Sharp-tongued federal Judge Sam Sparks steps back, takes senior status

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Sam Sparks practiced law in El Paso for many years before being appointed a federal judge. He was a "fun guy to be around," said one of his friends.

From the article:  "Sparks, 78, has presided over federal criminal and civil cases in Austin since his 1991 appointment by President George H.W. Bush. Last year, he ruled on a battle over a state abortion law in which he blocked Texas from requiring that fetal remains be buried or cremated. In August, he tossed out a lawsuit against Austin and Travis County over Senate Bill 4, which penalizes cities and counties that decline to help enforce federal immigration laws, siding against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton who had tried to get the law declared constitutional before it was set to go into effect in September. That case is pending in the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals."  Read more