Ira De Ment

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Ira De Ment (born 1931 in Birmingham; died July 16, 2011) was a judge for the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama.

De Ment earned his bachelor's at the University of Alabama in 1953 and his Juris Doctorate at the University of Alabama School of Law in 1958. He clerked for Alabama Supreme Court judge Pelham Merrill for a year, and then worked briefly as an assistant U. S. Attorney in Montgomery before going into private practice in 1961. He was hired as Montgomery's city attorney in 1965 and returned to the U. S. Attorney's office in the Middle District in 1969.

De Ment returned to private practice in 1977 and served as special counsel to three Governors of Alabama: Fob James, George Wallace and Guy Hunt.

De Ment was active in the U.S. Army Reserve and rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel before transferring to the U.S. Air Force Reserve's JAG Corps, where he became a Major General. From 1985 to 1992 he served as Chief Judge for the Wake Island Court of Appeals.

President George H. W. Bush appointed De Ment to the federal bench, succeeding Truman Hobbs, in 1991. On the bench he was noted for his rulings releasing the state's child welfare system from court oversight and voiding a state law that specified certain times prayer would be allowed at public school events.

De Ment stepped down from active service in 2002, but continued to hear select assigned cases in his semi-retirement. He died in 2011 after suffering some time from Parkinson's Disease.


  • "Ira De Ment" (July 18, 2011) Wikipedia - accessed July 19, 2011
  • "Ira DeMent, retired federal judge, dies at 80" (July 19, 2011) Associated Press/Montgomery Advertiser

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