Charles Albert Woods

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Charles Albert Woods (July 31, 1852 – June 21, 1925) was a United States federal judge.

Born in Springfield, Darlington County, South Carolina to Samuel Alexander Woods and Martha Jane DuBose Woods on July 31, 1852,[1] Woods received an A.B. from Wofford College in 1872 and read law at the firm of Warley & Dargan to enter the bar in September 1873. He was in private practice from 1873 to 1903. On January 28, 1903, while serving as the president of the South Carolina Bar Association, he was elected a Justice on the South Carolina Supreme Court by the South Carolina General Assembly by a vote of 87-67, defeating Robert Aldrich, starting a term that would last from 1903 to 1913.[2]

When Nathan Goff announced his retirement from the Fourth Circuit, Woods was an early favorite as a replacement, but members of Congress from other states within the Fourth Circuit's coverage made last minute efforts to have one of their own citizens appointed. One such effort would have created an additional seat on the Fourth Circuit (which had only two judges at the time) so that Rep. John W. Davis of West Virginia could be appointed too.[3] that measure, however, was blocked by Sen. Bristow of Kansas.[4] On April 24, 1913, Woods was nominated by President Woodrow Wilson to a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit vacated by Nathan Goff.[5] One South Carolina lawyer, John T. Duncan, who had been disbarred by the South Carolina Supreme Court objected to Woods' nomination; Woods had written an opinion for the South Carolina Supreme Court finding Duncan in contempt for practicing law without a license after having been disbarred, but Duncan claimed that Woods had been biased against him and lodged a complaint with the Senate Judiciary Committee.[6][7] The Senate Judiciary Committee voted in favor of Woods on May 19, 1913.[8] Woods was confirmed by the United States Senate on June 5, 1913.[9] Woods resigned his position on the South Carolina Supreme Court by telegraph to Governor Coleman Livingston Blease on June 7, 1913.[10] Woods was sworn in in Richmond, Virginia on June 7, 1913,[11] and he served in that capacity until his death, in 1925, in Florence, South Carolina.


  1. ^ "Honor Is Paid Justice Woods". The State (Columbia, South Carolina). April 25, 1913. p. 1. 
  2. ^ "Hon. Charles Albert Woods Elected Associate Justice". Augusta Chronicle (Augusta, Georgia). January 29, 1903. p. 3. 
  3. ^ "To Create Judgeship". News & Courier (Charleston, South Carolina). April 13, 1913. p. 1. 
  4. ^ McGowan, P.H. (April 16, 1913). "Bristow Blocks New Judge Move". The State (Columbia, South Carolina). p. 1. 
  5. ^ McGowan, P.H. (April 25, 1913). "Picks Justice Wood for Federal Bench". The State (Columbia, South Carolina). p. 1. 
  6. ^ "Duncan Objects to Woods". News & Courier (Charleston, South Carolina). May 6, 1913. p. 2. 
  7. ^ McGowan, P.H. (May 6, 1913). "Disbarred Lawyer Seeking Revenge". The State (Columbia, South Carolina). p. 8. 
  8. ^ McGowan, P.H. (May 20, 1913). "For Nomination of Judge Woods". The State (Columbia, South Carolina). p. 1. 
  9. ^ "Judge C.A. Woods Confirmed". News & Courier (Charleston, South Carolina). June 6, 1913. p. 1. 
  10. ^ "Mr. Wood Wires Resignation from Supreme Court". News & Courier (Charleston, South Carolina). June 8, 1913. p. 2. 
  11. ^ "Woods Takes Oath of Office". News & Courier (Charleston, South Carolina). June 8, 1913. p. 1.