Charles Sterling Hutcheson

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Charles Sterling Hutcheson (July 23, 1894 – October 24, 1969) was a United States federal judge.

Born in Mecklenburg County, Virginia, Hutcheson attended the University of Virginia and the College of William and Mary. He was a private in the United States Army from 1918 to 1919, thereafter entering private practice in Boydton, Virginia, from 1920 to 1944. He was the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia from 1933 to 1944.

On January 19, 1944, Hutcheson was nominated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to a seat on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia vacated by Luther B. Way. The United States Senate confirmed that appointment on February 8, 1944, and Hutcheson received his commission on February 10, 1944. He served as chief judge from 1948 to 1959. Beginning in 1955, Hutcheson served on a 3-judge panel with new district judge Walter E. Hoffman and senior 4th Circuit judge Morris Ames Soper (previously a state and federal trial judge in Baltimore, Maryland). That three judge panel issued a decision on January 19, 1959, declaring parts of the Stanley plan (enacted as part of Massive Resistance to the desegregation mandate in Brown v. Board of Education) violated the U.S. Constitution; and the Virginia Supreme Court on the same day (Robert E. Lee's birthday, a holiday in Virginia) issued a decision declaring other aspects of the Stanley plan unconstitutional under the Virginia Constitution. However, some local leaders continued to inflame controversy for several years, which Judge Hutcheson avoided by retiring.[1] He assumed senior status on September 1, 1959 and continued to serve in that capacity in various cases until his death in 1969. In 1983, his widow donated his papers to the Library of Virginia.[2]


  1. ^ Washington and Lee Law Review, Vol. 49, p. 24
  2. ^


Legal offices
Preceded by
Luther B. Way
Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
Succeeded by
Oren Ritter Lewis