Richard Randall Clifton (born November 13, 1950) is a Senior United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Education and legal training
Clifton received a Artium Baccalaureus degree at Princeton University and a Juris Doctor from Yale Law School. After law school, he clerked for Ninth Circuit Judge Herbert Choy.
Following his clerkship, he was in private practice in Honolulu, Hawaii until his appointment to the federal bench. He also taught for several years at the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawaii as an adjunct professor.
Federal judicial service
He was nominated to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit by George W. Bush on September 4, 2001 to fill a seat vacated by Cynthia Holcomb Hall, and confirmed by the United States Senate 98-0 on July 30, 2002. He assumed senior status on December 31, 2016. He was Bush's first appointment to the Ninth Circuit.
In 2006, he was one of the judges on the panel that upheld the imprisonment of journalist Josh Wolf.
On February 7, 2017, Judge Clifton along with fellow Ninth Circuit judges William Canby and Michelle Friedland heard oral arguments on a motion from the Trump administration to stay the temporary restraining order in State of Washington v. Trump, part of the ongoing court cases related to Executive Order 13769. A live audio feed of the telephonic argument was broadcast nationwide. On February 9, the three judges denied the request for a stay of the temporary restraining order.