This Is the Judge Who Blocked Deportations

Ann Donnelly has been on federal bench about a year
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 30, 2017 7:21 AM CST
This Is the Judge Who Blocked Deportations
Judge Ann Donnelly.   (Twitter)

President Trump's immigration order has thrust a New York federal judge into the spotlight. US District Court Judge Ann Donnelly issued the ruling that blocked immediate deportations, prompting plenty of coverage about her and the scope of the decision:

  • Donnelly, 57, has been on the federal bench a little more than a year, having been nominated by President Obama on a recommendation from Sen. Chuck Schumer, reports the Daily News. Before joining the court, she worked as an assistant district attorney in Manhattan.

  • "She will not be perturbed by the storm around her," a former colleague in Manhattan tells the New York Times, adding that she has "a firm moral compass." One of her biggest cases there was as the successful lead prosecutor in a 2005 Tyco corruption trial.
  • A Washington Post profile emphasizes her close family, noting that the "daughter of Mary and Jack Donnelly" made a point to individually introduce all her relatives (including her two daughters) to the Senate during confirmation proceedings. "And then Saturday night ... Donnelly sat in her own courtroom in Brooklyn while families shouted and cried in airports nationwide."
  • Still, Donnelly's ruling—and similar ones by federal judges in Seattle; Alexandria, Va., and Boston—is fairly limited, dealing only with a few hundred people caught in the immediate limbo of the decision, explains Politico. It doesn't affect the larger scope of Trump's order, which could affect tens or even hundreds of thousands of people, and may well be "fleeting."
  • The Times has a separate piece on the legal path ahead, with the ACLU hailing Donnelly's ruling as an important first step. "Litigation is going to be a key tool for either undoing these policies or slowing them down," says executive director Anthony Romero.
(More immigration stories.)

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