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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke October 6, 2022

No, Trump documents case judge didn’t lose her law license

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  • Aileen Cannon is licensed to practice law in Florida, where she is a U.S. district judge. Florida Bar records show she has no disciplinary history. 

Recent rulings by the judge presiding over former President Donald Trump’s legal challenge to the FBI’s seizure of documents, including some marked classified, from his Mar-a-Lago estate have caused some critics to balk, accusing her of "playing for Team Trump." 

It’s also led to misinformation about Aileen Cannon, whom Trump nominated for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. 

On Sept. 30, one Facebook post claimed, without evidence, "Trump’s corrupt judge loses her license after major scandal." 

This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook.)

Although some legal experts have faulted Cannon’s rulings in the records case, Cannon hasn’t lost her law license. 

At Trump’s request, Cannon ordered the appointment of an independent arbiter known as a special master to review the records the FBI seized. She also blocked federal prosecutors from examining the records until the special master, Judge Raymond Dearie, completed his review. 

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Stephen Vladeck, a law professor at the University of Washington, characterized Cannon’s actions to The New York Times as "an unprecedented intervention by a federal district judge into the middle of an ongoing federal criminal and national security investigation."  

According to the Florida Bar, which serves partly to "prosecute unethical lawyers" through an attorney discipline system, Cannon’s license is in good standing. She was admitted to the Florida Bar in 2012 and has no discipline history

Disbarment is the severest sanction lawyers can face after being found guilty of disciplinary violations. Such a sanction, issued by the Florida Supreme Court, revokes a lawyer’s license to practice law in the state and expels them from the Florida Bar. 

"If a lawyer steals client funds or is convicted of a felony, the presumptive sanction is disbarment," according to the Florida Bar. 

Cannon was previously licensed to practice law in California. Records from the State Bar of California show that after being admitted to the organization in 2008, she was inactive by 2012 — when she was admitted to the Florida Bar. She voluntarily resigned from the California Bar in 2021. 

We rate claims she lost her license False.


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No, Trump documents case judge didn’t lose her law license

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