Judge Consuelo Callahan, Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals

Judge Consuelo Callahan

Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals

Consuelo Maria Callahan was born in June 1950 in Palo Alto, California. She earned an undergraduate degree from Stanford University and received her Juris Doctor from the McGeorge School of Law at the University of the Pacific. She later earned a Master of Laws from the University of Virginia School of Law. 

She became Deputy City Attorney for Stockton, California, then Deputy District Attorney at San Joaquin County. She was appointed by Governor Pete Wilson to serve on the Third District California Court of Appeal in Sacramento. 

Callahan was nominated by President George W. Bush to a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. She was confirmed by the Senate and received her commission in May 2003. 

In the News…

The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that the San Jose Unified School District violated the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment when it revoked recognition as an approved student club of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. 

Judge Consuelo Callahan wrote the majority opinion which said that the Supreme Court had established “three bedrock requirements of the Free Exercise Clause that the government may not transgress, absent a showing that satisfied strict scrutiny.” 

She wrote, “First, a purportedly neutral ‘generally applicable‘ policy may not have ‘a mechanism for individualized exemptions.‘  Second, the government may not ‘treat… comparable secular activity more favorably than religious exercise.‘  Third, the government may not act in a manner ‘hostile to… religious beliefs‘ or inconsistent with the Free Exercise Clause’s bar on even ‘subtle departures from neutrality .‘” [Citations omitted] 

The district, she said, failed in all three of the Supreme Court’s requirements. 

Contact this Leader…

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

The Honorable Consuelo Callahan 
Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals 
The James R. Browning Courthouse 
95 7th Street 
San Francisco, CA 94103 


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