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|United States District Court for the District of South Dakota|
|Appointed by:||Pres. Bill Clinton|
|Preceded by:||Donald Porter|
|Succeeded by:||Jeffrey Viken|
|Past post:||Attorney in private practice|
|Undergraduate:||University of South Dakota, 1962|
|Law School:||University of South Dakota School of Law, 1965|
|Grad. School:||U.S. Army 1965 - 1968|
Lawrence L. Piersol is an Article III federal judge for the United States District Court for the District of South Dakota. He joined the court in 1993 after being nominated by President Bill Clinton. Piersol assumed senior status on June 30, 2009.
Early life and education
From 1965 until 1968, Piersol served in the Army JAG corps.
Piersol spent his pre-judicial legal career in private practice from 1968 through 1993.
District of South Dakota
On the recommendation of Senator Tom Daschle, Piersol was nominated by President Bill Clinton on August 6, 1993, to a seat vacated by Donald Porter. Piersol was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on November 20, 1993, and received commission on November 22, 1993. Piersol served as the chief judge of the United States District Court for the District of South Dakota from 1999 through 2005.
Libertarian Party candidate off the ballot (2014)
South Dakota Secretary of State Jason Gant denied Ryan Gaddy’s candidacy for the Libertarian Party’s nominee for Public Utilities Commissioner in the 2014 election. Gaddy was not an official member of the party when its convention was held. State law requires all candidates to be members of the party that nominates them in order to be placed on the ballot. Gaddy sent in a change of party form the Monday following the convention. As a result, Secretary of State Gant refused to put Gaddy on the ballot, leading him to file suit in federal court.
Judge Lawrence Piersol agreed with the secretary of state that Gaddy had no right to be on the ballot because state law prohibited it. Further, he concluded that the state law requiring a candidate to be a member of the nominating party is constitutional. Candidates from the Republican, Democrat and Constitution parties were on the ballot for Public Utilities Commissioner.
Iowa man threatens fed. judge (2009)United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa (United States, v. Robert Emil Swanson, 2009 WL 1052945)
Judge Piersol sentenced an Iowa man for threatening federal Judge Linda Reade of the Northern District of Iowa. The case was heard in South Dakota as judges in both the Northern District of Iowa and Southern District of Iowa recused themselves.
Robert E. Swanson, who was convicted of threatening Judge Reade, faced a minimum of two years under federal sentencing guidelines. Prosecutors pushed for a harsher term because of his criminal record, which included convictions for a rape in 1974, a sexual assault in 1980 and an assault in 1986.Judge Piersol commented that "Swanson's past crimes should be considered, even though they weren't included in the guidelines." Federal prosecutor Matthew Whitaker concurred with Piersol, saying, "because they were so long ago ... that skewed his history and made him seem less dangerous than he really was." Judge Piersol sentenced Swanson to eight years in federal prison.
- Federal Judicial Center, "Piersol Biography"
- Associated Press, "Judge's ruling paves way for S. Dakota execution," October 10, 2012
|District of South Dakota
|Magistrate judges||William D. Gerdes • Veronica Duffy • Mark Moreno • John Simko •|
|Former Article III judges|
|Former Chief judges|