United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama
|United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama|
|Location||Frank M. Johnson Jr. Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse|
|Appeals to||Eleventh Circuit|
|Established||February 6, 1839|
|Chief Judge||Emily Coody Marks|
|Officers of the court|
|U.S. Attorney||Louis V. Franklin Sr.|
|U.S. Marshal||Jesse Seroyer Jr.|
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.
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 Louis V. Franklin Sr..
Organization of the court
As of January 31, 2019
|#||Title||Judge||Duty station||Born||Term of service||Appointed by|
|20||Chief Judge||Emily Coody Marks||Montgomery||1973||2018–present||2019–present||—||Trump|
|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|
|19||Senior Judge||William Keith Watkins||Montgomery||1951||2005–2019||2011–2019||2019–present||G.W. Bush|
Vacancies and pending nominations
|Seat||Prior Judge's Duty Station||Seat last held by||Vacancy reason||Date of vacancy||Nominee||Nominated|
|4||Montgomery||Mark Fuller||Resignation||August 1, 2015||Andrew L. Brasher||January 23, 2019|
|3||William Keith Watkins||Senior Status||January 31, 2019||–||–|
|#||Judge||State||Born–died||Active service||Chief Judge||Senior status||Appointed by||Reason for|
|1||William Crawford||AL||1784–1849||1826–1849||—||—||J.Q. Adams||death|
|3||William Giles Jones||AL||1808–1883||1859–1861||—||—||Buchanan||resignation|
|4||George Washington Lane||AL||1806–1863||1861–1863||—||—||Lincoln||death|
|7||Thomas G. Jones||AL||1844–1914||1901–1914||—||—||T. Roosevelt||death|
|8||Henry De Lamar Clayton Jr.||AL||1857–1929||1914–1929||—||—||Wilson||death|
|9||Charles Brents Kennamer||AL||1874–1955||1931–1955||—||—||Hoover||death|
|10||Frank Minis Johnson||AL||1918–1999||1955–1979||1966–1979||—||Eisenhower||appointment to 11th Cir.|
|11||Thomas Virgil Pittman||AL||1916–2012||1966–1970||—||—||L. Johnson||seat abolished|
|12||Robert Edward Varner||AL||1921–2006||1971–1986||1979–1984||1986–2006||Nixon||death|
|13||Truman McGill Hobbs||AL||1921–2015||1980–1991||1984–1991||1991–2015||Carter||death|
|15||Joel Fredrick Dubina||AL||1947–present||1986–1990||—||—||Reagan||appointment to 11th Cir.|
|17||Ira De Ment||AL||1931–2011||1992–2002||—||2002–2011||G.H.W. Bush||death|
|18||Mark Fuller||AL||1958–present||2002–2015||2004–2011||—||G.W. Bush||resignation|
Chief judges have administrative responsibilities with respect to their district court. Unlike the Supreme Court, where one justice is specifically nominated to be chief, the office of chief judge rotates among the district court 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 or remain chief after turning 70 years old. The current rules have been in operation since October 1, 1982.
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.
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
- http://www.fjc.gov/history/home.nsf/page/courts_district_al.html U.S. District Courts of Alabama, Legislative history, Federal Judicial Center
- 28 U.S.C. § 81
- 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.
- 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.
- http://www.leagle.com/decision/1964974231FSupp743_1831 (Lee v. Macon County Board of Education)