|United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit|
|Location||John Joseph Moakley U.S. Courthouse|
|Established||June 16, 1891|
|Circuit Justice||Ketanji Brown Jackson|
|Chief Judge||David J. Barron|
- District of Maine
- District of Massachusetts
- District of New Hampshire
- District of Puerto Rico
- District of Rhode Island
The court is based at the John Joseph Moakley Federal Courthouse in Boston, Massachusetts. Most sittings are held in Boston, where the court usually sits for one week most months of the year; in one of July or August, it takes a summer break and does not sit. The First Circuit also sits for one week each March and November at the Jose V. Toledo Federal Building and United States Courthouse in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, and occasionally sits at other locations within the circuit.
With six active judges and four active senior judges, the First Circuit has the fewest judges of any of the thirteen United States courts of appeals. Since retiring from the United States Supreme Court, Associate Justice David Souter has occasionally sat on the First Circuit by designation.
Current composition of the court
As of June 23, 2023[update]:
|#||Title||Judge||Duty station||Born||Term of service||Appointed by|
|32||Chief Judge||David J. Barron||Boston, MA||1967||2014–present||2022–present||—||Obama|
|31||Circuit Judge||William J. Kayatta Jr.||Portland, ME||1953||2013–present||—||—||Obama|
|33||Circuit Judge||Gustavo Gelpí||San Juan, PR||1965||2021–present||—||—||Biden|
|34||Circuit Judge||Lara Montecalvo||Providence, RI||1974||2022–present||—||—||Biden|
|35||Circuit Judge||Julie Rikelman||Boston, MA||1972||2023–present||—||—||Biden|
|18||Senior Circuit Judge||Levin H. Campbell||inactive||1927||1972–1992||1983–1990||1992–present||Nixon|
|22||Senior Circuit Judge||Bruce M. Selya||Providence, RI||1934||1986–2006||—||2006–present||Reagan|
|27||Senior Circuit Judge||Sandra Lynch||Boston, MA||1946||1995–2022||2008–2015||2022–present||Clinton|
|28||Senior Circuit Judge||Kermit Lipez||Portland, ME||1941||1998–2011||—||2011–present||Clinton|
|29||Senior Circuit Judge||Jeffrey R. Howard||Concord, NH||1955||2002–2022||2015–2022||2022–present||G.W. Bush|
|30||Senior Circuit Judge||O. Rogeriee Thompson||Providence, RI||1951||2010–2022||—||2022–present||Obama|
Vacancies and pending nominations
|Seat||Prior judge's duty station||Seat last held by||Vacancy reason||Date of vacancy||Nominee||Date of nomination|
|2||Concord, NH||Jeffrey R. Howard||Senior status||March 31, 2022||Seth Aframe||October 4, 2023|
|3||Portland, ME||William J. Kayatta Jr.||TBD||–||–|
List of former judges
|#||Judge||State||Born–died||Active service||Chief Judge||Senior status||Appointed by||Reason for|
|1||LeBaron B. Colt||RI||1846–1924||1891–1913[Note 1]||—||—||Arthur / Operation of law||resignation|
|2||William LeBaron Putnam||ME||1835–1918||1892–1917||—||—||B. Harrison||retirement|
|3||Francis Cabot Lowell||MA||1855–1911||1905–1911||—||—||T. Roosevelt||death|
|6||George Hutchins Bingham||NH||1864–1949||1913–1939||—||1939–1949||Wilson||death|
|7||Charles Fletcher Johnson||ME||1859–1930||1917–1929||—||1929–1930||Wilson||death|
|8||George W. Anderson||MA||1861–1938||1918–1931||—||1931–1938||Wilson||death|
|10||James Madison Morton Jr.||MA||1869–1940||1932–1939||—||1939–1940||Hoover||death|
|11||Calvert Magruder||MA||1893–1968||1939–1959||1948–1959||1959–1968||F. Roosevelt||death|
|12||John Christopher Mahoney||RI||1882–1952||1940–1950||—||1950–1952||F. Roosevelt||death|
|13||Peter Woodbury||NH||1899–1970||1941–1964||1959–1964||1964–1970||F. Roosevelt||death|
|14||John Patrick Hartigan||RI||1887–1968||1950–1965||—||1965–1968||Truman||death|
|16||Edward McEntee||RI||1906–1981||1965–1976||—||1976–1981||L. Johnson||death|
|17||Frank M. Coffin||ME||1919–2009||1965–1989||1972–1983||1989–2009||L. Johnson||death|
|19||Hugh H. Bownes||NH||1920–2003||1977–1990||—||1990–2003||Carter||death|
|20||Stephen Breyer||MA||1938–present||1980–1994||1990–1994||—||Carter||elevation to Supreme Court|
|21||Juan R. Torruella||PR||1933–2020||1984–2020||1994–2001||—||Reagan||death|
|23||Conrad K. Cyr||ME||1931–2016||1989–1997||—||1997–2016||G.H.W. Bush||death|
|24||David Souter||NH||1939–present||1990||—||—||G.H.W. Bush||elevation to Supreme Court|
|25||Michael Boudin||MA||1939–present||1992–2013||2001–2008||2013–2021||G.H.W. Bush||retirement|
|26||Norman H. Stahl||NH||1931–2023||1992–2001||—||2001–2023||G.H.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 (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, with seniority determined first by commission date, then by age. The chief judge serves for a term of seven years, or until age 70, whichever occurs first. If no judge qualifies to be chief, the youngest judge over the age of 65 who has served on the court for at least one year shall act as chief until another judge qualifies. If no judge has served on the court for more than a year, the most senior judge shall act as chief. Judges can forfeit or resign their chief judgeship or acting chief judgeship while retaining their active status as a circuit judge.
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 six seats for active judges, 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 but vacate their seats, thus allowing the U.S. President to appoint new judges to fill their seats.
- West v. Randall (1820), one of the first decisions setting precedent for class action suits
- Courts of the United States
- Judicial appointment history for United States federal courts#First Circuit
- List of current United States circuit judges
- List of United States federal courthouses in the First Circuit
- "Court Calendar". United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. Retrieved October 26, 2012.
In January through June, and October through December, the Court usually sits for one week starting on the first Monday of the month. In either July or August, the court sits for one week. In September, the Court starts on the Wednesday after Labor Day and sits for the 3 days in that week and the 5 days in the following week. In November and March the court sits two weeks, with one week in Boston and one week in Puerto Rico. Court sittings are held in the morning, typically between 9:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.
- "Future Judicial Vacancies | United States Courts". www.uscourts.gov.
- 28 U.S.C. § 45
- 62 Stat. 871, 72 Stat. 497, 96 Stat. 51
- Dargo, George (1993). A History of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit: Volume I, 1891–1960.
- United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
- Recent opinions from Findlaw
- First Circuit Court Records Finder
- United States Courts for the First Circuit. "2002 Annual Report" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on October 15, 2004.