Former Third Circuit Judge John J. Gibbons died yesterday at age 94. Judge Gibbons was a Third Circuit judge for 20 years and Chief Judge for three, serving from 1970 until his retirement in 1990.
The Gibbons law firm posted this announcement and remembrance, which begins:
It is with great sadness that Gibbons P.C. announces the passing of John J. Gibbons, the firm’s Standard-Bearer, on December 9, 2018.
Judge Gibbons, the former Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, committed his six-decade career to protecting the rule of law in the United States. His commitment dates back to the 1960s – when, as the President of the New Jersey State Bar Association, he enlisted attorneys to help those unable to afford legal representation during the Newark Riots – and continued into the new century, culminating in his argument in front of the United States Supreme Court in support of civil liberties and government transparency in the war on terrorism.
Here are three links of particular interest:
- video of an interview of Gibbons by his friend and former colleague, Judge Leonard Garth.
- audio of Rasul v. Bush, the landmark Supreme Court case he argued in 2004 challenging the detention of 660 men at Guantanamo Bay without judicial review. His argument began, “What is at stake in this case is the authority of the Federal courts to uphold the rule of law.”
- a wonderful 2008 public television profile of Gibbons.
The Gibbons Firm will celebrate his career with a memorial ceremony in January. Judge Gibbons was a fine judge, an accomplished lawyer, and a beloved person, and he will be missed.