Thomas Selby Ellis III

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Person.png Thomas Selby Ellis III   AlchetronRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
BornThomas Selby Ellis III
Bogotá, Colombia
Alma materHarvard Law School, Oxford University, Princeton University

Thomas Selby Ellis III is a US judge.


He worked for the US Navy from 1961-1966.


Ellis sentenced John Walker Lindh to 20 years for two charges, aiding the Taliban and carrying weapons while committing a felony. He also imposed the Son of Sam law banning him from profiting from books written about his case.

Ellis ruled in Wikimedia Foundation v. NSA that the NSA were not to be held legally accountable for their PRISM project, claiming that Wikimedia's claim that they were subject to surveillance was "speculative" - a ruling that denied the Snowden revelations.

On January 20, 2006, Ellis sentenced former Defense Department employee Lawrence Franklin to 12 years and 7 months in prison and a $10,000 fine for passing "national defense" to an Israeli diplomat and AIPAC, a pro-Israel lobby group. In 2009, he commuted the sentence to 10 months at a halfway house and community service.[1]

In January 2007, Ellis granted Custer Battles' motion for summary judgment, stating that he founds no evidence of the submission of false claims in the case.

Khalid El-Masri

Ellis acknowledged that "If El-Masri's allegations are true or essentially true, then all fair-minded people, including those who believe that state secrets must be protected, that this lawsuit cannot proceed, and that renditions are a necessary step to take in this war, must also agree that El-Masri has suffered injuries as a result of our country's mistake and deserves a remedy". However, he dismissed Khalid El-Masri's lawsuit against the CIA (who had kidnapped him and subjected him to months of beatings and forced rectal suppositories) on grounds of "national security". [2]