Saundra Armstrong

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Saundra Armstrong
Armstrong, Saundra.jpg
Court Information:
United States District Court for the Northern District of California
Title:   Senior Judge
Appointed by:   George H.W. Bush
Active:   6/18/1991 - 3/23/2012
Senior:   3/23/2012 - Present
Preceded by:   William Ingram
Succeeded by:   Jon S. Tigar
Personal History
Born:   1947
Hometown:   Oakland, CA
Undergraduate:   California State U., Fresno, B.A., 1969
Law School:   University of San Francisco School of Law, J.D., 1977
Saundra Armstrong is a federal judge for the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. She joined the court in 1991 after being nominated by President George H.W. Bush. She assumed senior status on March 23, 2012.[1]

Early life and education

A California native, Armstrong graduated from Merritt College with her Associate's degree in 1967. She later graduated from Fresno State with her bachelor's degree in 1969. She went on to attend the University of San Francisco School of Law earning her Juris Doctorate degree in 1977. While pursuing her law degree, Armstrong was a police officer with the Oakland Police Department from 1970 to 1977.[1]

Professional career

Judicial career

Northern District of California

On the recommendation of U.S. Senator Pete Wilson, Armstrong was nominated by President George Bush on April 25, 1991 to a seat vacated by William Ingram as Ingram assumed senior status. Armstrong was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on June 14, 1991 on unanimous consent and received commission on June 18, 1991. She assumed senior status on March 23, 2012.[1][2]

Notable cases

Overturning of 30 yr-old death penalty case (2010)

     United States District Court for the Northern District of California (Marvin Pete Walker, v. Michael Martel, Acting Warden of California State Prison at San Quentin, cv-94-1997-SBA)

Judge Armstrong was presiding in the case of Marvin Pete Walker Jr., who appealed his 1980 murder conviction and is sitting on death row in California's San Quentin penitentiary. Armstrong held that during his 1980 trial, Walker was improperly shackled in front of the jury. Walker stated in her opinion that he was forced to "wear visible and painful restraints" which "undermined the dignity of the judicial process."[3][4] The decision has been appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Military recruitment of minors (2009)

     United States District Court for the Northern District of California (United States, v. City of Arcata and City of Eureka, c-08-5725-SBA)

On June 18, 2009, Armstrong struck down two local ballot initiatives that voters in the cities of Arcata and Eureka, California, had approved in November 2008. The measures, Measure F and Measure J, prohibited military recruitment in the two California cities of youth under the age of 18. Armstrong ruled that the anti-recruitment measures violate the clause of the federal Constitution that establishes the Constitution, federal statutes and treaties as the supreme law of the land. Government attorneys had argued that military recruitment falls under the purview of the federal government and that it cannot be regulated by state or local governments.[5]

See also

External links


Political offices
Preceded by:
William Ingram
Northern District of California
Succeeded by:
Jon S. Tigar