Judge Diana Gribbon Motz, Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals

Judge Diana Gribbon Motz

Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals

Diana Jean Gribbon Motz was born in July 1943 in Washington, D.C. She earned an undergraduate degree from Vassar College and a Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia School of Law. She entered the private practice of law in Baltimore, Maryland.

She spent 14 years as the assistant state attorney general for the State of Maryland, then returned to private practice. She was later appointed as an associate judge of the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland.

Motz was nominated by President Bill Clinton to a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. She was confirmed by the Senate and received her commission in June 1994.

She is married to J. Frederick Motz who is a federal district court judge.

In the News…

A federal appeals court panel unanimously ruled that North Carolina’s ban of most abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy remains unenforceable. The court rejected arguments that the law should be left intact because prosecutors aren’t going after doctors who violate it. The state’s prohibition has been on the books since 1973.

Circuit Judge Diana Gribbon Motz wrote the opinion which stated that recent actions by North Carolina lawmakers and those in other states to further restrict abortion appear to affirm that legislators are interested in seeing their measures implemented. The 2015 changes in North Carolina, not subject to the current lawsuit, also increased the waiting period to obtain an abortion from 24 hours to 72.

“It is difficult to explain why the [North Carolina] legislature would have altered the text of the 20-week ban if it did not expect for those words to ever be given effect,” she wrote. “As a nation we remain deeply embroiled in debate over the legal status of abortion. While this conversation rages around us, this court cannot say that the threat of prosecution to abortion providers who violate the law is not credible.”

The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to consider a lawsuit challenging Mississippi’s 15-week ban in the term that begins in October.

Contact this Leader…

Did you pray for Judge Motz today? You can let her know at:

The Honorable Diana Gribbon Motz
Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals
Lewis F. Powell Jr. Courthouse
100 East Main Street
Richmond, VA 23219


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