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Hamilton has ‘front-row seat’ for debate

March 18, 2017
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Then: U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, judge

Now: Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, Chicago, judge

Age: 59

These days, it’s good to be a Hamilton—even if you’re not the subject of a hit Broadway show. “I have no known connection to ‘the bastard son of a whore and a Scotsman dropped in the middle of a forgotten spot in the Caribbean,’”


Judge David Hamilton said. “But I love the musical ‘Hamilton.’ And I’m fortunate to be the son of my parents and the nephew of Lee and Nancy Hamilton as well.”

Appointed to the federal bench by President Bill Clinton in 1994 and to the Seventh Circuit by President Barack Obama in 2009, Hamilton said he found being a district judge fascinating.

“You’ve got a front-row seat to a lot of human drama with responsibilities for trying to manage it appropriately under the law.”

As an appellate judge, he’s part of decisions that affect people in Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin “and contribute to national debate.”

“I feel amazingly fortunate to have the career I’ve had so far,” he said.•

—Marc D. Allan

Check out more 2017 Forty Under 40 honorees..

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