Judge Gary Feinerman, Northern Illinois U.S. District Court

Judge Gary Feinerman

Northern Illinois U.S. District Court

Gary Scott Feinerman was born in February 1965 in Skokie, Illinois. He earned an undergraduate degree from Yale University and received his Juris Doctor from Stanford Law School. He clerked at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. He worked for a year as a law firm associate before being selected to clerk at the U.S. Supreme Court for Justice Anthony Kennedy.

Feinerman spent two years working for the U.S. Department of Justice as Counsel to the Office of Policy Development and also on detail to the Office of the Counsel to President Bill Clinton. He returned to the private practice of law. He spent four years working in the office of the Illinois Attorney General as the state’s solicitor general. Thereafter, he worked for a Chicago law firm.

He was nominated by President Barack Obama to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. He was confirmed 80-0 by the Senate and received his commission in June 2010.

Feinerman is married to Elizabeth Lynn Kohl. He is a supporter of a non-profit group that works with the public schools in Chicago to help students succeed.

In the News…

In a decision with nationwide implications, U.S. District Judge Gary Feinerman rejected the Trump Administration immigration rule on denying green cards to people who were a “public charge.” Among other things, Feinerman said the rule violates the Administrative Procedure Act, which makes federal agencies accountable to the public by outlining a detailed process for enacting regulations.

Under the administration’s policy, immigration officials could deny permanent residency to legal immigrants over their use of food stamps, Medicaid, housing vouchers, or other public benefits. Green card applicants were required to show they would not be burdens to the country.

Federal law already required those seeking permanent residency or status to prove they wouldn’t be a “public charge.” But the Trump Administration rule included a wider range of programs that could be disqualifying.

The Supreme Court decided in a 5-4 vote in January that the rule could take effect, but enforcement was halted by a federal judge in New York because of the coronavirus pandemic. In September, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals had reversed that hold, and the rule took effect.

It is anticipated that the Department of Homeland Security and the Immigration and Citizenship Services will appeal Judge Feinerman’s decision.

Contact this Leader…

Did you pray for Judge Feinerman today? You can let him know at:

The Honorable Gary S. Feinerman
U.S. District Court for Northern Illinois
Everett McKinley Dirksen United States Courthouse
219 South Dearborn Street
Chicago, IL 60604


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