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William Pauley

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William Pauley
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Court Information:
United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
Title:   Judge
Position:   Seat #23
Station:   New York, NY
Appointed by:   Bill Clinton
Active:   10/22/1998 - Present
Preceded by:   Peter Leisure
Personal History
Born:   1952
Hometown:   Glen Cove, NY
Undergraduate:   Duke U., A.B., 1974
Law School:   Duke U. Law, J.D., 1977

William H. Pauley III is a federal judge for the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. He joined the Court in 1998 after being nominated by President Bill Clinton. Prior to his appointment to the federal bench, Pauley was the Associate Counsel for the New York State Assembly Minority Leader from 1984 to 1998, in addition to being in private practice.

Early life and education

Born in Glen Cove, New York, Pauley graduated from Duke University with his bachelor's degree in 1974 and received his Juris Doctor degree from Duke University School of Law in 1977.[1]

Professional career

Judicial career

Southern District of New York

On the recommendation of U.S. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynhian, Pauley was nominated to the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York by President Bill Clinton on May 21, 1998 to a seat vacated by Peter Leisure. Pauley was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on October 21, 1998 on a Senate voice vote and received commission on October 22, 1998.[2]

Notable cases

NSA metadata case (2013)

     United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (American Civil Liberties Union, et al v. Clapper, et al, 13-cv-3994 (WHP))

On December 27, 2013, Judge William Pauley ruled that the collection of metadata by the NSA was constitutional. This contrasts a ruling made by Richard Leon of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. Judge Leon in his ruling judged that a 1979 Supreme Court of the United States ruling that allowed collection of phone records was outdated. Pauley chose to stand with the 1979 decision:
In Smith v. Maryland, 442 U.S. 735 (1979), the Supreme Court held individuals have no "legitimate expectation of privacy" regarding the telephone numbers they dial because they knowingly give that information to telephone companies when they dial a number. 442 U.S. at 742. Smith's bedrock holding is that an individual has no legitimate expectation of privacy in information provided to third parties.[3][4]

Pauley discussed that it is not the court's job to determine if the practice should continue, only if the act is constitutional.

The natural tension between protecting the nation and preserving civil liberty is squarely presented by the Government's bulk telephony metadata collection program. Edward Snowden's unauthorized disclosure of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court ("FISC") orders has provoked a public debate and this litigation. While robust discussions are underway across the nation, in Congress, and at the White House, the question for this Court is whether the Government's bulk telephony metadata program is lawful. This Court finds it is. But the question of whether that program should be conducted is for the other two coordinate branches of Government to decide.[3]


On January 2, 2014, the ACLU appealed Pauley's ruling to the Second Circuit.[5]

Hiram Monserrate case (2010)

     United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Monserrate v. NEW YORK STATE SENATE, 695 F. Supp. 2d 80)

Judge Pauley denied an request by former New York State Senator Hiram Monserrate to stop a decision made by the New York Senate to expel him on February 9, 2010.[6]

Monserrate was expelled after being convicted of domestic violence towards his girlfriend which is considered a misdemeanor.[6]

The case was appealed to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, but the appellate court ruled that the district court "did not abuse its discretion in determining that the Monserrate Appellants failed to establish a likelihood of success on the merits of any of the claims they press on appeal. We thus need not reach any of the other arguments advanced by the parties. For the foregoing reasons, we affirm the district court's denial of the preliminary injunction."[7]

Dot-com collusion (2010)

     United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
Judge Pauley on March 18, 2010, ruled against striking down a regulation that prohibits collusion between investment bankers and analysts at Wall Street firms. The ruling comes after the largest firms on Wall Street in 2009 wanted a 2003 rule that prohibited unsupervised contact between investment bankers and analysts overturned. The judge emphasized in his decision that there needs to be separation between independent analysts and bankers if confidence in the markets can be improved.[8]

See also

External links


Political offices
Preceded by:
Peter Leisure
Southern District of New York
Succeeded by: