

Federal Judge Fatally Shot in AZ Attack

BULLETIN: Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said Judge John Roll “was a wise jurist who selflessly served Arizona and the nation with great distinction, as attorney and judge, for more than 35 years….Chief Judge Roll’s death is a somber reminder of the importance of the rule of law and the sacrifices of those who work to secure it.”

When Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and others were shot in an attack Saturday in Tucson, Arizona, a federal district judge was among those slain.

Judge John Roll was shot fatally, U.S. Marshal for Arizona David Gonzales confirmed to the Associated Press.

Judge Roll “been involved in immigration cases and had previously received death threats,” according to a New York Times article.

At least five people were killed in the attack, President Obama said. He mentioned Judge Roll among them and said the judge “has served America’s legal system for almost 40 years.”

A suspect was taken into custody. The attacker “sprayed bullets into an area where the Democratic lawmaker was hosting a ‘Congress on Your Corner’ event at a Safeway supermarket,” CBS News reported.

Obama said in his late afternoon remarks that Giffords was at a hospital in the Tucson area. He called the shootings an “unspeakable act” and lamented “a tragedy for Arizona and a tragedy for our entire country.”

“Our thoughts go out to the family members of those who have been slain,” the president said.

According to the Above the Law blog, Judge Roll was nominated in 1991 by President George H.W. Bush and was chief judge since 2006. He was a 1972 graduate of the University of Arizona.

The Arizona Republic reported that he faced death threats in 2009 “over a $32 million civil-rights suit filed against an Arizona rancher by illegal immigrants.” The jurist and his wife were put under federal protection for a month. He called that process “unnerving and invasive.”

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  1. […] Roll was saluted posthumously by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. (see earlier Gavel Grab post) as a “wise jurist” who “served with great distinction” as an attorney […]

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