James O. Browning

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James Oren Browning (born 1956) is a federal judge for the United States District Court for the District of New Mexico.

Browning was born in Levelland, Texas, and grew up mainly in New Mexico. He received a B.A. from Yale University in political science in 1978, graduating magna cum laude. While at Yale, Browning played varsity football. He then earned a J.D. from the University of Virginia Law School in 1981. In law school, he was Editor in Chief of the Virginia Law Review. He is a member of the Raven Society and the Order of the Coif.

After law school, Browning served as law clerk to Judge Collins J. Seitz on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit from 1981 to 1982, and then clerked for Justice Lewis F. Powell of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1982 to 1983. After finishing his judicial clerkships, Browning returned to New Mexico and began working at the law firm Rodey, Dickason, Sloan, Akin, & Robb. He was a Deputy attorney general of New Mexico Department of Justice from 1987 to 1988. Afterwards, he returned to private practice at Rodey, Dickason, Sloan, Akin, & Robb. In 1990, he formed his own law firm, Browning & Peifier, P.A. He continued to practice at Browning & Peifer until his appointment to the federal bench in 2003.

Browning was then made a federal judge on the United States District Court for the District of New Mexico. He was nominated by President George W. Bush on April 28, 2003,[1] to a seat vacated by Curtis LeRoy Hansen. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on July 31, 2003, and received commission on August 1, 2003.


  1. Senate Committee on the Judiciary: S. Hrg. 108-135, Pt. 3, Confirmation Hearing On Federal Appointments, July 9, 2003
Legal offices
Preceded by
Curtis LeRoy Hansen
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of New Mexico