Federal Judge Slain In Arizona Massacre
January 12, 2011 by Special To Personal Liberty
John M. Roll, the chief judge of Arizona's Federal court, was one of six individuals killed at a Tucson shopping center on Jan. 8.
Roll, 63, was appointed to the United States District Court by former President George H.W. Bush in 1991. According to FOX News, Roll's book on criminal trial procedures is considered the authoritative resource for other judges who preside over similar cases.
On CBS' Face the Nation on Jan. 9, Senator Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) said he recently had lunch with Roll and was planning to meet with him again this week.
"Judge Roll's loss is going to be particularly important for the Arizona judiciary," Kyl told the news provider. "We have one of the top three districts in terms of caseloads, and it took a lot of his time to try to meet the responsibilities of the court especially with all of the drug and immigration cases."
According to The Huffington Post, Roll handled several high-profile trials. In the 1990s, he was among several judges who ruled that the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, which instituted Federal background checks on individuals purchasing firearms, was unconstitutional.
In 2009, Roll and his wife enlisted U.S. Marshals Service Protection following his controversial decision that allowed a civil-rights lawsuit — filed by illegal immigrants against a local rancher — to proceed. According to the news provider, Roll received threats against his life following the ruling.
Roll is survived by his wife, three sons and five grandchildren.