United States District Court for the District of South Carolina

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United States District Court for the District of South Carolina
(D.S.C.)
USDC for South Carolina.png
South Carolina Locator Map.PNG
Location Charleston
Appeals to Fourth Circuit
Established October 7, 1965
Judges 10
Chief Judge Terry L. Wooten
Officers of the court
U.S. Attorney Sherri Lydon
U.S. Marshal Thomas M. Griffin Jr.
www.scd.uscourts.gov

The United States District Court for the District of South Carolina (in case citations, D.S.C.) is the federal district court whose jurisdiction is the state of South Carolina. Court is held in the cities of Aiken, Anderson, Beaufort, Charleston, Columbia, Florence, Greenville, and Spartanburg.

Appeals from the District of South Carolina are taken to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (except for patent claims and claims against the U.S. government under the Tucker Act, which are appealed to the Federal Circuit).

History[edit]

The District of South Carolina was one of the original 13 courts established by the Judiciary Act of 1789, 1 Stat. 73, on September 24, 1789.[1] It was subdivided into the United States District Court for the Eastern District of South Carolina and the United States District Court for the Western District of South Carolina Districts on February 21, 1823, by 3 Stat. 726.[1] The Eastern District was headquartered at Florence,[2] and the Western District was headquartered in Greenville.[3] The division was solely for the purposes of holding court – a single judge presided over both districts, and the act authorized no additional court staff.[1]

In 1898 the United States Supreme Court held in Barrett v. United States[4] that South Carolina legally constituted a single judicial district. Congress made another effort to subdivide the District on March 3, 1911, by 36 Stat. 1087, 1123. South Carolina was again split into Eastern and the Western Districts, with one judgeship authorized to serve both districts, effective January 1, 1912.[1] Congress finally authorized an additional judgeship for the Western District, and assigned the sitting judge exclusively to the Eastern District, on March 3, 1915, by 38 Stat. 961.[1] However, on October 7, 1965, by 79 Stat. 951, South Carolina was reorganized as a single judicial district with four judgeships authorized for the district court.[1] It has since remained a single District.

The United States Attorney for the District of South Carolina represents the United States in civil and criminal litigation in the court. Sherri Lydon is the U.S. attorney for the district.

Current judges[edit]

# Title Judge Duty station Born Term of service Appointed by
Active Chief Senior
33 Chief Judge Terry L. Wooten Columbia 1954 2001–present 2013–present G.W. Bush
26 District Judge David C. Norton Charleston 1946 1990–present 2007–2012 G.H.W. Bush
35 District Judge Robert Bryan Harwell Florence 1959 2004–present G.W. Bush
36 District Judge Richard Mark Gergel Charleston 1954 2010–present Obama
37 District Judge J. Michelle Childs Columbia 1966 2010–present Obama
38 District Judge Timothy M. Cain Anderson 1961 2011–present Obama
39 District Judge Mary Geiger Lewis Columbia 1958 2012–present Obama
40 District Judge Bruce Howe Hendricks Greenville 1957 2014–present Obama
41 District Judge Donald C. Coggins Jr. Spartanburg 1959 2017–present Trump
43 District Judge vacant
25 Senior Judge Joseph Fletcher Anderson Jr. Columbia 1949 1986–2014 2000–2007 2014–present Reagan
28 Senior Judge Henry Michael Herlong Jr. Greenville 1944 1991–2009 2009–present G.H.W. Bush
30 Senior Judge Cameron McGowan Currie Columbia 1948 1994–2013 2013–present Clinton
31 Senior Judge Patrick Michael Duffy Charleston 1943 1995–2009 2009–present Clinton
32 Senior Judge Margaret B. Seymour Columbia 1947 1998–2013 2012–2013 2013–present Clinton

Vacancies and pending nominations[edit]

Seat Seat last held by Vacancy reason Date of vacancy Nominee Date of nomination
8 A. Marvin Quattlebaum Jr. Elevation September 6, 2018

Former judges[edit]

# Judge State Born–died Active service Chief Judge Senior status Appointed by Reason for
termination
1 William Drayton Sr. SC 1732–1790 1789[5]–1790 Washington death
2 Thomas Bee SC 1739–1812 1790–1812 Washington death
3 John Drayton SC 1766–1822 1812–1822 Madison death
4 Thomas Lee SC 1769–1839 1823–1839 Monroe death
5 Robert Budd Gilchrist SC 1796–1856 1839[6]–1856 Van Buren death
6 Andrew Gordon Magrath SC 1813–1893 1856–1860 Pierce resignation
7 George Seabrook Bryan SC 1809–1905 1866–1886 A. Johnson retirement
8 Charles Henry Simonton SC 1829–1904 1886[7]–1893 Cleveland appointment to 4th Cir.
9 William H. Brawley SC 1841–1916 1894–1911 Cleveland retirement
10 Henry Augustus Middleton Smith SC 1853–1924 1911–1912 Taft seat reassigned
11 Charles Cecil Wyche SC 1885–1966 1965[8]–1966 F. Roosevelt death
12 James Robert Martin Jr. SC 1909–1984 1965[9]–1979 1965–1979 1979–1984 Kennedy death
13 Robert W. Hemphill SC 1915–1983 1965[10]–1980 1979–1980 1980–1983 L. Johnson death
14 Charles Earl Simons Jr. SC 1916–1999 1965[11]–1986 1980–1986 1986–1999 L. Johnson death
15 Donald S. Russell SC 1906–1998 1966–1971 L. Johnson appointment to 4th Cir.
16 Robert F. Chapman SC 1926–2018 1971–1981 Nixon appointment to 4th Cir.
17 Solomon Blatt Jr. SC 1921–2016 1971–1990 1986–1990 1990–2016 Nixon death
18 Matthew James Perry Jr. SC 1921–2011 1979–1995 1995–2011 Carter death
19 Falcon Black Hawkins Jr. SC 1927–2005 1979–1993 1990–1993 1993–2005 Carter death
20 Charles Weston Houck SC 1933–2017 1979–2003 1993–2000 2003–2017 Carter death
21 George Ross Anderson Jr. SC 1929–present 1980–2009 2009–2016 Carter retirement
22 William Walter Wilkins SC 1942–present 1981–1986 Reagan appointment to 4th Cir.
23 Clyde H. Hamilton SC 1934–present 1981–1991 Reagan appointment to 4th Cir.
24 Karen L. Henderson SC 1944–present 1986–1990 Reagan appointment to D.C. Cir.
27 Dennis Shedd SC 1953–present 1990–2002 G.H.W. Bush appointment to 4th Cir.
29 William Byrd Traxler Jr. SC 1948–present 1992–1998 G.H.W. Bush appointment to 4th Cir.
34 Henry Franklin Floyd SC 1947–present 2003–2011 G.W. Bush appointment to 4th Cir.
42 A. Marvin Quattlebaum Jr. SC 1964–present 2018 Trump appointment to 4th Cir.

Chief judges[edit]

Chief judges have administrative responsibilities with respect to their district court. Unlike the Supreme Court, where one justice is specifically nominated to be chief, the office of chief judge rotates among the district court 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[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f U.S. District Courts of South Carolina, Legislative history, Federal Judicial Center.
  2. ^ The Florence, South Carolina, courthouse, Federal Judicial Center.
  3. ^ The Greenville, South Carolina, courthouse, Federal Judicial Center.
  4. ^ Barrett v. United States, 169 U.S. 219 (1898).
  5. ^ Recess appointment; formally nominated on February 8, 1790, confirmed by the United States Senate on February 10, 1790, and received commission on February 10, 1790.
  6. ^ Recess appointment; formally nominated on January 29, 1840, confirmed by the United States Senate on February 17, 1840, and received commission on February 17, 1840.
  7. ^ Recess appointment; formally nominated on December 9, 1886, confirmed by the United States Senate on January 13, 1887, and received commission on January 13, 1887.
  8. ^ Initially appointed to the Western District of South Carolina in 1937 by Franklin D. Roosevelt; reassigned to the District of South Carolina in 1965.
  9. ^ Initially appointed to both the Eastern District of South Carolina and the Western District of South Carolina in 1961 by John F. Kennedy; reassigned to the District of South Carolina in 1965.
  10. ^ Initially appointed to both the Eastern District of South Carolina and the Western District of South Carolina in 1964 by Lyndon B. Johnson; reassigned to the District of South Carolina in 1965.
  11. ^ Initially appointed to the Eastern District of South Carolina in 1964 by Lyndon B. Johnson; reassigned to the District of South Carolina in 1965.

External links[edit]