United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma

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United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma
(E.D. Okla.)
LocationEd Edmondson U.S. Courthouse
More locations
Appeals toTenth Circuit
EstablishedJune 16, 1906
Chief JudgeRonald A. White
Officers of the court
U.S. AttorneyBrian Kuester

The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma (in case citations, E.D. Okla. or E.D. Ok.) is a federal court in the Tenth Circuit (except for patent claims and claims against the U.S. government under the Tucker Act, which are appealed to the Federal Circuit).

The District was established on June 16, 1906 and became operational on November 16, 1907 with Oklahoma achieving statehood.[1]

The courts jurisdiction comprises the following counties: Adair, Atoka, Bryan, Carter, Cherokee, Choctaw, Coal, Haskell, Hughes, Johnston, Latimer, Le Flore, Love, Marshall, McCurtain, McIntosh, Murray, Muskogee, Okfuskee, Okmulgee, Pittsburg, Pontotoc, Pushmataha, Seminole, Sequoyah, and Wagoner.

The court is housed in the Ed Edmondson U.S. Courthouse in Muskogee.

The United States Attorney's Office of the Eastern District of Oklahoma represents the United States in civil and criminal litigation in the court. The current United States Attorney for the district is Brian Kuester.


Judge Frank Howell Seay, appointed to the court by President Jimmy Carter in 1979, was the first Native American (Seminole) appointed to any U.S. district court.

Current judges[edit]

As of August 1, 2017:

# Title Judge Duty station Born Term of service Appointed by
Active Chief Senior
17 Chief Judge Ronald A. White Muskogee 1961 2003–present 2017–present G.W. Bush
18 District Judge vacant
13 Senior Judge Frank Howell Seay Muskogee 1938 1979–2003 1980–1996 2003–present Carter
16 Senior Judge James H. Payne[Note 1] Muskogee 1941 2001–2017 2002–2017 2017–present G.W. Bush
  1. ^ Judge Payne is jointly appointed to the Eastern, Northern, and Western Districts of Oklahoma.

Vacancies and pending nominations[edit]

Seat Seat last held by Vacancy reason Date of vacancy Nominee Date of nomination
3 James H. Payne Senior Status August 1, 2017

Former judges[edit]

# Judge State Born–died Active service Chief Judge Senior status Appointed by Reason for
1 Ralph E. Campbell OK 1867–1921 1907–1918[Note 1] T. Roosevelt resignation
2 Robert L. Williams OK 1868–1948 1919–1937 Wilson elevation to 10th Cir.
3 Franklin Elmore Kennamer OK 1879–1960 1924–1925 Coolidge reassignment to N.D. Okla.
4 Alfred P. Murrah OK 1904–1975 1937–1940 F. Roosevelt elevation to 10th Cir.
5 Eugene Rice OK 1891–1967 1937–1963 1949–1963 1963–1967 F. Roosevelt death
6 Bower Slack Broaddus OK 1888–1949 1940–1949 F. Roosevelt death
7 William Robert Wallace OK 1886–1960 1950–1960 Truman death
8 Luther L. Bohanon OK 1902–2003 1961–1974 1974–2003 Kennedy death
9 Frederick Alvin Daugherty OK 1914–2006 1961–1982[Note 2] 1973–1975 1982–2006 Kennedy death
10 Orville Edwin Langley OK 1908–1973 1965–1973 1965–1973 L. Johnson death
11 Joseph Wilson Morris OK 1922–present 1974–1978 1975–1978 Nixon resignation
12 H. Dale Cook OK 1924–2008 1974–1992 1992–2008 Ford death
14 David Lynn Russell OK 1942–present 1981–1990 Reagan seat abolished
15 Michael Burrage OK 1950–present 1994–2001 1996–2001 Clinton resignation
  1. ^ Recess appointment; formally nominated on December 8, 1907, confirmed by the United States Senate on January 13, 1908, and received commission the same day
  2. ^ Recess appointment; formally nominated on January 15, 1962, confirmed by the Senate on February 7, 1962, and received commission on February 17, 1962

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]


  1. ^ http://www.fjc.gov/history/home.nsf/page/courts_district_ok.html U.S. District Courts of Oklahoma, Legislative history, Federal Judicial Center

External links[edit]