Jamaican-born Judge Tanya Chutkan will preside over Trump case

August 1, 2023  -As of today, August 1, Tanya Sue Chutkan will preside over the criminal trial of former U.S. President Donald J. Trump, concerning the events leading up to the January 6, 2021, United States Capitol attack.

Chutkan is a Jamaican American immigrant with a distinguished background as a lawyer and jurist in Washington, D.C. Since 2014, she has served as a United States district judge in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

Judge Chutkan’s Jamaican Roots

Born on July 5, 1962, in Kingston, Jamaica, Chutkan pursued her education at George Washington University, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1983. She later graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Law School with a Juris Doctor degree in 1987.

Chutkan’s Noteworthy Legal Career

Early in her career, Chutkan worked at prestigious law firms, including Hogan & Hartson LLP (now Hogan Lovells) from 1987 to 1990 and Donovan, Leisure, Rogovin, Huge & Schiller from 1990 to 1991.

From 1991 to 2002, Chutkan served as a trial attorney and supervisor at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia. Later, she became a partner at the renowned law firm of Boies, Schiller & Flexner, where she specialized in complex civil litigation, particularly antitrust class action cases.

Nomination by former President Obama

Recognizing her legal acumen and experience, President Barack Obama nominated Chutkan as a judge of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia on December 19, 2013. After a hearing before the United States Senate Judiciary Committee on February 25, 2014, her nomination was reported out of committee on March 27, 2014, by a voice vote. The United States Senate invoked cloture on her nomination on June 3, 2014, with a 54–40 vote, and the next day, June 4, 2014, her nomination was confirmed with a unanimous 95–0 vote. On June 5, 2014, she received her judicial commission.

Throughout her career, Chutkan has been involved in various high-profile cases. In February 2017, she ruled against Public.Resource.Org in a lawsuit brought by several organizations, ordering the deletion of building codes and fire codes they considered their copyrighted property. Moreover, Chutkan has ruled against the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Justice in different cases. She denied former President Donald Trump’s plea to withhold records from the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 Capitol attack, and her decisions were upheld by the D.C. Circuit and U.S. Supreme Court.

Chutkan’s Family of Lawyers

Outside her professional achievements, Chutkan has a familial connection to the legal world. Her husband, Peter A. Krauthamer, served as a judge on the Superior Court of the District of Columbia from 2012 to 2023. Together, they have been blessed with two sons.

With her Jamaican heritage, legal expertise, and dedication to public service, Tanya Sue Chutkan has established herself as an esteemed judge overseeing significant cases in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, including the high-profile trial involving former President Donald J. Trump.

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