James E. Boasberg

James E. Boasberg
Judge of the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court
Assumed office
May 18, 2014
Preceded by Reggie Walton
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia
Assumed office
March 17, 2011
Appointed by Barack Obama
Preceded by Thomas Hogan
Personal details
Born James Emanuel Boasberg
(1963-02-20) February 20, 1963
San Francisco, California, U.S.
Spouse(s) Elizabeth Manson
Alma mater Yale University (BA; JD)
University of Oxford (MSt)

James Emanuel "Jeb" Boasberg (born February 20, 1963)[1] is a District Judge on the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, also serving as a Judge on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court; and former associate judge on the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.

Early life and education

Boasberg was born in San Francisco, California in 1963,[2] to Sarah Margaret (Szold) and Emanuel Boasberg III.[3][4] The family moved to Washington, D.C. when Boasberg's father accepted a position in Sargent Shriver's Office of Economic Opportunity, a Great Society agency responsible for implementing and administering many of Lyndon B. Johnson's War on Poverty programs.[5][6]

Boasberg received an A.B. from Yale University in 1985, where he was a member of Skull and Bones,[7] and a Master of Studies the following year from Oxford University.[8] He then earned his law degree from Yale Law School in 1990.[8] After completing law school, Boasberg served as a law clerk for Judge Dorothy W. Nelson of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.[8]

Judicial service

In September 2002, Boasberg became an Associate Judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, where he served in the Civil and Criminal Divisions and the Domestic Violence Branch until his appointment to the federal bench in 2011.[9] During the 111th Congress, Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton recommended Boasberg to fill a judicial vacancy on the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.[10] On June 17, 2010, President Barack Obama formally nominated Boasberg to the District Court for the District of Columbia.[8] Boasberg was confirmed on March 14, 2011 by a vote of 96 ayes to 0 nays.[11] He received his commission on March 17, 2011.[12]

Osama Bin Laden Photos

On April 26, 2012, Judge Boasberg ruled that the public had no right to view government photos of a deceased Osama Bin Laden. Judicial Watch, a conservative legal group, had filed a request under the Freedom of Information Act, but were unsuccessful in convincing the Judge that FOIA rights outweighed national-security factors.[13]

Registered Tax Return Preparer Regulations

On January 18, 2013, Judge Boasberg issued a permanent injunction prohibiting the Internal Revenue Service from enforcing regulations on Registered Tax Return Preparers, which otherwise required tax return preparers to register with the IRS and pass a written test as evidence of competency. Loving v. Internal Revenue Service, No. 12-385 (U.S.D.C. D.C. 1/18/2013).[14] The IRS appealled and in 2014, the Court of Appeals upheld Boasberg's district court decision.[15]

Appointment to United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court

On February 7, 2014 Chief Justice John G. Roberts announced that he would appoint Boasberg to the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court for a term starting May 18, 2014 to a seat being vacated by Reggie Walton.[16][17] His term began May 18, 2014

Hillary Clinton emails

On August 22, 2016, Boasberg ordered the release of over 14,000 emails found in the U.S. Department of State correspondence of Hillary Clinton by the FBI during an investigation of Clinton's private server.[18] These emails were requested by Judicial Watch, a conservative legal group, because the FBI has indicated that emails were work-related and not entirely private as Clinton had previously said.[18]


Boasberg married Elizabeth Leslie Manson in 1991.[3] His brother, Tom Boasberg, succeeded Michael Bennet as Superintendent of Denver Public Schools after Colorado Governor Bill Ritter appointed Bennet to the United States Senate in January 2009.[19][20]


  1. United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary (January 5, 2011). "Questionnaire for Judicial Nominees: James Emanuel Boasberg" (PDF). Retrieved March 11, 2011.
  2. 1 2   (August 26, 1991). "Elizabeth Leslie Manson Is Married To J. E. Boasberg in New Hampshire". The New York Times. Retrieved March 11, 2011.
  3. "Sally Boasberg, landscape designer and advocate for District's green spaces, dies at 74 - The Washington Post". washingtonpost.com. Retrieved May 14, 2015.
  4. Mitchell, Nancy (January 9, 2009). "Boasberg sole finalist for DPS superindendent job". Rocky Mountain News. Retrieved March 11, 2011.
  5. Meyer, Jeremy P. (January 21, 2009). "Boosters say Boasberg's the man to lead DPS". The Denver Post. Retrieved March 11, 2011.
  6. Robbins, Alexandra (July 2004). "Powerful Secrets". Vanity Fair. p. 116.
  7. 1 2 3 4 The White House: Office of the Press Secretary (June 17, 2010). "President Obama Names Three to United States District Court, 6/17/10". whitehouse.gov. Retrieved March 11, 2011.
  8. http://www.dcd.uscourts.gov/boasberg
  9. Palazzolo, Joe (February 8, 2010). "White House Vetting OPR Chief for Federal Judgeship". Main Justice. Retrieved March 11, 2011.
  10. "Judicial Nominations and Confirmations: 112th Congress". web.archive.org. Retrieved May 14, 2015.
  11. "History of the Federal Judiciary | Biographical Directory of Federal Judges". fjc.gov. Retrieved May 14, 2015.
  12. "Federal judge blocks release of bin Laden death photos - CNN.com". cnn.com. Retrieved May 14, 2015.
  13. http://www.irs.gov/uac/IRS-Statement-on-Court-Ruling-Related-to-Return-Preparers (Retrieved 1/25/2013)
  14. Donnelly, Madaline. Meet the Single Mom Who Took On the IRS, Daily Signal, October 9, 2015.
  15. "FISA Court Appointments, Potential Reforms, and More from CRS". Secrecy News. Retrieved February 7, 2014.
  16. "Two Judges Appointed to Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court". Federation of American Scientists. Retrieved February 7, 2014.
  17. 1 2 Reid, Paula (August 22, 2016). "Judge orders expedited release of 15,000 Hillary Clinton documents found by FBI". CBS News. New York City, New York. Retrieved August 22, 2016. Initially, the State Department attorney would not answer Judge James Boasberg’s repeated questions about the number of emails recovered by the FBI. The judge urged the State Department to expedite its review of what is called “Disc 1,” which is one of two discs handed over from FBI to the State Department in late July.
  18. Meyer, Jeremy P. (January 9, 2009). "Finalist is the face behind recent efforts". The Denver Post. Retrieved March 11, 2011.
  19. Osher, Christopher N. (January 23, 2009). "Boasberg is unanimous pick for superintendent". The Denver Post. Retrieved March 11, 2011.
Legal offices
Preceded by
Thomas Hogan
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia
Preceded by
Reggie Walton
Judge of the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court
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