United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington

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United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington
(E.D. Wash.)
LocationThomas S. Foley Courthouse
More locations
Appeals toNinth Circuit
EstablishedMarch 2, 1905
Chief JudgeStanley Bastian
Officers of the court
U.S. AttorneyVanessa Waldref
U.S. MarshalCraig Thayer

The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington (in case citations, E.D. Wash.) is the federal district court whose jurisdiction comprises the following counties of the state of Washington: Adams, Asotin, Benton, Chelan, Columbia, Douglas, Ferry, Franklin, Garfield, Grant, Kittitas, Klickitat, Lincoln, Okanogan, Pend Oreille, Spokane, Stevens, Walla Walla, Whitman, and Yakima.

As of the 2000 United States census, 1.3 million people resided in the Eastern District, representing 22% of the state's population. The district includes the cities of Richland, Spokane, and Yakima, among others. The Federal Court in Yakima is located in the William O. Douglas Federal Building.

Cases from the Eastern District of Washington are appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, except for patent claims and claims against the U.S. government under the Tucker Act, which are appealed to the Federal Circuit.

The United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Washington represents the United States in civil and criminal litigation in the court.

As of October 7, 2021 United States Attorney is Vanessa Waldref.[1]

Current judges[edit]

As of September 16, 2022:

# Title Judge Duty station Born Term of service Appointed by
Active Chief Senior
22 Chief Judge Stanley Bastian Yakima 1958 2014–present 2020–present Obama
21 District Judge Thomas O. Rice Spokane 1960 2012–present 2016–2020 Obama
24 District Judge Mary K. Dimke Spokane 1977 2021–present Biden
25 District judge vacant
13 Senior Judge Justin L. Quackenbush Spokane 1929 1980–1995 1989–1995 1995–present Carter
15 Senior Judge William Fremming Nielsen Spokane 1934 1991–2003 1995–2000 2003–present G.H.W. Bush
17 Senior Judge Robert H. Whaley Spokane 1943 1995–2009 2005–2009 2009–present Clinton
18 Senior Judge Edward F. Shea Richland 1942 1998–2012 2012–present Clinton
19 Senior Judge Lonny R. Suko Yakima 1943 2003–2013 2009–2011 2013–present G.W. Bush
20 Senior Judge Rosanna M. Peterson Spokane 1951 2010–2021 2011–2016 2021–present Obama

Vacancies and pending nominations[edit]

Seat Prior judge's duty station Seat last held by Vacancy reason Date of vacancy Nominee Date of nomination
4 Richland, Washington Salvador Mendoza Jr. Elevation September 16, 2022 Charnelle Bjelkengren September 19, 2022

Former judges[edit]

# Judge State Born–died Active service Chief Judge Senior status Appointed by Reason for
1 Edward Whitson WA 1852–1910 1905–1910 T. Roosevelt death
2 Frank H. Rudkin WA 1864–1931 1911–1923 Taft elevation to 9th Cir.
3 J. Stanley Webster WA 1877–1962 1923–1939[Note 1] 1939–1962 Harding[Note 2] death
4 Lloyd Llewellyn Black WA 1889–1950 1940–1950[Note 3] F. Roosevelt/Operation of law death
5 Lewis B. Schwellenbach WA 1894–1948 1940–1945 F. Roosevelt resignation
6 Samuel Marion Driver WA 1892–1958 1946–1958 1948–1958 Truman death
7 William James Lindberg WA 1904–1981 1951–1961[Note 4] Truman seat abolished
8 Charles Lawrence Powell WA 1902–1975 1959–1972 1959–1972 1972–1975 Eisenhower death
9 William Nelson Goodwin WA 1909–1975 1966–1975[Note 4] 1972–1973 L. Johnson death
10 Marshall Allen Neill WA 1914–1979 1972–1979 1973–1979 Nixon death
11 Jack Edward Tanner WA 1919–2006 1978[Note 4] Carter seat abolished
12 Robert James McNichols WA 1922–1992 1979–1991 1980–1989 1991–1992 Carter death
14 Alan Angus McDonald WA 1927–2007 1985–1996 1996–2007 Reagan death
16 Frederick L. Van Sickle WA 1943–2021 1991–2008 2000–2005 2008–2021 G.H.W. Bush death
23 Salvador Mendoza Jr. WA 1971–present 2014–2022 Obama elevation to 9th Cir.
  1. ^ Recess appointment; formally nominated on December 15, 1923, confirmed by the United States Senate on January 16, 1924, and received commission the same day.
  2. ^ Initially appointed via recess appointment by Harding; formally nominated by and received commission from Coolidge
  3. ^ Black was initially appointed to the Western District of Washington in 1939; he was reassigned by operation of law to serve in both districts
  4. ^ a b c Jointly appointed to the Eastern and Western Districts of Washington.

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. ^ "Spokane Native Vanessa R. Waldref to be Sworn in as United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington" (Press release). Spokane, Washington: U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Washington. October 6, 2021. Retrieved October 7, 2021.

External links[edit]