Orlando Garcia

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Orlando Garcia
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Court Information:
United States District Court for the Western District of Texas
Title:   Judge
Position:   Seat #4
Station:   San Antonio, TX
Appointed by:   Bill Clinton
Active:   03/11/1994 - Present
Preceded by:   Emilio Garza
Past post:   Texas Fourth District Court of Appeals, Judge
Past term:   1991 - 1992
Personal History
Born:   1952
Hometown:   Jim Wells County, TX
Undergraduate:   University of Texas, Austin, B.A., 1975
Law School:   University of Texas Law, J.D., 1978

Orlando Garcia is an Article III federal judge for the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas. He joined the court in 1994 after being nominated by President Bill Clinton.[1]

Early life and education

A native Texan, Garcia graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with his bachelor's degree in 1975 and with his Juris Doctor in 1978.[1]

Professional career

Garcia began his legal career as a private practice attorney licensed in the State of Texas from 1978 to 1990. Garcia worked for the Matt Garcia Law Offices and the Law Offices of Heard, Goggan, and Blair. Garcia was a Texas State Representative from 1983 to 1991. In 1991, he was appointed to the Texas Fourth District Court of Appeals by Texas Governor Bill Clements.[1][2]

Judicial career

Western District of Texas

Garcia was nominated by President Bill Clinton on November 19, 1993, to a seat vacated by Emilio Garza as Garza assumed senior status. Garcia was confirmed by the Senate on March 10, 1994, and received commission on March 11, 1994.[1][3]

Notable cases

Challenge to Texas ban on same-sex marriage (2014)

     United States District Court for the Western District of Texas (De Leon, et al v. Perry, et al, 5:13-cv-00982-OLG)

On February 26, 2014, Judge Garcia struck down the Texas ban on same-sex marriage and issued an injunction as to the enforcement of the state statute, ruling that it violated the Fourteenth Amendment rights of gay couples to equal protection and due process of the law. The underlying case stems from a November 2005 voter-approved amendment to the Texas Constitution which banned same-sex marriage, as well as provisions of the Texas Family Code enacted in 1997 and 2003, which prohibited the issuance of marriage licenses to persons of the same gender and prohibited recognition of out-of-state same-sex marriages, respectively.

The plaintiffs, Mark Phariss and Victor Holmes and Cleopatra De Leon and Nicole Dimetmen, filed suit against Texas Governor Rick Perry, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, Bexar County Clerk Gerard Rickhoff, and Commissioner David Lakey of the Texas Department of State Health Services, seeking the ability to marry as a same-sex couple within Texas (Phariss and Holmes) and the ability to have their out-of-state, same-sex marriage recognized by the Texas government (De Leon and Dimetmen). Judge Garcia found for the plaintiffs in his ruling, writing:

Today's Court decision is not made in defiance of the great people of Texas or the Texas Legislature, but in compliance with the United States Constitution and Supreme Court precedent. Without a rational relation to a legitimate governmental purpose, state-imposed inequality can find no refuge in our United States Constitution.[4]
Garcia stayed his decision pending any appeal to the Fifth Circuit. The defendants filed a notice of appeal the day after Garcia's ruling was made public.[5][6][7]

See also

External links


Political offices
Preceded by:
Emilio Garza
Western District of Texas
Seat #4
Succeeded by: