United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

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United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
(5th Cir.)
Seal of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
Location John Minor Wisdom United States Court of Appeals Building
New Orleans, Louisiana
Appeals from
Established June 16, 1891
Chief judge Carl E. Stewart
Active judges 17
Senior judges 6
Circuit justice Antonin Scalia
Official site

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 Southern districts:

The court is composed of seventeen active judges and 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.[1] It is one of thirteen United States courts of appeals.

History of the court[edit]

The John Minor Wisdom U.S. Courthouse, home of the Fifth Circuit, New Orleans.

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 October 1, 1981, under Public Law 96-452, the Fifth Circuit was split: Alabama, Georgia, and Florida were moved to the new Eleventh Circuit.

On March 31, 1982, the Fifth Circuit lost jurisdiction over the Panama Canal Zone as the Canal Zone transferred to Panamanian control.

The Fifth Circuit Four[edit]

During the late 1950s, Chief Judge Elbert Tuttle and his three 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 Cameron's death in 1964.[2]

Hurricane Katrina[edit]

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 the court has now returned to normal operations in New Orleans.

Current composition of the court[edit]

As of June 2, 2014 the active judges on the court are as follows (chief judge in bold):[3]

# Judge Duty station[4][5] Born Appointed Chief Appointed by
71 Carl E. Stewart Shreveport, LA 1950 1994 2012–present Clinton
60 E. Grady Jolly Jackson, MS 1937 1982 —— Reagan
61 W. Eugene Davis Lafayette, LA 1936 1983 —— Reagan
63 Edith H. Jones Houston, TX 1949 1985 2006–2012 Reagan
64 Jerry Edwin Smith Houston, TX 1946 1987 —— Reagan
73 James L. Dennis New Orleans, LA 1936 1995 —— Clinton
74 Edith Brown Clement New Orleans, LA 1948 2001 —— G.W. Bush
75 Edward C. Prado San Antonio, TX 1947 2003 —— G.W. Bush
77 Priscilla Owen Austin, TX 1954 2005 —— G.W. Bush
78 Jennifer Walker Elrod Houston, TX 1966 2007 —— G.W. Bush
79 Leslie H. Southwick Jackson, MS 1950 2007 —— G.W. Bush
80 Catharina Haynes Dallas, TX 1963 2008 —— G.W. Bush
81 James E. Graves, Jr. Jackson, MS 1953 2011 —— Obama
82 Stephen A. Higginson New Orleans, LA 1961 2011 —— Obama
83 Gregg Costa Galveston, TX 1972 2014 —— Obama
- vacant - - - - -
- vacant - - - - -

Vacancies and pending nominations[edit]

Seat Seat Last Held By Vacancy Reason Date of Vacancy Nominee Date of Nomination
22 Emilio M. Garza Senior status August 1, 2012
20 Carolyn Dineen King Senior status December 31, 2013

Senior[edit]

Eight judges serve on senior status:[3]

# Judge Duty station[4][5] Born Active service Chief Senior
since
Appointed by
51 Carolyn Dineen King[6] Houston, TX 1938 1979–2013 1999–2006 2013 Carter
53 Thomas Morrow Reavley Houston, TX 1921 1979–1990 —— 1990 Carter
59 Patrick Higginbotham Austin, TX 1938 1982–2006 —— 2006 Reagan
66 Rhesa Hawkins Barksdale Jackson, MS 1944 1990–2009 —— 2009 G.H.W. Bush
67 Jacques L. Wiener, Jr. New Orleans, LA 1934 1990–2010 —— 2010 G.H.W. Bush
68 Emilio M. Garza San Antonio, TX 1947 1991–2012 —— 2012 G.H.W. Bush
69 Harold R. DeMoss, Jr. Houston, TX 1930 1991–2007 —— 2007 G.H.W. Bush
70 Fortunato "Pete" Benavides Austin, TX 1947 1994–2012 —— 2012 Clinton

List of former judges[edit]

Fifty-nine judges formerly served on the court but no longer do:[3]

#
Judge
State
Born/Died
Active
Chief
Senior
Appointed by
Reason for
termination
1 Pardee, Don AlbertDon Albert Pardee LA 1837–1919 1891–1919 —— —— [7] death
2 McCormick, Andrew PhelpsAndrew Phelps McCormick TX 1832–1916 1892–1916 —— —— Harrison, B.B. Harrison death
3 Shelby, David DavieDavid Davie Shelby AL 1847–1914 1899–1914 —— —— McKinley, McKinley death
4 Walker, Jr., Richard WildeRichard Wilde Walker, Jr. AL 1857–1936 1914–1930 —— 1930–1936 Wilson, Wilson death
5 Batts, Robert LynnRobert Lynn Batts TX 1864–1935 1917–1919 —— —— Wilson, Wilson resignation
6 Bryan, Nathan P.Nathan P. Bryan FL 1872–1935 1920–1935 —— —— Wilson, Wilson death
7 King, Alexander CampbellAlexander Campbell King GA 1856–1926 1920–1924 —— —— Wilson, Wilson resignation
8 Foster, Rufus EdwardRufus Edward Foster LA 1871–1942 1925–1942 —— —— Coolidge, Coolidge death
9 Sibley, Samuel HaleSamuel Hale Sibley GA 1873–1958 1931–1949 —— 1949–1958 Hoover, Hoover death
10 Hutcheson, Jr., Joseph ChappellJoseph Chappell Hutcheson, Jr. TX 1879–1973 1931–1964 1948–1959 1964–1973 Hoover, Hoover death
11 Holmes, Edwin RuthvenEdwin Ruthven Holmes MS 1878–1961 1936–1954 —— 1954–1961 Roosevelt, F.F. Roosevelt death
12 McCord, Leon ClarenceLeon Clarence McCord AL 1878–1952 1938–1951 —— 1951–1952 Roosevelt, F.F. Roosevelt death
13 Waller, Curtis LonginoCurtis Longino Waller FL 1887–1950 1943–1950 —— —— Roosevelt, F.F. Roosevelt death
14 Lee, Elmo PearceElmo Pearce Lee LA 1882–1949 1943–1949 —— —— Roosevelt, F.F. Roosevelt death
15 Borah, Wayne G.Wayne G. Borah LA 1891–1966 1949–1956 —— 1956–1966 Truman, Truman death
16 Russell, Robert LeeRobert Lee Russell GA 1900–1955 1949–1955 —— —— Truman, Truman death
17 Strum, Louie WillardLouie Willard Strum FL 1890–1954 1950–1954 —— —— Truman, Truman death
18 Rives, RichardRichard Rives AL 1895–1982 1951–1966 1959–1960 1966–1981 Truman, Truman reassignment to 11th Circuit
19 Tuttle, ElbertElbert Tuttle GA 1897–1996 1954–1968 1960–1967 1968–1981 Eisenhower, Eisenhower reassignment to 11th Circuit
20 Cameron, Benjamin FranklinBenjamin Franklin Cameron MS 1890–1964 1955–1964 —— —— Eisenhower, Eisenhower death
21 Jones, Warren LeroyWarren Leroy Jones FL 1895–1993 1955–1966 —— 1966–1981 Eisenhower, Eisenhower reassignment to 11th Circuit
22 Brown, John RobertJohn Robert Brown TX 1909–1984 1955–1984 1967–1979 1984–1993 Eisenhower, Eisenhower death
23 Wisdom, John MinorJohn Minor Wisdom LA 1905–1999 1957–1977 —— 1977–1999 Eisenhower, Eisenhower death
24 Bell, GriffinGriffin Bell GA 1918–2009 1961[8]–1976 —— —— Kennedy, Kennedy resignation
25 Gewin, Walter PettusWalter Pettus Gewin AL 1908–1981 1961[8]–1976 —— 1976–1981 Kennedy, Kennedy death
26 Thornberry, William HomerWilliam Homer Thornberry TX 1909–1995 1965–1978 —— 1978–1995 Johnson, L.L. Johnson death
27 Coleman, James PlemonJames Plemon Coleman MS 1914–1991 1965–1981 1979–1981 1981–1984 Johnson, L.L. Johnson resignation
28 Ainsworth, Jr., Robert AndrewRobert Andrew Ainsworth, Jr. LA 1910–1981 1966–1981 —— —— Johnson, L.L. Johnson death
29 Godbold, John CooperJohn Cooper Godbold AL 1920–2009 1966–1981 1981–1981 —— Johnson, L.L. Johnson reassignment to 11th Circuit
30 Goldberg, Irving LoebIrving Loeb Goldberg TX 1906–1995 1966–1980 —— 1980–1995 Johnson, L.L. Johnson death
31 Dyer, David WilliamDavid William Dyer FL 1910–1998 1966–1976 —— 1976–1981 Johnson, L.L. Johnson reassignment to 11th Circuit
32 Simpson, John Milton BryanJohn Milton Bryan Simpson FL 1903–1987 1966–1975 —— 1975–1981 Johnson, L.L. Johnson reassignment to 11th Circuit
33 Clayton, Claude FeemsterClaude Feemster Clayton MS 1909–1969 1967–1969 —— —— Johnson, L.L. Johnson death
34 Morgan, Lewis RenderLewis Render Morgan GA 1913–2001 1968–1978 —— 1978–1981 Johnson, L.L. Johnson reassignment to 11th Circuit
35 Carswell, HaroldHarold Carswell FL 1919–1992 1969–1970 —— —— Nixon, Nixon resignation
36 Clark, CharlesCharles Clark MS 1925–2011 1969–1992 1981–1992 —— Nixon, Nixon retirement
37 Ingraham, Joe McDonaldJoe McDonald Ingraham TX 1903–1990 1969–1973 —— 1973–1990 Nixon, Nixon death
38 Roney, Paul HitchPaul Hitch Roney FL 1921–2006 1970–1981 —— —— Nixon, Nixon reassignment to 11th Circuit
39 Gee, Thomas GibbsThomas Gibbs Gee TX 1925–1994 1973–1991 —— —— Nixon, Nixon retirement
40 Tjoflat, Gerald BardGerald Bard Tjoflat FL 1929– 1975–1981 —— —— Ford, Ford reassignment to 11th Circuit
41 Hill, James ClinkscalesJames Clinkscales Hill GA 1924– 1976–1981 —— —— Ford, Ford reassignment to 11th Circuit
42 Fay, Peter ThorpPeter Thorp Fay FL 1929– 1976–1981 —— —— Ford, Ford reassignment to 11th Circuit
43 Rubin, Alvin BenjaminAlvin Benjamin Rubin LA 1920–1991 1977–1989 —— 1989–1991 Carter, Carter death
44 Vance, Robert SmithRobert Smith Vance AL 1931–1989 1977–1981 —— —— Carter, Carter reassignment to 11th Circuit
45 Kravitch, Phyllis A.Phyllis A. Kravitch GA 1920– 1979–1981 —— —— Carter, Carter reassignment to 11th Circuit
46 Johnson, Frank MinisFrank Minis Johnson AL 1918–1999 1979–1981 —— —— Carter, Carter reassignment to 11th Circuit
47 Anderson III, R. LanierR. Lanier Anderson III GA 1936– 1979–1981 —— —— Carter, Carter reassignment to 11th Circuit
48 Garza, Reynaldo GuerraReynaldo Guerra Garza TX 1915–2004 1979–1982 —— 1982–2004 Carter, Carter death
49 Hatchett, Joseph WoodrowJoseph Woodrow Hatchett FL 1932– 1979–1981 —— —— Carter, Carter reassignment to 11th Circuit
50 Henderson, Albert JohnAlbert John Henderson GA 1920–1999 1979–1981 —— —— Carter, Carter reassignment to 11th Circuit
52 Politz, Henry AnthonyHenry Anthony Politz LA 1932–2002 1979–1999 1992–1999 1999–2002 Carter, Carter death
54 Johnson, Jr., Samuel D.Samuel D. Johnson, Jr. TX 1920–2002 1979–1991 —— 1991–2002 Carter, Carter death
55 Tate, Jr., AlbertAlbert Tate, Jr. LA 1920–1986 1979–1986 —— —— Carter, Carter death
56 Clark, Thomas AlonzoThomas Alonzo Clark GA 1920–2005 1979–1981 —— —— Carter, Carter reassignment to 11th Circuit
57 Williams, Jerre StocktonJerre Stockton Williams TX 1916–1993 1980–1990 —— 1990–1993 Carter, Carter death
58 Garwood, William LockhartWilliam Lockhart Garwood TX 1931–2011 1981–1997 —— 1997–2011 Reagan, Reagan death
62 Hill, Robert MaddenRobert Madden Hill TX 1928–1987 1984–1987 —— —— Reagan, Reagan death
65 Duhé, Jr., John MalcolmJohn Malcolm Duhé, Jr. LA 1933- 1988–1999 —— 1999–2011 Reagan, Reagan retirement
72 Parker, Robert ManleyRobert Manley Parker TX 1937– 1994–2002 —— —— Clinton, Clinton retirement
76 Pickering, Charles W.Charles W. Pickering MS 1937– 2004[9]–2004 —— —— Bush, G.W.G.W. Bush retirement

Chief judges[edit]

Chief Judge
Hutcheson 1948–1959
Rives 1959–1960
Tuttle 1960–1967
Brown 1967–1979
Coleman 1979–1981
Godbold 1981–1981
C. Clark 1981–1992
Politz 1992–1999
C. King 1999–2006
Jones 2006–2012
Stewart 2012–

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 chief after turning 70 years old. The current rules have been in operation since October 1, 1982.

Succession of seats[edit]

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 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.

Seat 1
Established on December 10, 1869 by the Judiciary Act of 1869 as a circuit judgeship for the Fifth Circuit
Reassigned to the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit by the Judiciary Act of 1891
Pardee LA 1891–1919
A. King GA 1920–1924
Foster LA 1925–1942
Lee LA 1943–1949
Borah LA 1949–1956
Wisdom LA 1957–1977
Rubin LA 1977–1989
Barksdale MS 1990–2009
Graves MS 2011–
Seat 2
Established on June 16, 1891 by the Judiciary Act of 1891
McCormick TX 1892–1916
Batts TX 1917–1919
Bryan FL 1920–1935
Holmes MS 1936–1954
Cameron MS 1955–1964
Coleman MS 1965–1981
Jolly MS 1982–
Seat 3
Established on January 25, 1899 by 30 Stat. 803
Shelby AL 1899–1914
Walker AL 1914–1930
Sibley GA 1931–1949
Russell GA 1949–1955
Brown TX 1955–1984
R. Hill TX 1984–1987
Wiener LA 1990–2010
Higginson LA 2011–
Seat 4
Established on June 10, 1930 by 46 Stat. 538
Hutcheson TX 1931–1964
Thornberry TX 1965–1978
R. Garza TX 1979–1982
Higginbotham TX 1982–2006
Elrod TX 2007–
Seat 5
Established on May 31, 1938 by 52 Stat. 584
McCord AL 1938–1951
Rives AL 1951–1966
Godbold AL 1966–1981
Reassigned on October 1, 1981 to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit by 94 Stat. 1994
Seat 6
Established on December 14, 1942 by 56 Stat. 1050
Waller FL 1943–1950
Strum FL 1950–1954
W. Jones FL 1955–1966
Dyer FL 1966–1976
Fay FL 1976–1981
Reassigned on October 1, 1981 to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit by 94 Stat. 1994
Seat 7
Established on February 10, 1954 by 68 Stat. 8
Tuttle GA 1954–1968
Morgan GA 1968–1978
Kravitch GA 1979–1981
Reassigned on October 1, 1981 to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit by 94 Stat. 1994
Seat 8
Established on May 19, 1961 by 75 Stat. 80
Bell GA 1961–1976
J. Hill GA 1976–1981
Reassigned on October 1, 1981 to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit by 94 Stat. 1994
Seat 9
Established on May 19, 1961 by 75 Stat. 80
Gewin AL 1961–1976
Vance AL 1977–1981
Reassigned on October 1, 1981 to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit by 94 Stat. 1994
Seat 10
Established as a temporary judgeship on March 18, 1966 by 80 Stat. 75
Made permanent on June 18, 1968 by 82 Stat. 184
Ainsworth LA 1966–1981
Davis LA 1983–
Seat 11
Established as a temporary judgeship on March 18, 1966 by 80 Stat. 75
Made permanent on June 18, 1968 by 82 Stat. 184
Goldberg TX 1966–1980
Williams TX 1980–1990
DeMoss TX 1991–2007
Haynes TX 2008–
Seat 12
Established as a temporary judgeship on March 18, 1966 by 80 Stat. 75
Made permanent on June 18, 1968 by 82 Stat. 184
Simpson FL 1966–1975
Tjoflat FL 1975–1981
Reassigned on October 1, 1981 to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit by 94 Stat. 1994
Seat 13
Established as a temporary judgeship on March 18, 1966 by 80 Stat. 75
Made permanent on June 18, 1968 by 82 Stat. 184
Clayton MS 1967–1969
C. Clark MS 1969–1992
Dennis LA 1995–
Seat 14
Established on June 18, 1968 by 82 Stat. 184
Carswell FL 1969–1970
Roney FL 1970–1981
Reassigned on October 1, 1981 to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit by 94 Stat. 1994
Seat 15
Established on June 18, 1968 by 82 Stat. 184
Ingraham TX 1969–1973
Gee TX 1973–1991
Benavides TX 1994–2012
Costa TX 2014–
Seat 16
Established on October 20, 1978 by 92 Stat. 1629
F. Johnson AL 1979–1981
Reassigned on October 1, 1981 to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit by 94 Stat. 1994
Seat 17
Established on October 20, 1978 by 92 Stat. 1629
Anderson GA 1979–1981
Reassigned on October 1, 1981 to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit by 94 Stat. 1994
Seat 18
Established on October 20, 1978 by 92 Stat. 1629
Hatchett FL 1979–1981
Reassigned on October 1, 1981 to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit by 94 Stat. 1994
Seat 19
Established on October 20, 1978 by 92 Stat. 1629
Henderson GA 1979–1981
Reassigned on October 1, 1981 to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit by 94 Stat. 1994
Seat 20
Established on October 20, 1978 by 92 Stat. 1629
C. King TX 1979–
Seat 21
Established on October 20, 1978 by 92 Stat. 1629
Politz LA 1979–1999
Pickering MS 2004–2004
Southwick MS 2007–
Seat 22
Established on October 20, 1978 by 92 Stat. 1629
Reavley TX 1979–1990
E. Garza TX 1991–
Seat 23
Established on October 20, 1978 by 92 Stat. 1629
S. Johnson TX 1979–1991
Parker TX 1994–2002
Prado TX 2003–
Seat 24
Established on October 20, 1978 by 92 Stat. 1629
Tate LA 1979–1986
Duhé LA 1988–1999
Clement LA 2001–
Seat 25
Established on October 20, 1978 by 92 Stat. 1629
T. Clark GA 1979–1981
Reassigned on October 1, 1981 to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit by 94 Stat. 1994
Seat 26
Established on October 20, 1978 by 92 Stat. 1629
Garwood TX 1981–1997
Owen TX 2005–
Seat 27
Established on July 10, 1984 by 98 Stat. 333
E. Jones TX 1985–
Seat 28
Established on July 10, 1984 by 98 Stat. 333
Smith TX 1987–
Seat 29
Established on December 1, 1990 by 104 Stat. 5089
Stewart LA 1994–

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Practitioner’s Guide to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  2. ^ "That Fascinating and Frenetic Fifth," Time Magazine, 1964-12-04.
  3. ^ a b c "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. 
  4. ^ a b "Instructions for Judicial Directory". Website of the University of Texas Law School. Archived from the original on November 11, 2005. Retrieved July 4, 2005. 
  5. ^ a b "Standard Search". Federal Law Clerk Information System. Retrieved June 19, 2005. 
  6. ^ Prior to January 1, 1988, King was named Carolyn Dineen Randall.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ a b Recess appointment, confirmed by the United States Senate at a later date.
  9. ^ Recess appointment, never confirmed or rejected by the Senate.
  • Bass, Jack (1990). Unlikely Heroes. University of Alabama Press. ISBN 0-8173-0491-6. 

External links[edit]