United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (in case citations, 5th Cir.) is a federal court with appellate jurisdiction over the district courts in the following federal judicial districts:
- Eastern District of Louisiana
- Middle District of Louisiana
- Western District of Louisiana
- Northern District of Mississippi
- Southern District of Mississippi
- Eastern District of Texas
- Northern District of Texas
- Southern District of Texas
- Western District of Texas
|United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit|
|Location||John Minor Wisdom U.S. Court of Appeals Building|
|Established||June 16, 1891|
|Circuit Justice||Samuel Alito|
|Chief Judge||Priscilla Owen|
The court is one of 13 United States courts of appeals. Composed of 17 active judges, it is based at the John Minor Wisdom United States Court of Appeals Building in New Orleans, Louisiana, with the clerk's office located at the F. Edward Hebert Federal Building in New Orleans.
History of the court
This court was created by the Evarts Act on June 16, 1891, which moved the circuit judges and appellate jurisdiction from the Circuit Courts of the Fifth Circuit to this court. At the time of its creation, the Fifth Circuit covered Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas.
On June 25, 1948, the Panama Canal Zone was added to the Fifth Circuit by 62 Stat. 870.
On March 31, 1982, the Fifth Circuit lost jurisdiction over the Panama Canal Zone, which was transferred to Panamanian control.
The Fifth Circuit Four
During the late 1950s, Chief Judge Elbert Tuttle and three of his colleagues (John Minor Wisdom, John Brown, and Richard Rives) became known as the "Fifth Circuit Four", or simply "The Four", for decisions crucial in advancing the civil rights of African Americans. In this, they were usually opposed by their fellow Fifth Circuit Judge, Benjamin F. Cameron of Mississippi, until his death in 1964.
Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans on August 29, 2005, devastating the city and slightly damaging the John Minor Wisdom Courthouse. All deadlines concerning filings were extended. The court temporarily relocated its administrative operations to Houston, but has since returned to normal operations in New Orleans.
Current composition of the court
|#||Title||Judge||Duty station||Born||Term of service||Appointed by|
|77||Chief Judge||Priscilla Owen||Austin, TX||1954||2005–present||2019–present||—||G.W. Bush|
|63||Circuit Judge||Edith Jones||Houston, TX||1949||1985–present||2006–2012||—||Reagan|
|64||Circuit Judge||Jerry Edwin Smith||Houston, TX||1946||1987–present||—||—||Reagan|
|71||Circuit Judge||Carl E. Stewart||Shreveport, LA||1950||1994–present||2012–2019||—||Clinton|
|73||Circuit Judge||James L. Dennis||New Orleans, LA||1936||1995–present||—||—||Clinton|
|78||Circuit Judge||Jennifer Walker Elrod||Houston, TX||1966||2007–present||—||—||G.W. Bush|
|79||Circuit Judge||Leslie H. Southwick||Jackson, MS||1950||2007–present||—||—||G.W. Bush|
|80||Circuit Judge||Catharina Haynes||Dallas, TX||1963||2008–present||—||—||G.W. Bush|
|81||Circuit Judge||James E. Graves Jr.||Jackson, MS||1953||2011–present||—||—||Obama|
|82||Circuit Judge||Stephen A. Higginson||New Orleans, LA||1961||2011–present||—||—||Obama|
|83||Circuit Judge||Gregg Costa||Houston, TX||1972||2014–present||—||—||Obama|
|84||Circuit Judge||Don Willett||Austin, TX||1966||2018–present||—||—||Trump|
|85||Circuit Judge||James C. Ho||Dallas, TX||1973||2018–present||—||—||Trump|
|86||Circuit Judge||Kyle Duncan||Baton Rouge, LA||1972||2018–present||—||—||Trump|
|87||Circuit Judge||Kurt D. Engelhardt||New Orleans, LA||1960||2018–present||—||—||Trump|
|88||Circuit Judge||Andy Oldham||Austin, TX||1978||2018–present||—||—||Trump|
|51||Senior Circuit Judge||Carolyn Dineen King||Houston, TX||1938||1979–2013||1999–2006||2013–present||Carter|
|53||Senior Circuit Judge||Thomas Morrow Reavley||Houston, TX||1921||1979–1990||—||1990–present||Carter|
|59||Senior Circuit Judge||E. Grady Jolly||Jackson, MS||1937||1982–2017||—||2017–present||Reagan|
|60||Senior Circuit Judge||Patrick Higginbotham||Austin, TX||1938||1982–2006||—||2006–present||Reagan|
|61||Senior Circuit Judge||W. Eugene Davis||New Orleans, LA||1936||1983–2016||—||2016–present||Reagan|
|65||Senior Circuit Judge||John Malcolm Duhé Jr.||inactive||1933||1988–1999||—||1999–present||Reagan|
|66||Senior Circuit Judge||Rhesa Hawkins Barksdale||Jackson, MS||1944||1990–2009||—||2009–present||G.H.W. Bush|
|67||Senior Circuit Judge||Jacques L. Wiener Jr.||New Orleans, LA||1934||1990–2010||—||2010–present||G.H.W. Bush|
|70||Senior Circuit Judge||Fortunato Benavides||Austin, TX||1947||1994–2012||—||2012–present||Clinton|
|74||Senior Circuit Judge||Edith Brown Clement||New Orleans, LA||1948||2001–2018||—||2018–present||G.W. Bush|
Vacancies and pending nominations
|Seat||Prior Judge's Duty Station||Seat Last Held By||Vacancy Reason||Date of Vacancy||Nominee||Date of Nomination|
|2||Jackson, MS||E. Grady Jolly||Senior status||October 3, 2017||Halil Suleyman Ozerden||June 24, 2019|
List of former judges
|1||Don Albert Pardee||LA||1837–1919||1891–1919||—||—||death|
|2||Andrew Phelps McCormick||TX||1832–1916||1892–1916||—||—||B. Harrison||death|
|3||David Davie Shelby||AL||1847–1914||1899–1914||—||—||McKinley||death|
|4||Richard Wilde Walker Jr.||AL||1857–1936||1914–1930||—||1930–1936||Wilson||death|
|5||Robert Lynn Batts||TX||1864–1935||1917–1919||—||Wilson||resignation|
|6||Nathan Philemon Bryan||FL||1872–1935||1920–1935||—||—||Wilson||death|
|7||Alexander Campbell King||GA||1856–1926||1920–1924||—||—||Wilson||resignation|
|8||Rufus Edward Foster||LA||1871–1942||1925–1942||—||—||Coolidge||death|
|9||Samuel Hale Sibley||GA||1873–1958||1931–1949||—||1949–1958||Hoover||death|
|10||Joseph Chappell Hutcheson Jr.||TX||1879–1973||1931–1964||1948–1959||1964–1973||Hoover||death|
|11||Edwin R. Holmes||MS||1878–1961||1936–1954||—||1954–1961||F. Roosevelt||death|
|12||Leon Clarence McCord||AL||1878–1952||1938–1951||—||1951–1952||F. Roosevelt||death|
|13||Curtis L. Waller||FL||1887–1950||1943–1950||—||—||F. Roosevelt||death|
|14||Elmo Pearce Lee||LA||1882–1949||1943–1949||—||—||F. Roosevelt||death|
|15||Wayne G. Borah||LA||1891–1966||1949–1956||—||1956–1966||Truman||death|
|16||Robert Lee Russell||GA||1900–1955||1949–1955||—||—||Truman||death|
|17||Louie Willard Strum||FL||1890–1954||1950–1954||—||—||Truman||death|
|18||Richard Rives||AL||1895–1982||1951–1966||1959–1960||1966–1981||Truman||reassignment to 11th Cir.|
|19||Elbert Tuttle||GA||1897–1996||1954–1968||1960–1967||1968–1981||Eisenhower||reassignment to 11th Cir.|
|20||Benjamin Franklin Cameron||MS||1890–1964||1955–1964||—||—||Eisenhower||death|
|21||Warren Leroy Jones||FL||1895–1993||1955–1966||—||1966–1981||Eisenhower||reassignment to 11th Cir.|
|22||John Robert Brown||TX||1909–1984||1955–1984||1967–1979||1984–1993||Eisenhower||death|
|23||John Minor Wisdom||LA||1905–1999||1957–1977||—||1977–1999||Eisenhower||death|
|25||Walter Pettus Gewin||AL||1908–1981||1961–1976||—||1976–1981||Kennedy||death|
|26||Homer Thornberry||TX||1909–1995||1965–1978||—||1978–1995||L. Johnson||death|
|27||James P. Coleman||MS||1914–1991||1965–1981||1979–1981||1981–1984||L. Johnson||retirement|
|28||Robert Andrew Ainsworth Jr.||LA||1910–1981||1966–1981||—||—||L. Johnson||death|
|29||John Cooper Godbold||AL||1920–2009||1966–1981||1981–1981||—||L. Johnson||reassignment to 11th Cir.|
|30||Irving Loeb Goldberg||TX||1906–1995||1966–1980||—||1980–1995||L. Johnson||death|
|31||David W. Dyer||FL||1910–1998||1966–1976||—||1976–1981||L. Johnson||reassignment to 11th Cir.|
|32||John Milton Bryan Simpson||FL||1903–1987||1966–1975||—||1975–1981||L. Johnson||reassignment to 11th Cir.|
|33||Claude Feemster Clayton||MS||1909–1969||1967–1969||—||—||L. Johnson||death|
|34||Lewis Render Morgan||GA||1913–2001||1968–1978||—||1978–1981||L. Johnson||reassignment to 11th Cir.|
|35||G. Harrold Carswell||FL||1919–1992||1969–1970||—||—||Nixon||resignation|
|37||Joe McDonald Ingraham||TX||1903–1990||1969–1973||—||1973–1990||Nixon||death|
|38||Paul Hitch Roney||FL||1921–2006||1970–1981||—||—||Nixon||reassignment to 11th Cir.|
|39||Thomas Gibbs Gee||TX||1925–1994||1973–1991||—||—||Nixon||retirement|
|40||Gerald Bard Tjoflat||FL||1929–present||1975–1981||—||—||Ford||reassignment to 11th Cir.|
|41||James Clinkscales Hill||GA||1924–2017||1976–1981||—||—||Ford||reassignment to 11th Cir.|
|42||Peter T. Fay||FL||1929–present||1976–1981||—||—||Ford||reassignment to 11th Cir.|
|43||Alvin Benjamin Rubin||LA||1920–1991||1977–1989||—||1989–1991||Carter||death|
|44||Robert Smith Vance||AL||1931–1989||1977–1981||—||—||Carter||reassignment to 11th Cir.|
|45||Phyllis A. Kravitch||GA||1920–2017||1979–1981||—||—||Carter||reassignment to 11th Cir.|
|46||Frank Minis Johnson||AL||1918–1999||1979–1981||—||—||Carter||reassignment to 11th Cir.|
|47||R. Lanier Anderson III||GA||1936–present||1979–1981||—||—||Carter||reassignment to 11th Cir.|
|48||Reynaldo Guerra Garza||TX||1915–2004||1979–1982||—||1982–2004||Carter||death|
|49||Joseph W. Hatchett||FL||1932–present||1979–1981||—||—||Carter||reassignment to 11th Cir.|
|50||Albert John Henderson||GA||1920–1999||1979–1981||—||—||Carter||reassignment to 11th Cir.|
|52||Henry Anthony Politz||LA||1932–2002||1979–1999||1992–1999||1999–2002||Carter||death|
|54||Samuel D. Johnson Jr.||TX||1920–2002||1979–1991||—||1991–2002||Carter||death|
|55||Albert Tate Jr.||LA||1920–1986||1979–1986||—||—||Carter||death|
|56||Thomas Alonzo Clark||GA||1920–2005||1979–1981||—||—||Carter||reassignment to 11th Cir.|
|57||Jerre Stockton Williams||TX||1916–1993||1980–1990||—||1990–1993||Carter||death|
|58||William Lockhart Garwood||TX||1931–2011||1981–1997||—||1997–2011||Reagan||death|
|62||Robert Madden Hill||TX||1928–1987||1984–1987||—||—||Reagan||death|
|68||Emilio M. Garza||TX||1947–present||1991–2012||—||2012–2015||G.H.W. Bush||retirement|
|69||Harold R. DeMoss Jr.||TX||1930–present||1991–2007||—||2007–2015||G.H.W. Bush||retirement|
|72||Robert Manley Parker||TX||1937–present||1994–2002||—||—||Clinton||retirement|
|75||Edward C. Prado||TX||1947–present||2003–2018||—||—||G.W. Bush||retirement|
|76||Charles W. Pickering||MS||1937–present||2004||—||—||G.W. Bush||retirement|
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 had 29 seats for active judges. Twelve of these seats were reassigned to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, leaving a seventeen-seat court. The seats are numbered in the order in which they were initially filled. Judges who retire into senior status remain on the bench but leave their seats vacant, allowing the president to appoint new judges to fill their seats.
- "Practitioner's Guide to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-06-13. Retrieved 2011-06-26.
- "That Fascinating and Frenetic Fifth," Time Magazine, 1964-12-04.
- "U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit". Official website of the Federal Judicial Center. Archived from the original on March 26, 2005. Retrieved June 19, 2005.
- Pardee was appointed as a circuit judge for the Fifth Circuit in 1881 by James A. Garfield. The Judiciary Act of 1891 reassigned his seat to what is now the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
- Recess appointment, confirmed by the United States Senate at a later date.
- Recess appointment, never confirmed or rejected by the Senate.
- Bass, Jack (1990). Unlikely Heroes. University of Alabama Press. ISBN 0-8173-0491-6.
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