James A. Parker, a New Mexico-based senior federal judge, passes away at 85

The federal judiciary lost a giant among men this week after it was announced that a longtime senior judge passed away.

According to the Albuquerque Journal, Senior U.S. District Judge James A. Parker, a district of New Mexico judge who served for over 30 years, died at the age of 85. A cause of death was not provided at the time of publication.

Judge Parker held the title of having been one of the longest-serving judges in the state’s history.

To honor his legacy and lifetime of public service, “a sixth-floor courtroom at the Historic Courthouse on Gold Avenue in Downtown Albuquerque,” the outlet noted.

“Exemplary man”

The late judge’s work and reputation were honored in his passing, with Chief District Judge William Johnson expressing his respect for Parker in a statement on his death.

“We were privileged to work with and know this exemplary man,” Johnson wrote.

The statement added: “Even as a Senior District Judge his energy, work ethic and ability to maintain a heavy caseload was legendary.”

“Judge Parker was also a mentor to judges, lawyers, and court personnel and those of us who were privileged to know and work with Judge Parker will always be indebted to him for his inspirational guidance and leadership.”

The chief judge also ordered flags to fly at half-staff outside of all District of New Mexico courthouses.

A successful career

Parker earned his law degree in 1962, graduating first in his class at the University of Texas School of Law. That was after Parker received a degree in mechanical engineering from Rice University in 1959.

The local outlet noted:

Parker worked for the Modrall Law Firm in Albuquerque for 25 years before Reagan’s nomination had him fill a judicial vacancy for the District of New Mexico. During his career, Parker also served on the U.S. Judicial Conference Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedures and the Federal Judicial Center Board of Directors, among others.

Judge Parker’s accomplishments and legacy will clearly live on.