|United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit|
|Location||Thomas F. Eagleton U.S. Courthouse|
|Established||June 16, 1891|
|Circuit Justice||Brett Kavanaugh|
|Chief Judge||Lavenski Smith|
- Eastern District of Arkansas
- Western District of Arkansas
- Northern District of Iowa
- Southern District of Iowa
- District of Minnesota
- Eastern District of Missouri
- Western District of Missouri
- District of Nebraska
- District of North Dakota
- District of South Dakota
The court is composed of eleven active judges and is based primarily at the Thomas F. Eagleton United States Courthouse in St. Louis, Missouri, and secondarily at the Warren E. Burger United States Courthouse in St. Paul, Minnesota. It is one of thirteen United States courts of appeals. In 1929 Congress passed a statute dividing the Eighth Circuit that placed Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Missouri, and Arkansas in the Eighth Circuit and created a Tenth Circuit that included Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Kansas, and Oklahoma.
Current composition of the court
As of January 27, 2023[update]:
|#||Title||Judge||Duty station||Born||Term of service||Appointed by|
|54||Chief Judge||Lavenski Smith||Little Rock, AR||1958||2002–present||2017–present||—||G.W. Bush|
|46||Circuit Judge||James B. Loken||Minneapolis, MN||1940||1990–present||2003–2010||—||G.H.W. Bush|
|55||Circuit Judge||Steven Colloton||Des Moines, IA||1963||2003–present||—||—||G.W. Bush|
|56||Circuit Judge||Raymond Gruender||Saint Louis, MO||1963||2004–present||—||—||G.W. Bush|
|57||Circuit Judge||Duane Benton||Kansas City, MO||1950||2004–present||—||—||G.W. Bush|
|58||Circuit Judge||Bobby Shepherd||El Dorado, AR||1951||2006–present||—||—||G.W. Bush|
|59||Circuit Judge||Jane L. Kelly||Cedar Rapids, IA||1964||2013–present||—||—||Obama|
|60||Circuit Judge||Ralph R. Erickson||Fargo, ND||1959||2017–present||—||—||Trump|
|61||Circuit Judge||L. Steven Grasz||Omaha, NE||1961||2018–present||—||—||Trump|
|62||Circuit Judge||David Stras||Minneapolis, MN||1974||2018–present||—||—||Trump|
|63||Circuit Judge||Jonathan A. Kobes||Sioux Falls, SD||1974||2018–present||—||—||Trump|
|42||Senior Circuit Judge||Pasco Bowman II||inactive||1933||1983–2003||1998–1999||2003–present||Reagan|
|43||Senior Circuit Judge||Roger Leland Wollman||Sioux Falls, SD||1934||1985–2018||1999–2002||2018–present||Reagan|
|45||Senior Circuit Judge||C. Arlen Beam||inactive||1930||1987–2001||—||2001–present||Reagan|
|47||Senior Circuit Judge||David R. Hansen||inactive||1938||1991–2003||2002–2003||2003–present||G.H.W. Bush|
|48||Senior Circuit Judge||Morris S. Arnold||Little Rock, AR||1941||1992–2006||—||2006–present||G.H.W. Bush|
|53||Senior Circuit Judge||Michael Joseph Melloy||Cedar Rapids, IA||1948||2002–2013||—||2013–present||G.W. Bush|
List of former judges
|#||Judge||State||Born–died||Active service||Chief Judge||Senior status||Appointed by||Reason for|
|1||Henry Clay Caldwell||AR||1832–1915||1891–1903||—||—||B. Harrison / Operation of law||retirement|
|2||Walter Henry Sanborn||MN||1845–1928||1892–1928||—||—||B. Harrison||death|
|3||Amos Madden Thayer||MO||1841–1905||1894–1905||—||—||Cleveland||death|
|4||Willis Van Devanter||WY||1859–1941||1903–1910||—||—||T. Roosevelt||elevation to Supreme Court|
|5||William Cather Hook||KS||1857–1921||1903–1921||—||—||T. Roosevelt||death|
|6||Elmer Bragg Adams||MO||1842–1916||1905–1916||—||—||T. Roosevelt||death|
|7||John Emmett Carland||SD||1853–1922||1911–1922||—||—||||death|
|8||Walter I. Smith||IA||1862–1922||1911–1922||—||—||Taft||death|
|10||Robert E. Lewis||CO||1857–1941||1921–1929||—||—||Harding||reassignment to 10th Cir.|
|11||William Squire Kenyon||IA||1869–1933||1922–1933||—||—||Harding||death|
|12||Wilbur F. Booth||MN||1861–1944||1925–1932||—||1932–1944||Coolidge||death|
|13||Arba Seymour Van Valkenburgh||MO||1862–1944||1925–1933||—||1933–1944||Coolidge||death|
|14||John Hazelton Cotteral||OK||1864–1933||1928–1929||—||—||Coolidge||reassignment to 10th Cir.|
|15||Archibald K. Gardner||SD||1867–1962||1929–1960||1948–1959||1960–1962||Hoover||death|
|16||John B. Sanborn Jr.||MN||1883–1964||1932–1958||—||1959–1964||Hoover||death|
|17||Joseph William Woodrough||NE||1873–1977||1933–1961||—||1961–1977||F. Roosevelt||death|
|18||Charles Breckenridge Faris||MO||1864–1938||1935||—||1935–1938||F. Roosevelt||death|
|19||Seth Thomas||IA||1873–1962||1935–1954||—||1954–1962||F. Roosevelt||death|
|20||Harvey M. Johnsen||NE||1895–1975||1940–1965||1959–1965||1965–1975||F. Roosevelt||death|
|21||Walter Garrett Riddick||AR||1883–1953||1941–1953||—||—||F. Roosevelt||death|
|22||John Caskie Collet||MO||1898–1955||1947–1955||—||—||Truman||death|
|23||Charles Joseph Vogel||ND||1898–1980||1954–1968||1965–1968||1968–1980||Eisenhower||death|
|24||Martin Donald Van Oosterhout||IA||1900–1979||1954–1971||1968–1970||1971–1979||Eisenhower||death|
|25||Charles Evans Whittaker||MO||1901–1973||1956–1957||—||—||Eisenhower||elevation to Supreme Court|
|26||Marion Charles Matthes||MO||1906–1980||1958–1973||1970–1973||1973–1980||Eisenhower||death|
|27||Harry Blackmun||MN||1908–1999||1959–1970||—||—||Eisenhower||elevation to Supreme Court|
|28||Albert Alphonso Ridge||MO||1898–1967||1961–1965||—||1965–1967||Kennedy||death|
|30||Floyd Robert Gibson||MO||1910–2001||1965–1979||1974–1979||1979–2001||L. Johnson||death|
|31||Donald P. Lay||MN||1926–2007||1966–1992||1979–1992||1992–2007||L. Johnson||death|
|32||Gerald Heaney||MN||1918–2010||1966–1988||—||1988–2006||L. Johnson||retirement|
|33||Myron H. Bright||ND||1919–2016||1968–1985||—||1985–2016||L. Johnson||death|
|34||Donald Roe Ross||NE||1922–2013||1970–1987||—||1987–2013||Nixon||death|
|35||Roy Laverne Stephenson||IA||1917–1982||1971–1982||—||1982–1982||Nixon||death|
|36||William H. Webster||MO||1924–present||1973–1978||—||—||Nixon||resignation|
|37||J. Smith Henley||AR||1917–1997||1975–1982||—||1982–1997||Ford||death|
|39||Richard S. Arnold||AR||1936–2004||1980–2001||1992–1998||2001–2004||Carter||death|
|40||John R. Gibson||MO||1925–2014||1982–1994||—||1994–2014||Reagan||death|
|41||George Gardner Fagg||IA||1934–2015||1982–1999||—||1999–2015||Reagan||death|
|44||Frank J. Magill||ND||1927–2013||1986–1997||—||1997–2013||Reagan||death|
|49||Diana E. Murphy||MN||1934–2018||1994–2016||—||2016–2018||Clinton||death|
|50||John David Kelly||ND||1934–1998||1998||—||—||Clinton||death|
|51||Kermit Edward Bye||ND||1937–2021||2000–2015||—||2015–2016||Clinton||retirement|
|52||William J. Riley||NE||1947–2023||2001–2017||2010–2017||2017–2023||G.W. Bush||death|
Chief judges have administrative responsibilities with respect to their circuits, and preside over any panel on which they serve, unless the circuit justice (i.e., the Supreme Court justice responsible for the circuit) is also on the panel. Unlike the Supreme Court, where one justice is specifically nominated to be chief, the office of chief judge rotates among the circuit 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.
Succession of seats
The court has had thirteen seats for active judges. Two of these seats were reassigned to the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, leaving a eleven-seat court. The seats are numbered in the order in which they were initially filled. Judges who assume senior status enter a kind of retirement in which they remain on the bench, while vacating their seats, thus allowing the U.S. President to appoint new judges to fill their seats.
- Judicial appointment history for United States federal courts#Eighth Circuit
- List of current United States circuit judges
- "Tenth Circuit Act of 1929". Official website of the Federal Judicial Center. Archived from the original on 2006-09-26. Retrieved 2006-10-20.
- Caldwell was appointed as a circuit judge for the Eighth Circuit in 1890 by Benjamin Harrison. The Judiciary Act of 1891 reassigned his seat to what is now the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.
- Recess appointment, confirmed by the United States Senate at a later date.
- Carland did not have a permanent seat on this court. Instead, he was appointed to the ill-fated United States Commerce Court in 1911 by William Howard Taft. Aside from their duties on the Commerce Court, the judges of the Commerce Court also acted as at-large appellate judges, able to be assigned by the Chief Justice of the United States to whichever circuit most needed help. Carland was assigned to the Eighth Circuit upon his commission.
- "Standard Search". Federal Law Clerk Information System. Archived from the original on October 21, 2005. Retrieved June 10, 2005.
- primary but incomplete source for the duty stations
- "Instructions for Judicial Directory". Website of the University of Texas Law School. Archived from the original on November 11, 2005. Retrieved July 4, 2005.
- secondary source for the duty stations
- data is current to 2002
- "U. S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit". Official website of the Federal Judicial Center. Archived from the original on May 2, 2005. Retrieved June 10, 2005.
- source for the state, lifetime, term of active judgeship, term of chief judgeship, term of senior judgeship, appointer, termination reason, and seat information