Judicial Branch

Featured Member of the Judicial Branch for Prayer

Judge Harry Leinenweber, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

Harry Daniel Leinenweber was born in 1937 in Jolliet, Illinois. He received his undergraduate degree from Notre Dame and received a Juris Doctor from the University of Chicago. He engaged in the private practice of law for 30 years. During that time, he served as City Attorney for the City of Joliet and as Special Prosecutor for Will County, Illinois. He spent ten years as a member of the Illinois General Assembly.

Leinenweber was nominated to the United States District Court for the District of Illinois by President Ronald Reagan. He was confirmed by the Senate and received his commission in December 1985. He assumed senior status in June 2002.


U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber granted Chicago’s request for a temporary “nationwide” injunction that means Attorney General Jeff Sessions cannot deny grant money requests from Chicago until the city’s lawsuit against the agency is concluded. Leinenweber wrote that Chicago has shown a “likelihood of success” in its arguments that Sessions overstepped his authority with requirements placed on sanctuary cities.

The City of Chicago sued the Trump Administration in August after it threatened to withhold funds from sanctuary cities, and refused to comply with the Justice Department’s demand that it allow immigration agents access to local jails and notify agents when someone in the U.S. illegally is about to be released from custody.

At least seven cities and counties, including Seattle and San Francisco, as well as the state of California, have refused to cooperate with new federal rules regarding sanctuary cities. It is unclear whether the ruling means that Judge Leinenweber will ultimately decide in favor of the city.