United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama

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United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama
(M.D. Ala.)
Seal of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama
Appeals to Eleventh Circuit
Established February 6, 1839
Judges assigned 3
Chief judge William Keith Watkins
Official site

The United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama (in case citations, M.D. Ala.) is a federal court in the Eleventh Circuit (except for patent claims and claims against the U.S. government under the Tucker Act, which are appealed to the Federal Circuit).

The District was established on February 6, 1839 with the addition of the Middle district. The circuit court itself was established on June 22, 1874.[1]

The United States Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Alabama represents the United States in civil and criminal litigation in the court. The current United States Attorney is George L. Beck, Jr., who was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on June 30, 2011.

Organization of the court[edit]

The United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama is one of three federal judicial districts in Alabama.[2] Court for the District is held at Dothan, Montgomery, and Opelika.

Eastern Division comprises the following counties: Chambers, Lee, Macon, Randolph, Russell, and Tallapoosa.

Northern Division comprises the following counties: Autauga, Barbour, Bullock, Butler, Chilton, Coosa, Covington, Crenshaw, Elmore, Lowndes, Montgomery, and Pike.

Southern Division comprises the following counties: Coffee, Dale, Geneva, Henry, and Houston.

Current judges[edit]

# Title Judge Duty station Born Term of service Appointed by
Active Chief Senior
19 Chief Judge William Keith Watkins Montgomery 1951 2005–present 2011–present G.W. Bush
18 District Judge Mark Fuller Montgomery 1958 2002–present 2004–2011 G.W. Bush
19 District Judge vacant
13 Senior Judge Truman McGill Hobbs Montgomery 1921 1980–1991 1984–1991 1991–present Carter
14 Senior Judge Myron Herbert Thompson Montgomery 1947 1980–2013 1991–1998 2013–present Carter
16 Senior Judge William Harold Albritton III Montgomery 1936 1991–2004 1998–2004 2004–present G.H.W.Bush

Vacancies and pending nominations[edit]

# Seat last held by Vacancy reason Date of vacancy Nominee Nominated
1 Thompson, Myron HerbertMyron Herbert Thompson Senior Status August 22, 2013

Former judges[edit]

# Judge State Born/Died Active service Chief Judge Senior status Appointed by Reason for
termination
1 Crawford, WilliamWilliam Crawford AL 1784–1849 1826–1849 Adams, J.Q.J.Q. Adams death
2 Gayle, JohnJohn Gayle AL 1792–1859 1849–1859 Taylor, Taylor death
3 Jones, William GilesWilliam Giles Jones AL 1808–1883 1859[3]–1861 Buchanan, Buchanan resignation
4 Lane, George WashingtonGeorge Washington Lane AL 1806–1863 1861–1863 Lincoln, Lincoln death
5 Busteed, RichardRichard Busteed AL 1822–1898 1863[4]–1874 Lincoln, Lincoln resignation
6 Bruce, JohnJohn Bruce AL 1832–1901 1875–1901 Grant, Grant death
7 Jones, Thomas G.Thomas G. Jones AL 1844–1914 1901–1914 Roosevelt, T.T. Roosevelt death
8 Clayton, Jr., Henry De LamarHenry De Lamar Clayton, Jr. AL 1857–1929 1914–1929 Wilson, Wilson death
9 Kennamer, Charles BrentsCharles Brents Kennamer AL 1874–1955 1931–1955 Hoover, Hoover death
10 Johnson, Frank MinisFrank Minis Johnson AL 1918–1999 1955–1979 1966–1979 Eisenhower, Eisenhower reappointment
11 Pittman, Thomas VirgilThomas Virgil Pittman AL 1916–2012 1966–1970 Johnson, Johnson reassignment
12 Varner, Robert EdwardRobert Edward Varner AL 1921–2006 1971–1986 1979–1984 1986–2006 Nixon, Nixon death
15 Dubina, Joel FredrickJoel Fredrick Dubina AL 1947–present 1986–1990 Reagan, Reagan reappointment
17 De Ment, IraIra De Ment AL 1931–2011 1992–2002 2002–2011 G.H.W.Bush death

Court Decisions[edit]

Browder v. Gayle (1956) - Court rules that bus segregation in Montgomery was unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment. Decision upheld by U.S. Supreme Court six months later.

Gomillion v. Lightfoot (1958) - Court dismissed action, which was later affirmed by the Fifth Circuit. In 1960, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the decision, finding that electoral districts drawn in Tuskegee, with the purpose of disenfranchising black voters, violated the Fifteenth Amendment.

Lee v. Macon County Board of Education (1963) - Court rules segregation in schooling was unconstitutional under the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendment. Decision upheld by U.S. Supreme Court.[5]

United States v. Alabama (1966) - Court rules poll tax violates the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendment. U.S. Supreme Court concurred three weeks later in an unrelated case, Harper v. Virginia Board of Elections.

Glassroth v. Moore (2002) - Court rules that a display of the Ten Commandments, erected by Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore in the Alabama Judicial Building violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

Succession of seats[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.fjc.gov/history/home.nsf/page/courts_district_al.html U.S. District Courts of Alabama, Legislative history, Federal Judicial Center
  2. ^ 28 U.S.C. § 81
  3. ^ Recess appointment; formally nominated on January 23, 1860, confirmed by the United States Senate on January 30, 1860, and received commission on January 30, 1860.
  4. ^ Recess appointment; formally nominated on January 5, 1864, confirmed by the United States Senate on January 20, 1864, and received commission on January 20, 1864.
  5. ^ http://www.leagle.com/decision/1964974231FSupp743_1831 (Lee v. Macon County Board of Education)

External links[edit]