September 26, 2018

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Washington, D.C. (September 26, 2018) — Senior U.S. District Court Judge and U.S. Sentencing Commissioner Charles R. Breyer was selected as the recipient of the 34th Annual Edward J. Devitt Distinguished Service to Justice Award, the nation’s highest honor bestowed upon an Article III federal judge.

Each year, the Devitt Award is presented to a highly respected Article III federal judge who has achieved a distinguished career, made exceptional contributions to the administration of justice, and demonstrated a deep commitment to the rule of law and the advancement of society as a whole.

Chaired by U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, a panel of three federal judges considered nominees from mid-August through mid-September and notified Judge Breyer on Friday of their decision via a personal call from Justice Kennedy. The selection panel consisted of one U.S. Supreme Court justice (Associate Justice Kennedy), one U.S. Court of Appeals judge (Judge Ray Kethledge), and one U.S. District Court judge (Judge Lucy Koh). Judge Breyer will formally accept the award at the U.S. Supreme Court on November 7, 2018.

In recognition of the award, Acting Chair Judge William H. Pryor Jr. stated, “Chuck Breyer is a judge’s judge. And he brings a wealth of experience and good judgment to the work of the Sentencing Commission. He has worked tirelessly to improve and to simplify the sentencing guidelines and to make them trusted tools for the federal judiciary. He also approaches our work with a devotion to collegiality and collaboration. We are grateful and proud to have him as a colleague and friend. And we congratulate him on this well-deserved honor.”

Judge Breyer was appointed to be a member of the United States Sentencing Commission in 2013 and served as Vice-Chair during his first term on the Commission. In 2017, he was nominated by President Donald J. Trump then confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve a second term on the Commission.

Visit the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California website to learn more about Judge Breyer’s exceptional career and accomplishments.

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The United States Sentencing Commission, an independent agency in the judicial branch of the federal government, was organized in 1985 to develop a national sentencing policy for the federal courts. The resulting sentencing guidelines provide structure for the courts’ sentencing discretion to help ensure that similar offenders who commit similar offenses receive similar sentences.