Judge T. Kent Wetherell II, Northern Florida U.S. District Court

Judge T. Kent Wetherell II

Northern Florida U.S. District Court 

Thomas Kent Wetherell II was born in August 1970 in Daytona Beach, Florida. He earned an undergraduate degree from Florida State University and received his Juris Doctor from the Florida State University College of Law. 

Wetherell joined the private practice of law, serving four years. He was a Deputy Solicitor General in the Office of the Florida Attorney General for two years. He spent seven years as an Administrative Law Judge in the Florida Division of Administrative Hearings and was later appointed to the Florida First District Court of Appeals by Governor Charlie Crist. 

He was nominated by President Donald Trump to a seat on the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida. His nomination was confirmed by a 78-15 vote of the Senate after a cloture vote, and he received his commission in July 2019. 

Wetherell is married to Edie and they have two children. 

In the News…

A federal judge rejected a request by President Biden’s administration to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Florida over the release of undocumented immigrants. Judge T. Kent Wetherell denied a motion by attorneys with the U.S. Department of Justice to dismiss the case which was filed by Florida’s attorney general last year. 

The lawsuit alleges that the president’s administration has violated immigration laws through policies that have led to people being released from detention after crossing the U.S. border with Mexico. Also, it alleges that the releases affect Florida because of issues such as increased education, health care, and criminal-justice costs. 

DOJ attorneys raised a series of arguments in seeking the dismissal, including disputing a Florida contention that President Biden’s administration has a “non-detention” policy. 

In his 37-page decision ruling that the lawsuit should continue to move forward, Judge Wetherell wrote, “Suffice it to say the court is wholly unpersuaded by defendants’ position that they have unfettered discretion to determine how (or if) to comply with the immigration statutes and that there is nothing that Florida or this court can do about their policies even if they contravene the immigration statutes.“ 

The judge continued, “This position is as remarkable as it is wrong because it is well established that no one, not even the president, is above the law and the court unquestionably has the authority to say what the law is and to invalidate action of the executive branch that contravenes the law and/or the Constitution. Thus, if Florida’s allegations that defendants are essentially flaunting the immigration laws are proven to be true, the court most certainly can (and will) do something about it.” 

Contact this Leader…

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

The Honorable T. Kent Wetherell II
Northern Florida U.S. District Court 
U.S. Courthouse
One North Palafox St.
Pensacola, FL 32502


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