|John McCarthy Roll|
|Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona|
May 1, 2006 – January 8, 2011
|Preceded by||Stephen McNamee|
|Succeeded by||Roslyn O. Silver|
|Judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona|
November 25, 1991 – January 8, 2011
|Appointed by||George H. W. Bush|
|Preceded by||Alfred C. Marquez|
|Succeeded by||Jennifer Guerin Zipps|
February 8, 1947|
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
January 8, 2011
Casas Adobes, Arizona, U.S.
|Resting place||Holy Hope Cemetery & Mausoleum|
University of Arizona
University of Virginia School of Law
|Service/branch||United States Navy|
John McCarthy Roll (February 8, 1947 – January 8, 2011) was a George H. W. Bush appointed Roll to a federal judge seat in Arizona after Roll served four years as a state judge.
Early life and education
Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Roll moved to Arizona as a child. He was born into a Roman Catholic family, and attended Salpointe Catholic High School. He received his B.A. from the University of Arizona in 1969, a J.D. from the University of Arizona College of Law in 1972, and an LL.M. from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1990.
Roll is survived by his wife of 41 years Maureen and their three sons Robert, Patrick and Christopher.
Roll was a bailiff for the 
Roll was nominated by President United States District Court for the District of Arizona that had been vacated by Alfred C. Marquez. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on November 22, 1991, and received his commission on November 25. Roll was elevated to chief judge on May 1, 2006, succeeding Stephen McNamee, and served until his death in January 2011. Roll was succeeded as chief judge by Roslyn O. Silver.
In 1994, Roll was one of several district court judges who held that provisions of the Brady Law violated the Tenth Amendment, a holding upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in the related case of Printz v. United States.
In 2009, Roll ruled that the case Vicente v. Barnett could go forward. The $32 million lawsuit brought by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) against Arizona rancher Roger Barnett on behalf of 16 Mexican plaintiffs charged that the plaintiffs were assaulted, threatened, and held at gunpoint by Barnett and members of his family. After Roll's ruling and prompted by several talk-radio programs, he was the subject of hundreds of complaining phone calls and death threats and he and his family were under the protection of the U.S. Marshals Service for a month. Roll declined to press charges when some of those who made threats were identified.
Roll was shot on January 8, 2011, outside a Safeway supermarket in Casas Adobes, Arizona, when Jared Lee Loughner opened fire at a "Congress on Your Corner" event held by Democratic U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords. Roll had attended Mass earlier that morning and decided to attend the event about an hour before the shooting. Surveillance video revealed that Roll was shot in the back after pushing down and shielding Ron Barber, a staffer for Giffords who had just been shot. Roll later died of his injuries, as did five other people. Thirteen others were injured by gunfire, but survived, including Giffords and Barber; Barber would go on to replace Giffords when she resigned from Congress to recuperate from the injuries sustained in the shooting.
|“||The violence in Arizona today has senselessly taken five lives and inflicted tragic loss on dedicated public servants and their families. We in the judiciary have suffered the terrible loss of one of our own. Chief Judge John Roll was a wise jurist who selflessly served Arizona and the nation with great distinction, as attorney and judge, for more than 35 years. I express my deepest condolences to his wife Maureen and his children, as well as the other victims and their families. Chief Judge Roll's death is a somber reminder of the importance of the rule of law and the sacrifices of those who work to secure it.||”|
Other plaudits came from Senator John McCain, who had recommended Roll for appointment to the federal bench; from Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik; and from Bishop Gerald Kicanas of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson, who noted that Roll was an active parishioner who "lived his faith". Chief Judge Alex Kozinski of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, whose jurisdiction includes Arizona, stated that "Judge Roll was a widely respected jurist, a strong and able leader of his court, and a kind, courteous and sincere gentleman". President Barack Obama commented on Roll's death in his statement issued after the shooting, noting that Roll "served America's legal system for almost 40 years".
Jared Lee Loughner was charged by federal prosecutors with Roll's murder. Evidence gathered by federal investigators indicates that Giffords was Loughner's main target. Roll was apparently not specifically targeted – Loughner might not have even known who he was. Roll lived in the area, and had attended the event to continue a prior conversation with Giffords about the volume of cases in Arizona Federal courts. Roll was the first federal judge murdered in office since Robert Vance in 1989. Chief Judge Alex Kozinski of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals selected Larry Alan Burns, a judge of the Southern District Court of California, to be the presiding judge over Loughner's trial, after all federal judges in Arizona recused themselves because of their ties to Roll.
- Gassen, Sarah Garrecht (January 9, 2011). "A man of faith and devoted to rule of law".
- "Congresswoman's responses after Arizona shooting called encouraging". CNN. January 9, 2011. Retrieved January 9, 2011.
- Bell, Melissa; Buck, James (January 14, 2011). "Updated: List of injured victims in Arizona shooting released by Pima County sheriff".
- John Roll at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center.
- Swaine, Jon (January 9, 2011). "Arizona shooting dead: Judge John Roll".
- "Judicial Milestones – May 2006".
- Markon, Jerry (January 17, 2011). "Federal court authorities plan to move trial of Tucson shooting suspect".
- Schneider, Jim (October 1, 1994). "Judge rules against background checks".
- Vicente v. Barnett, Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund.
- Seper, Jerry (February 9, 2009). "16 illegals sue Arizona rancher".
- Anglen, Robert (July 9, 2009). "U.S. judiciary facing rise in death threats".
- Schwartz, John (January 9, 2011). "Amid Shock, Recalling Judge's Life of Service".
- Kiefer, Michael; Bland, Karina (January 9, 2011). "Judge John Roll respected among peers".
- "Reports: Judge Roll Received Death Threats Federal Judge Killed in Ariz. Was Target 2 Years Ago After Controversial Ruling".
- Roth, Zachary (January 19, 2010). "Police: Slain judge ‘was thinking of his fellow human more than himself’". Blog: The Lookout. Yahoo! Inc. Retrieved 2011-01-22.
- Cohen, Andrew (January 18, 2011). "Slain Judge John Roll Tried to Shield Other Tucson Victim, Video Indicates". Politics Daily. AOL Inc. Retrieved 2011-01-22.
- "Security Video Reveals Tucson Shooting Horror".
- Thomas, Pierre (January 19, 2011). "Security Video Reveals Tucson Shooting Horror".
- "Statement from Chief Justice Roberts on Death of Judge Roll". FOX Insider (
- "Judge slain in Ariz. shooting wins wide acclaim".
- The President Speaks on the Shootings in Tucson: "We Are Going to Get to the Bottom of This, and We're Going to Get Through This", January 8, 2009.
- "CRIMINAL COMPLAINT: United States of America v. JARED LEE LOUGHNER" (PDF).
- LaRoe, Ginny (January 12, 2011). "San Diego Federal Judge Tapped for Loughner Case". The Recorder. Retrieved January 13, 2011.
- Reilly, Ryan J. (January 12, 2011). "Due To Arizona Conflicts, California Judge Takes Over Loughner Case".
- Johnson, Kevin (January 11, 2011). "In Loughner case, Ariz. federal judiciary considers recusal".
- O'Neill, Ann (January 12, 2011). "Lawyer keeps even the most loathed criminals off death row". CNN. Retrieved January 12, 2011.
- Chief U.S. District Judge John M. Roll, 1947–2011 at the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts
- John Roll at Judgepedia
Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for Arizona
Roslyn O. Silver