Washington: Judge Ronald Gould of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is looking into the legality of Muslim ban by President Donald Trump. He is one of the three judges who are hearing the case. The other two judges of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals are Michael Hawkins and Richard Paez.
These are different judges compared to the ones who had listened to the case earlier. Everyone is wondering as to whether the judges will allow the ban to become the law. President Trump had promised the Muslim ban during his election campaign and had signed the law immediately after becoming president. But twice his efforts were frustrated by the court.
Now the courts are going to decide over the legality of the ban and whether it can be implemented or not. Judge Ronald Gould of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is going to play a prominent role in deciding the case.
The justice was nominated to the court by former President Bill Clinton in the year 1999.for the last more than 18 years he is serving in the court and has won the respect and trust of the judiciary and common people despite several physical problems afflicting him.
At the time when he was nominated for the post, he was working in private law practice in Seattle, Washington. He later said that he was surprised to receive a call from the White House about being nominated to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. “I remember I didn’t want to take any calls and interrupt my work…But then it changed when they told me, ‘It’s the White House’” he had said in an interview.
Judge Ronald Gould, due to his physical problems, actually listens to oral arguments electronically from his Seattle court because of multiple sclerosis. In 2014, he wrote the majority decision that high schools must provide the same athletic amenities to girls as boys. The ruling expanded the U.S Department of Education’s so-called Title IX mandate to treat male and female college athletes the same.
The judge who is going to play a prominent role in deciding the ban suffers with multiple sclerosis. Initially he was not very optimistic about his condition. But later he realized that despite all issues he is capable to perform his duties well. “There was a time when Gould wasn’t so pragmatic about his condition. When he was diagnosed with MS in 1990, he was practicing at Perkins Coie in Seattle. “I had some anxiety,” he recalls. “I thought, What if my client doesn’t like that I’m in a wheelchair?” A client of the firm reassured him: “They said, ‘We didn’t hire you to run the 440…Gould began his legal career with a clerkship with Judge Wade H. McCree Jr. on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals and then clerked at the U.S. Supreme Court with Associate Justice Potter Stewart. Then, he received a couple of letters from former classmates who were in Seattle, and who enjoyed it, so he aimed for the Northwest. Commercial litigation became his specialty because that was what Perkins Coie needed at the time”, a report in quadrangle says.
In an interview he said, “I had some anxiety or fear, ‘oh, what if my client doesn’t like that I’m in a wheelchair, because I wasn’t when they hired me…So I raised that with general counsel, and he dispelled my anxieties in a second. He just basically said, ‘No problem, we didn’t hire you to run the 440.’” It must be kept in mind that the Judge is not able to use his arms or legs, he utilizes voice recognition software to write, he says. He also has an assistant who sometimes types up notes as he dictates them.
He is very pragmatic and adapts to situations very well. In another interview he said, “At every turn I told myself, ‘It’s better to keep going, try to find a way to adapt to the problem rather than giving into it”.
Born in the year 1946, Gould received his B.S. from the University of Pennsylvania and his law degree from the University of Michigan Law School in 1973. He then clerked for Judge Wade H. McCree of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals from 1973 to 1974 and Associate Justice Potter Stewart of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1974 to 1975.