United States Court of Appeals For the Fourth Circuit
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United States Court of Appeals For the Fourth Circuit

Coordinates: 37°32?16?N 77°26?05?W / 37.53769°N 77.43481°W / 37.53769; -77.43481

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (in case citations, 4th Cir.) is a federal court located in Richmond, Virginia, with appellate jurisdiction over the district courts in the following districts:

Lewis F. Powell, Jr. Courthouse

The court is based at the Lewis F. Powell Jr. United States Courthouse in Richmond, Virginia. With 15 authorized judgeships, it is mid-sized among the 13 United States Courts of Appeals.

Current composition of the court

As of January 30, 2018, the active and senior judges on the court are as follows:[1][2]

# Title Judge Duty station Born Term of service Appointed by
Active Chief Senior
40 Chief Judge Roger Gregory Richmond, VA 1953 2000-present 2016-present -- Clinton /
G.W. Bush[Note 1]
29 Circuit Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III Charlottesville, VA 1944 1984-present 1996-2003 -- Reagan
32 Circuit Judge Paul V. Niemeyer Baltimore, MD 1941 1990-present -- -- G.H.W. Bush
37 Circuit Judge Diana Gribbon Motz Baltimore, MD 1943 1994-present -- -- Clinton
38 Circuit Judge William Byrd Traxler Jr. Greenville, SC 1948 1998-present 2009-2016 -- Clinton
39 Circuit Judge Robert Bruce King Charleston, WV 1940 1998-present -- -- Clinton
42 Circuit Judge Allyson Kay Duncan Raleigh, NC 1951 2003-present -- -- G.W. Bush
43 Circuit Judge G. Steven Agee Salem, VA 1952 2008-present -- -- G.W. Bush
45 Circuit Judge Barbara Milano Keenan Alexandria, VA 1950 2010-present -- -- Obama
46 Circuit Judge James A. Wynn Jr. Raleigh, NC 1954 2010-present -- -- Obama
47 Circuit Judge Albert Diaz Charlotte, NC 1960 2010-present -- -- Obama
48 Circuit Judge Henry Franklin Floyd Spartanburg, SC 1947 2011-present -- -- Obama
49 Circuit Judge Stephanie Thacker Charleston, WV 1965 2012-present -- -- Obama
50 Circuit Judge Pamela Harris Bethesda, MD 1962 2014-present -- -- Obama
51 Circuit Judge vacant -- -- -- -- -- --
33 Senior Circuit Judge Clyde H. Hamilton Columbia, SC 1934 1991-1999 -- 1999-present G.H.W. Bush
41 Senior Circuit Judge Dennis Shedd Columbia, SC 1953 2002-2018 -- 2018-present G.W. Bush
  1. ^ Recess appointment by Bill Clinton, re-appointed by George W. Bush and confirmed by the United States Senate at a later date.

Vacancies and pending nominations

Seat Prior Judge's Duty Station Seat Last Held By Vacancy Reason Date of Vacancy Nominee Date of Nomination
12 Columbia, SC Dennis Shedd Senior status January 30, 2018 Julius N. Richardson May 7, 2018
1 Greenville, SC William Byrd Traxler Jr. August 31, 2018[3] A. Marvin Quattlebaum Jr.
10 Raleigh, NC Allyson Kay Duncan TBD[3] - -

List of former judges

Appointed by
Reason for
1 Bond, Hugh LennoxHugh Lennox Bond MD 1828-1893 1891-1893 -- -- Grant, Grant[4] death
2 Goff Jr., NathanNathan Goff Jr. WV 1843-1920 1892-1913 -- -- Harrison, B.B. Harrison resignation
3 Simonton, Charles HenryCharles Henry Simonton SC 1829-1904 1893-1904 -- -- Cleveland, Cleveland death
4 Pritchard, Jeter ConnellyJeter Connelly Pritchard NC 1857-1921 1904-1921 -- -- Roosevelt, T.T. Roosevelt death
5 Woods, Charles AlbertCharles Albert Woods SC 1852-1925 1913-1925 -- -- Wilson, Wilson death
6 Waddill Jr., EdmundEdmund Waddill Jr. VA 1855-1931 1921-1931 -- -- Harding, Harding death
7 Rose, John CarterJohn Carter Rose MD 1861-1927 1922-1927 -- -- Harding, Harding death
8 Parker, John J.John J. Parker NC 1885-1958 1925-1958 1948-1958 -- Coolidge, Coolidge death
9 Northcott, ElliottElliott Northcott WV 1869-1946 1927-1939 -- 1939-1946 Coolidge, Coolidge death
10 Soper, Morris AmesMorris Ames Soper[5] MD 1873-1963 1931-1955 -- 1955-1963 Hoover, Hoover death
11 Dobie, Armistead MasonArmistead Mason Dobie[5] VA 1881-1962 1939-1956 -- 1956-1962 Roosevelt, F.F. Roosevelt death
12 Sobeloff, SimonSimon Sobeloff MD 1894-1973 1956-1970 1958-1964 1970-1973 Eisenhower, Eisenhower death
13 Haynsworth, ClementClement Haynsworth SC 1912-1989 1957-1981 1964-1981 1981-1989 Eisenhower, Eisenhower death
14 Boreman, Herbert StephensonHerbert Stephenson Boreman WV 1897-1982 1959-1971 -- 1971-1982 Eisenhower, Eisenhower death
15 Bryan, Albert VickersAlbert Vickers Bryan VA 1899-1984 1961-1972 -- 1972-1984 Kennedy, Kennedy death
16 Bell, J. SpencerJ. Spencer Bell NC 1906-1967 1961-1967 -- -- Kennedy, Kennedy death
17 Winter, Harrison LeeHarrison Lee Winter MD 1921-1990 1966-1990 1981-1989 1990-1990 Johnson, L.L. Johnson death
18 Craven Jr., James BraxtonJames Braxton Craven Jr. NC 1918-1977 1966-1977 -- -- Johnson, L.L. Johnson death
19 Butzner Jr., John D.John D. Butzner Jr. VA 1917-2006 1967-1982 -- 1982-2006 Johnson, L.L. Johnson death
20 Russell, Donald S.Donald S. Russell SC 1906-1998 1971-1998 -- -- Nixon, Nixon death
21 Field Jr., John A.John A. Field Jr. WV 1910-1995 1971-1976 -- 1976-1995 Nixon, Nixon death
22 Widener Jr., Hiram EmoryHiram Emory Widener Jr. VA 1923-2007 1972-2007 -- 2007 Nixon, Nixon death
23 Hall, Kenneth KellerKenneth Keller Hall WV 1918-1999 1976-1998 -- 1998-1999 Ford, Ford death
24 Phillips Jr., James DicksonJames Dickson Phillips Jr. NC 1922-2017 1978-1994 -- 1994-2017 Carter, Carter death
25 Murnaghan Jr., Francis DominicFrancis Dominic Murnaghan Jr. MD 1920-2000 1979-2000 -- -- Carter, Carter death
26 Sprouse, James MarshallJames Marshall Sprouse WV 1923-2004 1979-1992 -- 1992-1995 Carter, Carter retirement
27 Ervin III, Samuel JamesSamuel James Ervin III NC 1926-1999 1980-1999 1989-1996 -- Carter, Carter death
28 Chapman, Robert F.Robert F. Chapman SC 1926-2018 1981-1991 -- 1991-2018 Reagan, Reagan death
30 Sneeden, Emory M.Emory M. Sneeden DC 1927-1987 1984-1986 -- -- Reagan, Reagan resignation
31 Wilkins, William WalterWilliam Walter Wilkins SC 1942-present 1986-2007 2003-2007 2007-2008 Reagan, Reagan retirement
34 Luttig, J. MichaelJ. Michael Luttig VA 1954-present 1991-2006 -- -- Bush, G.H.W.G.H.W. Bush resignation
35 Williams, Karen J.Karen J. Williams SC 1951-2013 1992-2009 2007-2009 2009-2013 Bush, G.H.W.G.H.W. Bush death
36 Michael, M. BlaneM. Blane Michael WV 1943-2011 1993-2011 -- -- Clinton, Clinton death
44 Davis, Andre M.Andre M. Davis MD 1949-present 2009-2014 -- 2014-2017 Obama Obama retirement

Chief judges

Chief Judge
Parker 1948-1958
Sobeloff 1958-1964
Haynsworth 1964-1981
Winter 1981-1989
Ervin III 1989-1996
Wilkinson III 1996-2003
Wilkins 2003-2007
Williams 2007-2009
Traxler, Jr. 2009-2016
Gregory 2016-present

Chief judges have administrative responsibilities with respect to their circuits, and preside over any panel on which they serve unless the circuit justice (i.e., the Supreme Court justice responsible for the circuit) is also on the panel. Unlike the Supreme Court, where one justice is specifically nominated to be chief, the office of chief judge rotates among the circuit judges. To be chief, a judge must have been in active service on the court for at least one year, be under the age of 65, and have not previously served as chief judge. A vacancy is filled by the judge highest in seniority among the group of qualified judges. The chief judge serves for a term of seven years or until age 70, whichever occurs first. The age restrictions are waived if no members of the court would otherwise be qualified for the position.

When the office was created in 1948, the chief judge was the longest-serving judge who had not elected to retire on what has since 1958 been known as senior status or declined to serve as chief judge. After August 6, 1959, judges could not become or remain chief after turning 70 years old. The current rules have been in operation since October 1, 1982.

Succession of seats

The court has fifteen seats for active judges, numbered in the order in which they were filled. Judges who retire into senior status remain on the bench but leave their seat vacant. That seat is filled by the next circuit judge appointed by the president.

Practice in the 4th Circuit

The Fourth is the most efficient circuit, taking an average of just over seven months to resolve each appeal.[clarification needed][] From 2000 to 2008, the Court had the highest rate of non-publication (92%) on the Federal Circuit.[6]

The Chief Justice is always assigned to the Fourth Circuit as the circuit advisory justice, due to Richmond's close proximity to Washington, D.C.

The Fourth Circuit is considered an extremely collegial court. By tradition, the Judges of the Fourth Circuit come down from the bench following each oral argument to greet the lawyers.[7]

See also


  1. ^ "U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit". Official website of the Federal Judicial Center. Retrieved 2017. 
  2. ^ "Fourth Circuit Judges". Official website of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Retrieved 2017. 
  3. ^ a b Future Judicial Vacancies
  4. ^ Bond was appointed as a circuit judge for the Fourth Circuit in 1870 by Ulysses S. Grant. The Judiciary Act of 1891 reassigned his seat to what is now the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
  5. ^ a b Recess appointment, confirmed by the United States Senate at a later date.
  6. ^ Aaron S. Bayer (August 24, 2009), Unpublished Appellate Opinions Are Still Commonplace, The National Law Journal 
  7. ^ "Inside the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals: How Collegiality Works | University of Chicago Law School". www.law.uchicago.edu. Retrieved . 

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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