United States District Court for the Western District of Texas

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
United States District Court for the Western District of Texas
(W.D. Tex.)
Seal of the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas
Location San Antonio, Texas
Appeals to Fifth Circuit
Established February 21, 1857
Judges assigned 13
Chief judge Samuel Frederick Biery Jr.
U.S. Attorney Robert L. Pitman
Official site

The United States District Court For the Western District Of Texas (in case citations, W.D. Tex.) is a Federal district court. The court convenes in San Antonio with divisions in Austin, Del Rio, El Paso, Midland, Pecos, and Waco. It has jurisdiction in over 50 Trans-Pecos, Permian Basin and Hill Country counties of the U.S. state of Texas. This district covers over 92,000 square miles (240,000 km2) and seven divisions.

History[edit]

The first federal judge in Texas was John C. Watrous, who was appointed on May 26, 1846, and had previously served as Attorney General of the Republic of Texas. He was assigned to hold court in Galveston, at the time, the largest city in the state. As seat of the Texas Judicial District, the Galveston court had jurisdiction over the whole state.[1] On February 21, 1857, the state was divided into two districts, Eastern and Western, with Judge Watrous continuing in the Eastern district.[2] Judge Watrous and Judge Thomas H. DuVal, of the Western District of Texas, left the state on the secession of Texas from the Union, the only two United States Judges not to resign their posts in states that seceded. When Texas was restored to the Union, Watrous and DuVal resumed their duties and served until 1870.

Divisions[edit]

Appeals from cases brought in the Western District of Texas are taken to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (except for patent claims and claims against the U.S. government under the Tucker Act, which are appealed to the Federal Circuit).

The divisions of the Western District of Texas are:

Judge Samuel Frederick Biery Jr. is the Chief Judge of the W. D. Texas District Court.

The United States Attorney's Office for the Western District of Texas represents the United States in civil and criminal litigation in the court. Robert L. Pitman is the United States Attorney for the Western District of Texas since assuming the office on October 3, 2011.[3] Pitman previously served as the interim United States Attorney for the district in 2001, before becoming chief deputy to Johnny Sutton.[4]

Current judges[edit]

  • As of November 30, 2008, a vacancy exists in the Western District of Texas due to Judge W. Royal Furgeson, Jr.'s decision to assume senior status. On June 26, 2014, President Obama nominated Robert L. Pitman to fill this vacancy.
# Title Judge Duty station Born Term of service Appointed by
Active Chief Senior
27 Chief Judge Samuel Frederick Biery Jr. San Antonio 1947 1994–present 2010–present Clinton
24 District Judge Walter Scott Smith, Jr. Waco 1940 1984–present 2003–2010 Reagan
26 District Judge Sam Sparks Austin 1939 1991–present G.H.W. Bush
29 District Judge Orlando Luis Garcia San Antonio 1952 1994–present Clinton
31 District Judge Philip Ray Martinez El Paso 1957 2002–present G.W. Bush
32 District Judge Alia M. Ludlum Del Rio 1962 2002–present G.W. Bush
33 District Judge Robert A. Junell Midland 1947 2003–present G.W. Bush
34 District Judge Kathleen Cardone El Paso 1953 2003–present G.W. Bush
35 District Judge Earl Leroy Yeakel III Austin 1945 2003–present G.W. Bush
36 District Judge Frank Montalvo El Paso 1956 2003–present G.W. Bush
37 District Judge Xavier Rodriguez San Antonio 1961 2003–present G.W. Bush
38 District Judge David Campos Guaderrama El Paso 1954 2012–present Obama
District Judge vacant
19 Senior Judge Harry Lee Hudspeth Austin 1935 1979–2001 1992–1999 2001–present Carter
22 Senior Judge James Robertson Nowlin Austin 1937 1981–2003 1999–2003 2003–present Reagan
30 Senior Judge David Briones El Paso 1943 1994–2009 2009–present Clinton

Former judges[edit]

# Judge State Born/Died Active service Chief Judge Senior status Appointed by Reason for
termination
1 DuVal, Thomas HowardThomas Howard DuVal TX 1813–1880 1857–1880 Pierce, Pierce death
2 Turner, Ezekiel B.Ezekiel B. Turner TX 1825–1888 1880–1888[Note 1] Hayes, Hayes death
3 Maxey, Thomas SheldonThomas Sheldon Maxey TX 1846–1921 1888–1916 Cleveland, Cleveland retirement
4 West, DuValDuVal West TX 1861–1949 1916–1931 1931–1949 Wilson, Wilson death
5 Smith, William RobertWilliam Robert Smith TX 1863–1924 1917–1924 Wilson, Wilson death
6 Boynton, Charles AlbertCharles Albert Boynton TX 1867–1954 1924–1947 1947–1954 Coolidge, Coolidge death
7 McMillan, Robert JohnstonRobert Johnston McMillan TX 1885–1941 1932–1941 Hoover, Hoover death
8 Keeling, Walter AngusWalter Angus Keeling TX 1873–1945 1942–1945 Roosevelt, F.F. Roosevelt death
9 Rice, Jr., Ben HerbertBen Herbert Rice, Jr. TX 1889–1964 1945–1964 1948–1962 Truman, Truman death
10 Thomason, R. EwingR. Ewing Thomason TX 1879–1973 1947–1963 1963–1973 Truman, Truman death
11 Spears, Adrian AnthonyAdrian Anthony Spears TX 1910–1991 1961–1979[Note 2] 1962–1979 1979–1982 Kennedy, Kennedy retirement
12 Thornberry, HomerHomer Thornberry TX 1909–1995 1963–1965 Kennedy, Kennedy reappointment
13 Suttle, Dorwin WallaceDorwin Wallace Suttle TX 1906–2001 1964–1979 1979–2001 Johnson, L.L. Johnson death
14 Roberts, JackJack Roberts TX 1910–1988 1966–1980 1979–1980 1980–1988 Johnson, L.L. Johnson death
15 Guinn, Ernest AllenErnest Allen Guinn TX 1905–1974 1966–1974 Johnson, L.L. Johnson death
16 Wood, Jr., John H.John H. Wood, Jr. TX 1916–1979 1970–1979 Nixon, Nixon death
17 Sessions, William S.William S. Sessions TX 1930–present 1974–1987 1980–1987 Ford, Ford resignation
18 Bunton III, Lucius DeshaLucius Desha Bunton III TX 1924–2001 1979–1992 1987–1992 1992–2001 Carter, Carter death
20 Shannon Jr., Clyde FrederickClyde Frederick Shannon Jr. TX 1942–present 1980–1984 Carter, Carter resignation
21 Garcia, Hipolito FrankHipolito Frank Garcia TX 1925–2002 1980–2002 Carter, Carter death
23 Prado, Edward C.Edward C. Prado TX 1947–present 1984–2003 Reagan, Reagan reappointment
25 Garza, Emilio M.Emilio M. Garza TX 1947–present 1988–1991 Reagan, Reagan reappointment
28 Furgeson, Jr., William RoyalWilliam Royal Furgeson, Jr. TX 1941–present 1994–2008 2008–2013 Clinton, Clinton retirement
  1. ^ Recess appointment; formally nominated on December 14, 1880, confirmed by the United States Senate on December 20, 1880, and received commission on December 20, 1880.
  2. ^ Recess appointment; formally nominated on January 15, 1962, confirmed by the United States Senate on March 16, 1962, and received commission on March 17, 1962.

Succession of seats[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ U.S. Department of Justice: 2002 Centennial Report, pgs. 1, 10
  2. ^ Southern District of Texas: History of the District
  3. ^ http://www.statesman.com/news/news/local/austins-robert-pitman-sworn-in-as-us-attorney-1/nRf3n/
  4. ^ Kreytak, Steven (December 1, 2003). "Behind the bench, a man to be counted on: New judge won praise for fairness, kindness in 13 years as U.S. prosecutor". Austin American-Statesman. Retrieved September 29, 2011.

External links[edit]