Judge Betty Binns Fletcher, considered a liberal stalwart of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for decades, has died at age 89. (Photo: GA Daily News)
SEATTLE (AP) - Longtime federal appeals court judge Betty Fletcher has died at age 89.
A spokesman for the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals confirmed that she passed away Monday night. The cause was not immediately known.
Fletcher was a liberal stalwart of the 9th Circuit who was known for rulings upholding affirmative action, overturning death penalty cases and protecting endangered whales from sonar tests by the U.S. Navy.
She was also known for getting back at Republicans in the U.S. Senate who delayed the appointment of her son, William A. Fletcher, to the 9th Circuit. To ease his path, she offered to take senior status on the bench, freeing up her seat for someone acceptable to then-Republican U.S. Sen. Slade Gorton of Washington.
Instead of actually retiring, Fletcher continued carrying a full load of cases.
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