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Meet Donald Trump's Sister, 3rd Cir. Judge Maryanne Trump Barry

By Casey C. Sullivan, Esq. | Last updated on

The Donald isn't the only Trump child looking to make a name in government. In fact, while Donald Trump is just getting started on his governmental ambitions, his sister, Maryanne Trump Barry, has been in public service for decades, having worked as a U.S. Attorney, district court judge and, currently, a senior judge for the Third Circuit.

Though she hasn't made as many headlines as her brother, Maryanne Trump Barry shares a bit of his political DNA. Like Donald, she's brash, outspoken, and not exactly progressive when it comes to women or immigration.

The daughter of New York real estate developer Fred Trump took a long path to the law. She studied political science at Mount Holyoke, graduating in 1958, but didn't attend law school until 13 years later, when she enrolled at Hofstra University School of Law in 1971. At that time, her only son was finishing up sixth grade, according to a recent piece on Judge Barry in The New York Times.

While her legal career started late, it has lasted long. She first worked as an AUSA, becoming the highest ranking woman in the Newark office. She took a husband to match -- John J. Barry, a well-connected New Jersey lawyer. Maryanne Trump Barry was then appointed to the New Jersey federal district court by Reagan and finally to the Third Circuit by Bill Clinton.

As a judge, Maryanne Trump Barry stands out. She's a well-liked and "saucy" judge, according to Above the Law's David Lat. The Times say she is known for chain smoking and driving a Jaguar, though she also brags about being a homemaker. Like everyone, she loves a good Scotch.

Surprisingly Politically Incorrect

It perhaps comes as no shock that Judge Barry shares her brother's lack of political correctness. While Trump has made a name for himself making ridiculous attacks on immigrants, his sister might not be too different. Though few people know Judge Barry is a Trump, a Third Circuit clerk told Above the Law that "if you watched her sit in an immigration-related case, you wouldn't be surprised she shares the Donald's DNA."

Neither is Judge Barry a traditional champion of women. Remember when the Donald was pilloried for insinuating that Fox News host Megyn Kelly was tough on him because she was menstruating? Following this incident, Judge Barry contacted him to express how proud she was. Or at least that's what Donald Trump claims.

When Judge Barry has gone on record on women's issues, it has been to rule in favor of abortion rights and offer a unique take on female advancement in the workplace. Here's how the Times describes her 1992 advice to women law enforcement agents dealing with sexual harassment:

"Professional hypochondriacs," the speaker said, were making it hard for "men to be themselves" and were turning "every sexy joke of long ago, every flirtation," into "sexual harassment," thus ruining "any kind of playfulness and banter. Where has the laughter gone?" As for boorish behavior, the best way to disarm it was with "humor and gentle sarcasm," or better yet, that "potent weapon" of a "feminine exterior and a will of steel."

Sounds like a Trump to me.

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