David B. Sentelle bigraphy, stories - United States District Judge

David B. Sentelle : biography

February 12, 1943 -

David Bryan Sentelle (born February 12, 1943) is a Senior United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Early life and education

Sentelle was born in Canton, North Carolina, the son of a mill worker. He attended college and law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He earned his undergraduate degree in 1965 and his law degree in 1968.

Professional career

Following law school he practiced law with the firm of Ussell & Dumont until becoming an assistant U.S. Attorney in Charlotte, North Carolina in January 1970. From 1974 to 1977, he served as a North Carolina State District Judge. He then practiced law privately from 1977 until 1985 with the law firm of Tucker, Hicks, Sentelle, Moon & Hodge. In 1985 he was appointed to the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina in Asheville by President Ronald Reagan, where he served until his appointment to the D.C. Circuit.

Judge Sentelle taught as an adjunct professor at the law schools of the University of North Carolina; Florida State; the Department of Criminal Justice; the University of North Carolina at Charlotte; and George Mason University School of Law. He presents regularly at educational programs for lawyers and judges on national security law.

Federal judicial service

On February 2, 1987, Reagan nominated Sentelle to a position on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to replace Antonin Scalia. Sentelle was confirmed by the United States Senate in an 87-0 vote on September 9, 1987. Sentelle's judicial clerks are known as Sentelle-tubbies.http://underneaththeirrobes.blogs.com/main/2004/10/the_young_turks.html

On the D.C. Circuit, Sentelle, along with Judge Laurence Silberman, voted to overturn the convictions of Oliver North and John Poindexter. He also served on the Special Division of the Court which appointed Kenneth Starr under the renewed Independent Counsel statute, replacing Robert B. Fiske, who had been appointed by Attorney General Janet Reno to investigate the allegations against President Bill Clinton with respect to the Whitewater Affair.

In 2007, in Boumediene v. Bush, 375 U.S. App. D.C. 48, Judge Sentelle concurred with Judge Arthur Raymond Randolph, relying on Johnson v. Eisentrager, to uphold the Military Commissions Act of 2006's suspension of habeas corpus for enemy combatants as constitutional. Judge Judith Ann Wilson Rogers dissented. That decision was reversed by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Hufaiza Parhat v. Gates

On Monday June 23, 2008 it was announced that a three judge panel of the D.C. Circuit, consisting of Sentelle, Merrick B. Garland and Thomas B. Griffith, overturned the determination of Hufaiza Parhat's Combatant Status Review Tribunal. Parhat's was the first case to be ruled on since the Supreme Court's ruling in Boumediene v. Bush. However, the ruling was made under a section of the Detainee Treatment Act. The court held that even under the government's own interpretation of the statute, it had failed to offer sufficiently reliable evidence for its determination that Parhat was an enemy combatant.

Senior status

Sentelle took senior status on February 12, 2013.http://legaltimes.typepad.com/blt/2012/11/dc-circuit-chief-judge-sentelle-to-take-senior-status.html


  • Sentelle, David B. (2002). Judge Dave and the Rainbow People. Green Bag Press, Washington D.C. ISBN 0-9677568-3-9
Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine