Judge Alan Norris, Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals

Judge Alan Norris

Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals

Alan Eugene Norris was born in 1935 in Columbus, Ohio. He earned an undergraduate degree from Otterbein College and received a Bachelor of Laws from New York University School of Law. He later earned a Master of Laws from the University of Virginia School of Law. He clerked at the Supreme Court of Ohio.

Norris was in private practice in Ohio. He was a member of the Ohio House of Representatives for twelve years. He was an instructor at Otterbein College, and a judge of the Ohio Court of Appeals.

He was nominated to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit by President Ronald Reagan, confirmed by the Senate, and received his commission in July 1986. He assumed senior status in July 2001.

In the News…

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has declared unconstitutional the current administration’s race-based approach to distributing COVID relief funds. The court specifically addressed the race- and sex-based reverse discrimination in the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021. This sets a precedent that could nullify other federal and state statutes, regulations, or practices.

The ARPA plan had created a fund for grants to be prioritized to “small business concerns owned or controlled by women,” veterans, or “socially and economically disadvantaged small business concerns.”

In a 2-1 decision, the federal appellate court enjoined the Small Business Administration from using the race- and sex-based criteria in processing applications for the grants.

The opinion, co-authored by Judges Alan Norris and Amul Thapar, focused on the constitutionality of priority based on race. They wrote, “Government policies that classify people by race are presumptively invalid. … To overcome that presumption, the government must show that favoring one race over another is necessary to achieve a compelling state interest” and the government “must narrowly tailor its remedy to advance that interest.” They outlined criteria that had to be met to show a compelling state interest.

On ARPA’s favoring of women, the court found the SBA’s rationale lacking and held that treating women more favorably than men in the allocation of federal funds violates the Equal Protection Clause.

Contact this Leader…

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

The Honorable Alan Norris
Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals
Potter Stewart U.S. Courthouse
100 East Fifth Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202


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