Stephen A. Higginson

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Stephen Andrew Higginson
Judge Stephen A. Higginson.jpg
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
Assumed office
November 2, 2011
Appointed byBarack Obama
Preceded byJacques L. Wiener Jr.
Personal details
Stephen Andrew Higginson

(1961-04-12) April 12, 1961 (age 58)
Boston, Massachusetts
EducationHarvard University (B.A.)
University of Cambridge (M.Phil.)
Yale University (J.D.)

Stephen Andrew Higginson (born April 12, 1961) is a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Boston, Higginson graduated from the Groton School in Groton, Massachusetts in 1979.[1] He then attended Harvard University and graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College with an Artium Baccalaureus degree in 1983, where he concentrated in Government and English. After earning a Master of Philosophy from the University of Cambridge the following year, he enrolled in Yale Law School, where from he graduated with a Juris Doctor in 1987. During his time at Yale, he served as Editor-in-Chief of the Yale Law Journal.[2][3][4]

From 1987 until 1988, Higginson served as a law clerk for Judge Patricia Wald of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He then served as a clerk for Associate Justice Byron White on the United States Supreme Court from 1988 until 1989.[5][4]

Professional career[edit]

Higginson became an Assistant United States Attorney in 1989, working in the criminal division for the District of Massachusetts. In 1993, he shifted to working in the Eastern District of Louisiana, and he became chief of appeals in 1995. From 2004 to 2011, he worked part-time as a prosecutor, continuing to supervise the appellate section.[5] In 2004, he became a full-time faculty member at Loyola University New Orleans College of Law.[5] He taught criminal procedure, constitutional law and evidence. Higginson is an elected member of the American Law Institute.[4]

Federal judicial service[edit]

On May 5, 2011, President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate Higginson to a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and submitted the nomination to the Senate on May 9, 2011.[5] Senator Mary Landrieu had recommended Higginson to Obama for the vacancy in November 2010.[6] The Senate confirmed Higginson's nomination by a vote of 88–0 on October 31, 2011, and he received his commission and was sworn into office on November 2, 2011. He fills the seat that had been held by Judge Jacques L. Wiener Jr., who took senior status in 2010.[4]

In June 2017, Higginson, over the dissent of Judge Edith Jones, found that a university did not violate the Due Process Clause or Title IX when it expelled a student for committing a campus sexual assault, as well as his girlfriend, who had recorded the assault and shared the video on social media.[7][8]


Higginson is married to Collette Creppell, who is the university architect for Brown University and was the former director of the New Orleans City Planning Commission and the former university architect and director of campus planning for Tulane University.[9][10] The couple has three children and lives in New Orleans.


  1. ^ "Stephen Higginson '79". Groton School. Retrieved May 26, 2015.
  2. ^ "Loyola University New Orleans College of Law Biography: Stephen A. Higginson". Archived from the original on January 17, 2011. Retrieved May 7, 2011.
  3. ^ Higginson's resume as of November 2010 (PDF), from the office of Senator Mary Landrieu.
  4. ^ a b c d "Higginson, Stephen Andrew - Federal Judicial Center".
  5. ^ a b c d The White House: Office of the Press Secretary (May 5, 2011). "President Obama Announces Intent to Nominate Stephen Higginson to Serve on United States Court of Appeals". Retrieved May 7, 2011.
  6. ^ Maginnis, John (November 12, 2010). "Landrieu Recommends Names for 5th Circuit Vacancy". LaPolitics. Retrieved May 7, 2011.
  7. ^ Note, Fifth Circuit Holds that Due Process Standards May Be Lowered in the Presence of “Overwhelming” Video and Photographic Evidence of Guilt, 131 Harv. L. Rev. 634 (2017).
  8. ^ Plummer v. University of Houston, 860 F.3d 767 (5th Cir. 2017).
  9. ^ Tilove, Jonathon (May 5, 2011). "Stephen Higginson nominated to New Orleans-based federal appeals court". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved May 7, 2011.
  10. ^ "Collette Creppell, AIA, LEED AP BD+C Joins Eskew+Dumez+Ripple as Principal and Director of Urban Strategies".

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Jacques L. Wiener Jr.
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit