Joe L. Heaton

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Joe L. Heaton
Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma
In office
November 25, 2015 – July 1, 2019
Preceded byVicki Miles-LaGrange
Succeeded byTimothy D. DeGiusti
Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma
In office
December 10, 2001 – July 1, 2019
Appointed byGeorge W. Bush
Preceded byRalph Gordon Thompson
Succeeded byvacant
Personal details
Born (1951-12-12) December 12, 1951 (age 67)
Alva, Oklahoma
Political partyRepublican
EducationNorthwestern Oklahoma State University (B.A.)
University of Oklahoma College of Law (J.D.)

Joe L. Heaton (born December 12, 1951) is a Senior United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma.

Education and career[edit]

Born in Alva, Oklahoma, Heaton received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Northwestern Oklahoma State University in 1973 and a Juris Doctor from the University of Oklahoma College of Law in 1976. He was a Legislative assistant to United States Senator Dewey F. Bartlett from 1976 to 1977. He was in private practice in Oklahoma City, from 1977 to 1992 and from 1993 to 1996, also serving as an adjunct instructor at the University of Central Oklahoma from 1980 to 1981 and from 1992 to 1993. Then he was elected as a Republican to serve in the Oklahoma House of Representatives as a state representative in 1984, and was re-elected three times, serving from 1985 to 1993. Next, Heaton was a special Assistant United States Attorney in the United States Attorney's Office, Western District of Oklahoma from 1992 to 1993. Following that, he was a First Assistant United States Attorney of the United States Attorney's Office, Western District of Oklahoma from 1996 to 2001.

District court service[edit]

On September 4, 2001, Heaton was nominated by President George W. Bush to a seat on the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma vacated by Ralph Gordon Thompson. Heaton was confirmed by the United States Senate on December 6, 2001, and received his commission on December 10, 2001. He became Chief Judge on November 25, 2015. He assumed senior status on July 1, 2019.

Notable case[edit]

In November 2012, Heaton ruled against Hobby Lobby in its bid not to be forced to provide emergency contraception to its employees. On July 19, 2013, he granted the company a preliminary injunction, barring HHS from enforcing the contraception mandate against Hobby Lobby and its affiliate Mardel Christian Bookstores.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Stempel, Jonathan (2013-07-19). "Hobby Lobby wins a stay against birth control mandate". Reuters. Retrieved 2018-03-20.

Sources[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Ralph Gordon Thompson
Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma
2001–2019
Vacant
Preceded by
Vicki Miles-LaGrange
Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma
2015–2019
Succeeded by
Timothy D. DeGiusti