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Judge Harold Ackerman, 81

NEWARK (CN) - U.S. District Judge Harold A. Ackerman died at his home in New Jersey at 81. Appointed to the federal bench in 1979 by President Jimmy Carter, Judge Ackerman presided over memorable trials involving organized crime families, a crime-riddled Teamsters local, and corrupt politicians.

In 1985 Judge Ackerman rejected President Ronald Reagan's claim that the General Accounting Office's power to review federal contracts was unconstitutional. The 3rd Circuit upheld Judge Ackerman's ruling in 1986, calling Reagan's claim that the president could disobey the law "dubious."

Before President Carter appointed him to the federal bench, Ackerman worked in private practice for more than 20 years, specializing in labor law. He died Dec. 2 at his home in West Orange, N.J.

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