United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island

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United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island
(D.R.I.)
Seal of the United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island
Map
Rhode Island Locator Map.PNG
Appeals to First Circuit
Established June 23, 1790
Judges assigned 3
Chief judge William E. Smith (judge)
Official site
early 20th century postcard of Federal Building (Providence, Rhode Island)

The United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island (in case citations, D.R.I.) is the Federal district court whose jurisdiction is the state of Rhode Island. The District Court was created in 1790 when Rhode Island ratified the Constitution. The Federal Courthouse was built in 1908.

Appeals from the District of Rhode Island are taken to the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit (except for patent claims and claims against the U.S. government under the Tucker Act, which are appealed to the Federal Circuit).

The United States Attorney for the District of Rhode Island represents the United States in civil and criminal litigation in the court. The current United States Attorney is Peter F. Neronha.

Legislative history[edit]

The United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island was established on June 23, 1790 by 1 Stat. 128. Congress authorized one judgeship for the Court, and assigned the district to the Eastern Circuit. On February 13, 1801, the outgoing lame duck Federalist-controlled Congress passed the controversial Judiciary Act of 1801 which reassigned the District of Rhode Island to the First Circuit.

The incoming Congress repealed the Judiciary Act of 1801, but in the Judiciary Act of 1802, Congress again assigned the District of Rhode Island to the First Circuit.

A second seat on the Court was created on March 18, 1966 by 80 Stat. 75. A third seat was added on July 10, 1984 by 98 Stat. 333.

Current Judges[edit]

# Title Judge Duty station Born Term of service Appointed by
Active Chief Senior
22 Chief Judge William E. Smith Providence 1959 2002–present 2013—present G.W. Bush
21 District Judge Mary M. Lisi Providence 1950 1994–present 2006–2013 Clinton
23 District Judge John J. McConnell, Jr. Providence 1958 2011–present Obama
19 Senior District Judge Ronald Rene Lagueux Providence 1931 1986–2001 1992–1999 2001–present Reagan

Former Judges[edit]

# Judge State Born/Died Active service Chief Judge Senior status Appointed by Reason for
termination
1 Marchant, HenryHenry Marchant RI 1741–1796 1790–1796 Washington, Washington death
2 Bourne, BenjaminBenjamin Bourne RI 1755–1808 1796–1801[1] Washington, Washington reappointment
3 Barnes, David LeonardDavid Leonard Barnes RI 1760–1812 1801–1812[2] Jefferson, Jefferson death
4 Howell, DavidDavid Howell RI 1747–1824 1812–1824 Madison, Madison death
5 Pitman, JohnJohn Pitman RI 1785–1864 1824–1864[3] Monroe, Monroe death
6 Bullock, Jonathan RussellJonathan Russell Bullock RI 1815–1899 1865–1869 Lincoln, Lincoln resignation
7 Knowles, John PowerJohn Power Knowles RI 1808–1887 1869–1881[4] Grant, Grant retirement
8 Colt, LeBaron B.LeBaron B. Colt RI 1846–1924 1881–1884 Garfield, Garfield reappointment
9 Carpenter, George MoultonGeorge Moulton Carpenter RI 1844–1896 1884–1896 Arthur, Arthur death
10 Brown, Arthur LewisArthur Lewis Brown RI 1854–1928 1896–1927[5] Cleveland, Cleveland retirement
11 Letts, Ira LloydIra Lloyd Letts RI 1889–1947 1927–1935[6] Coolidge, Coolidge resignation
12 Mahoney, John ChristopherJohn Christopher Mahoney RI 1882–1952 1935–1940 Roosevelt, F.F. Roosevelt reappointment
13 Hartigan, John PatrickJohn Patrick Hartigan RI 1887–1968 1940–1951 Roosevelt, F.F. Roosevelt reappointment
14 Leahy, Edward L.Edward L. Leahy RI 1886–1953 1951–1953 Truman, Truman death
15 Day, Edward WilliamEdward William Day RI 1901–1985 1953–1976[7] 1966–1971 1976–1985 Eisenhower, Eisenhower death
16 Pettine, Raymond JamesRaymond James Pettine RI 1912–2003 1966–1982 1971–1982 1982–2003 Johnson, L.L. Johnson death
17 Boyle, Francis JosephFrancis Joseph Boyle RI 1927–2006 1977–1992 1982–1992 1992–2006 Carter, Carter death
18 Selya, Bruce M.Bruce M. Selya RI 1934–present 1982–1986 Reagan, Reagan reappointment
20 Torres, Ernest C.Ernest C. Torres RI 1941–present 1987–2006 1999–2006 2006–2011 Reagan, Reagan retirement

Succession of seats[edit]

Notable cases[edit]

  • West v. Barnes (1791), the first case appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court
  • Fricke v. Lynch (1980), case involving government gender limits on prom dates

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Recess appointment; formally nominated on December 21, 1796, confirmed by the United States Senate on December 22, 1796, and received commission on December 22, 1796.
  2. ^ Recess appointment; formally nominated on January 6, 1802, confirmed by the United States Senate on January 26, 1802, and received commission on January 26, 1802.
  3. ^ Recess appointment; formally nominated on December 16, 1824, confirmed by the United States Senate on January 3, 1825, and received commission on January 3, 1825.
  4. ^ Recess appointment; formally nominated on December 6, 1869, confirmed by the United States Senate on January 24, 1870, and received commission on January 24, 1870.
  5. ^ Recess appointment; formally nominated on December 8, 1896, confirmed by the United States Senate on December 15, 1896, and received commission on December 15, 1896.
  6. ^ Recess appointment; formally nominated on December 6, 1927, confirmed by the United States Senate on January 4, 1928, and received commission on January 4, 1928.
  7. ^ Recess appointment; formally nominated on January 11, 1954, confirmed by the United States Senate on February 9, 1954, and received commission on February 9, 1954.

External links[edit]