You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Liberal US appeals judge Betty Fletcher dies at 89

SEATTLE — Longtime federal appeals court Judge Betty Fletcher has died. She was 89.

She passed away Monday night. The cause wasn’t known.

Continue reading below

Judge Fletcher was a liberal stalwart of the Ninth Circuit known for rulings upholding ­affirmative action, overturning death penalty cases, and protecting endangered whales from sonar tests by the Navy.

She was also known for getting back at Republicans in the US Senate who delayed the appointment of her son, William A. Fletcher, to the Ninth Circuit. To ease his path, she offered to take senior status on the bench, freeing up her seat for someone acceptable to US Senator Slade Gorton of Washington, a Republican.

Instead of actually retiring, Judge Fletcher continued carrying a full load of cases.

Wake up with today's top stories.

Want each day's news headlines delivered fresh to your
inbox every morning? Just connect with us
in one of the following ways:
Please enter a valid email will never post anything without asking.
Privacy Policy
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of
Marketing image of