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Larry Alan Burns

Larry Alan Burns
Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of California
Assumed office
September 25, 2003
Appointed by George W. Bush
Preceded by New seat
Personal details
Born 1954 (age 60–61)
Pasadena, California
Alma mater Point Loma College (B.A.)
University of San Diego School of Law (J.D.)

Larry Alan Burns (born 1954) is a United States federal judge on the United States District Court for the Southern District of California.


  • Early life and education 1
  • Judicial service 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4

Early life and education

Born in Pasadena, California, Burns received a B.A. from Point Loma College in 1976 and a J.D. from the University of San Diego School of Law in 1979.[1] He was a Deputy district attorney of San Diego County, California from 1979 to 1985.[1] He was an assistant U.S. Attorney of the Southern District of California from 1985 to 1997.[2]

Judicial service

In 1997, Burns was appointed to serve as a magistrate judge for the United States District Court for the Southern District of California.[3]

Burns was nominated by President

External links

  1. ^ a b c d Larry Alan Burns at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center.
  2. ^ a b c LaRoe, Ginny (January 12, 2011). "San Diego Federal Judge Tapped for Loughner Case". The Recorder. Retrieved January 13, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b "Senate Confirms Larry A. Burns for Judgeship in Southern District of California". News Release: United States Courts for the Ninth Circuit. September 25, 2003. Retrieved January 13, 2011. 
  4. ^ Reilly, Ryan J. (January 12, 2011). "Due To Arizona Conflicts, California Judge Takes Over Loughner Case".  
  5. ^ Johnson, Kevin (January 11, 2011). "In Loughner case, Ariz. federal judiciary considers recusal".  
  6. ^ O'Neill, Ann (January 12, 2011). "Lawyer keeps even the most loathed criminals off death row". CNN. Retrieved January 12, 2011. 
  7. ^ Burns, Larry Alan. The conservative case for an assault weapons ban. Los Angeles Times, 2012-12-20.
  8. ^


On December 12, 2013 Burns gained notoriety over his ruling that the Mount Soledad war memorial cross near San Diego must come down. It was erected in 1954. Burns said he had no choice but to order its removal because the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals had held that the cross on the memorial amounted to an endorsement of Christianity. He stayed his order for 90 days to allow for an appeal of his ruling to the entire United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit or the Supreme Court of the United States .[8]

On December 20, 2012; Burns wrote an op-ed column in the Los Angeles Times calling for a reinstatement of the federal assault weapons ban. In the article, Burns described himself as an ardent conservative and gun owner who nonetheless felt there was no "social utility" for high-capacity clips. Besides the 31-round magazine Loughner used in his Glock, Burns cited as examples the 100-round drum allegedly used by James Eagan Holmes in the 2012 Aurora shooting and the 30-round magazine used by Adam Lanza in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Burns called for Congress to reinstate the ban without the grandfather clause of the original ban, which allowed those who already owned a weapon on the banned list to keep it. "If we can't find a way to draw sensible lines with guns that balance individual rights and the public interest," Burns wrote, "we may as well call the experiment with American democracy a failure."[7]

On January 12, 2011, Chief Judge Alex Kozinski of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit selected Burns to be the presiding judge for the trial of Jared Lee Loughner.[2][4] Burns was selected, in part, for his prior experience with cases involving the federal death penalty.[2] The entire federal judiciary of Arizona recused themselves from the case due to their ties to the late John Roll, a federal judge who had been killed in the shooting, prompting the appointment of a judge from outside Arizona.[5][6]

On November 5, 2007, Burns sentenced Francisco Javier Arrellano Felix, head of the notorious Arrellano Felix drug cartel, to life in prison. U.S. authorities captured Arrellano Felix a year earlier in international waters off Mexico's Baja California coast. Burns later sentenced brothers Benjamin Arrellano Felix and Edward Arrellano Felix and other cartel lieutenants to long prison terms.

On March 4, 2006, Burns sentenced former U.S. Representative Randy "Duke" Cunningham to eight years and four months in federal prison for taking $2.4 million in bribes from military contractors in return for smoothing the way for government contracts. It was the longest sentence ever imposed up to that time on a former member of Congress. During the sentencing, Burns told Cunningham "You undermined the opportunity and option for honest politicians to do a good job."

[1] Burns received his commission on September 25, 2003.[3] on September 24, 2003 by a vote of 91-0.United States Senate He was confirmed by the [1]

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