Robert King

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Robert King
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Court Information:
United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
Title:   Judge
Appointed by:   Bill Clinton
Active:   10/9/1998-Present
Preceded by:   Kenneth Hall
Personal History
Born:   1940
Hometown:   White Sulphur Springs, WV
Undergraduate:   West Virginia University, 1961
Law School:   West Virginia University Law, 1968

Robert Bruce King is a federal judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. He joined the court in 1998 after being nominated by President Bill Clinton.[1]


King graduated from West Virginia University with his bachelor's degree in 1961 and later graduated from West Virginia University College of Law with his J.D. in 1968.[1]

Professional career

Judicial career

Fourth Circuit

On the recommendation of U.S. Senator Robert Byrd, King was nominated to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit by President Bill Clinton on June 24, 1998, to a seat vacated by Judge Kenneth Hall. King was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on October 8, 1998, on a majority vote and received commission on October 9, 1998.[1]

Notable cases

Occupy Columbia may file suit against state officials (2013)

     United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (Occupy Columbia, et al v. Haley, et al, 13-1258)

On December 16, 2013, a three-judge panel of the Fourth Circuit, composed of Chief Judge William Traxler and Judges Stephanie Thacker and Robert King, found that members of Occupy Columbia who were arrested in November 2011 for supposed violations of state curfew may file suit against various state officials.[2][3]

In the underlying case, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley enforced a curfew restriction against members of Occupy Columbia, a group that initiated 24-hour per day protests on the grounds of the State House for one month's time. On November 16, 2011, Governor Haley directed police officers to remove Occupy Columbia members who remained on the grounds after 6:00 p.m. Nineteen protestors were arrested on that day, and 14 of them later filed suit alongside Occupy Columbia, claiming that their First Amendment rights were violated, seeking injunctive relief and damages. The government officials filed a motion to dismiss, which the district trial court granted in part and denied in part, rejecting their claims of qualified immunity.[2][3]

Judge Thacker, writing for the majority, affirmed the lower court's decision, noting that because the protestors alleged a clear violation of their constitutional rights, a qualified immunity defense would not stand. Thacker further stated:

It is not disputed that South Carolina and its state officials could have restricted the time when the State House grounds are open to the public with a valid time, place, and manner restriction. However, ... at the time of Occupy Columbia’s arrest, no such restrictions existed.[2][3][4]
Because Occupy Columbia's First Amendment right to assemble peacefully was infringed upon, the government officials named in the suit, including Governor Haley, were to remain as defendants.[2][3]

See also

External links


Political offices
Preceded by:
Kenneth Hall
Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals
Succeeded by: