Louis Oberdorfer died last night at age 94, according to an announcement from the US District Court for the District of Columbia. Louis Oberdorfer actually died on his 94th birthday, quietly passing away in his sleep.
Louis Oberdorfer reportedly suffered from poor health. According to Mercury News, Judge Royce C. Lamberth said that Louis Oberdorfer’s death was preceded by two strokes in recent years.
During the 1960’s, Louis Oberdorfer worked for the U.S. Department of Justice under then-Attorney General Robert Kennedy. Oberdorfer was appointed to the court in 1977 by President Jimmy Carter and took senior status in 1992. Over the course of his career, Louis Oberdorfer saw hundreds of cases and authored more than 1,300 legal opinions.
According to The Blog of LegalTimes, US District Chief Judge Royce Lamberth praised Louis Oberdorfer highly in a press statement:
“Judge Oberdorfer’s entire life was devoted to the highest principles of equality, fairness and the rule of law. He was an exemplary jurist, a gentleman to all, and dear friend and mentor to those of us who had the good fortune to work beside him. We will miss him greatly.”
In a 1997 interview with Bar Report, Louis Oberdorfer was asked to describe what type of judge he was. Louis Oberdorfer replied by quoting Justice Black’s 1940 opinion in Chambers v. Florida that read:
“No higher duty, no more solemn responsibility, rests upon this Court, than that of translating into living law and maintaining this constitutional shield deliberately planned and inscribed for the benefit of every human being subject to our Constitution—of whatever race, creed, or persuasion.”
With Louis Oberdorfer dead, America remembers a judge who served his country well.