Collins J. Seitz

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Collins Jacques Seitz (June 20, 1914 – October 16, 1998) was a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit from 1966 until his death in 1998.

Born in Wilmington, Delaware, Seitz graduated from the University of Delaware and later the University of Virginia Law School. He began private practice in Wilmington in 1940, continuing until being appointed vice-chancellor of the Delaware Court of Chancery in 1946. He served as vice-chancellor until 1951, and also concurrently served on the Supreme Court of Delaware from 1949 to 1951. He was elevated to chancellor in 1951, and remained in this position until 1966.

During his term as chancellor, Seitz presided over the Gebhart v. Belton case, which was later combined with several other cases into the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education.

Seitz was nominated to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit by U.s. President Lyndon B. Johnson on February 28, 1966, to a seat vacated by John Biggs, Jr.. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on June 9, 1966, and received his commission. He served as chief judge of the Third Circuit, 1971–1984 and assumed senior status on June 1, 1989. His judicial service was terminated with his death on October 16, 1998.

His daughter, Virginia A. Seitz, is a well-known attorney at the Office of Legal Counsel of the Department of Justice. Seitz's son, Collins J. "C.J." Seitz, Jr., is justice of the Delaware Supreme Court. C.J. Seitz was a founding partner at the Delaware law firm of Seitz Ross Aronstam & Moritz.[1]


Public Offices
Office Type Location Took Office Left Office notes
Vice Chancellor Judiciary Dover 1946 1951 State Chancery Court
Justice Judiciary Dover 1949 1951 State Supreme Court
Chancellor Judiciary Dover 1951 1966 State Chancery Court
Judge Judiciary Philadelphia June 9, 1966 October 16, 1998 U.S. Court of Appeals
Chief Judge Judiciary Philadelphia 1971 1984 U.S. Court of Appeals


Legal offices
Preceded by
John Biggs, Jr.
Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
Succeeded by
Jane Richards Roth