|Nominated by George W. Bush|
Preceded by Michael J. Melloy
|Name Linda Reade|
|Alma mater Drake University
Iowa State University
Drake University Law School|
Education Drake University, Iowa State University, Drake University Law School
Linda Rae Reade (born 1948) is a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa.
Early life and education
Born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Reade graduated from Drake University with her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1970, a Master of Science degree from Iowa State University in 1973 and later from Drake University Law School with a Juris Doctor in 1980.
Following law school graduation, Reade was a law clerk in an Iowa private practice firm briefly in 1980 before practicing as an attorney in Iowa until 1986. Reade was an Assistant United States Attorney in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa from 1986 to 1993, serving as Chief of the General Criminal Prosecutions Division from 1990 to 1993. Reade was appointed by the Iowa Judicial Nominating and Qualifications Commission to serve as a District Court Judge for the Iowa District Court of Polk County, Iowa from 1993 to 2002.
Federal judicial career
On the recommendation of Senator Chuck Grassley, Reade was nominated to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa by President George W. Bush on June 26, 2002 to a seat vacated by Michael Joseph Melloy. Reade was confirmed by the Senate on November 14, 2002 and received her commission on November 26, 2002. She became Chief Judge on January 1, 2007. Her term as Chief Judge ended on February 11, 2017.
Judge Reade's first widely publicized case was the trial and sentencing of kosher slaughterhouse operator Sholom Rubashkin. Judge Reade's 27-year sentence which exceeded the prosecutors 25 year request, received responses from many prominent politicians and received national attention. After the conviction, records were obtained that showed Reade was meeting secretly with prosecutors for ten months before the raid on Rubashkin’s plant. Reade maintained that the meetings were only to prepare the courts for a case of such large magnitude. The 8th circuit of Appeals upheld the ruling, Judge Reade was scheduled to sit with two of the appellate judges (over other cases) on the same day just before her conduct was scheduled to be heard. A total of 86 former US Attorneys General, federal judges, and prosecutors wrote a letter to the United States Supreme Court denouncing Reade’s ruling, however the Supreme Court declined to review it. Forty-five members of Congress have written to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to ask questions about Reade’s handling of the case. Her husband also owned stock at the time in two of the largest federal prisons in the United States, and also purchased more stock in prisons 5 days before a large raid on the kosher operator began. Ethics experts say these investments were inappropriate and may have violated the Code of Conduct for United States Judges. Due to separation of powers, the White House declined to comment on a petition with 52,226 online signatures asking it to investigate Judge Reade's handling of this case.