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Roger Robb

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Roger Robb

Roger Robb
Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit
In office
May 6, 1969 – May 31, 1982
Nominated by Richard M. Nixon
Preceded by John A. Danaher
Succeeded by Antonin Scalia
Senior Judge
In office
May 31, 1982 – Dec. 19, 1985 (his death)
Personal details
Born July 7, 1907
Bellows Falls, Vermont
Died Dec. 19, 1985
Washington, D.C
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Irene Rice Robb
Mary Ernst Cooper Robb
Lillian Nordstrom Robb
Relations Charles Henry Robb (father)
Children Charles C. Robb
Residence Washington, D.C.
Alma mater Yale University
Yale Law School
Occupation United States federal judge
Profession Attorney

Roger Robb (July 7, 1907 – December 19, 1985) was a United States federal judge and trial attorney, who prosecuted J. Robert Oppenheimer in an Atomic Energy Commission hearing in 1954.

The son of Court of Appeals Judge Charles Henry Robb, Roger Robb was born in Bellows Falls, Vermont. He received an A.B. from Yale University in 1928. He received an LL.B. from Yale Law School in 1931. He was an assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia from 1931 to 1938, and in private practice in Washington, DC from 1938 to 1969. Robb was the court-appointed attorney for Earl Browder, a leader of the Communist Party, in a Contempt of Congress case in 1950, earning praise from Browder despite their political differences.

Robb was probably best known as the prosecutor of the Atomic Energy Commission hearing on the loyalty of J. Robert Oppenheimer, the father of the atomic bomb.

Over the course of four weeks the AEC panel, led by prosecutor Robb, interrogated Oppenheimer and other witnesses on his past affiliations with Communists. The board voted 2-1 to strip Oppenheimer of his security clearance.

In 1968, Robb represented Barry Goldwater in his libel suit against Ralph Ginzburg and Fact Magazine, which had claimed that Goldwater was mentally unstable. The jury awarded Goldwater $1 in compensatory damages and $75,000 in punitive damages, which was upheld on appeal.

A year later, Robb was appointed a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. He was nominated by President Richard M. Nixon on April 23, 1969, to a seat vacated by John A. Danaher. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on May 5, 1969, and received his commission on May 6, 1969. He assumed senior status on May 31, 1982, and died on December 19, 1985. He was succeeded on the appellate court by Antonin Scalia.


  • Federal Judicial Center.
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