United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama

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United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama
(S.D. Ala.)
Appeals to Eleventh Circuit
Established March 10, 1824
Judges assigned 3
Chief Judge Kristi DuBose
U.S. Attorney Richard W. Moore

The United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama (in case citations, S.D. Ala.) is a federal court in the Eleventh 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 March 10, 1824, with the division of the state into a Northern and Southern district.[1]

The United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Alabama represents the United States in civil and criminal litigation in the court. The current United States Attorney is Richard W. Moore.

Organization of the court[edit]

The United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama is one of three federal judicial districts in Alabama.[2] Court for the District is held at Mobile and Selma.

Mobile Division comprises the following counties: Baldwin, Choctaw, Clarke, Conecuh, Escambia, Mobile, Monroe, and Washington.

Selma Division comprises the following counties: Dallas, Hale, Marengo, Perry, and Wilcox.

Current judges[edit]

# Title Judge Duty station Born Term of service Appointed by
Active Chief Senior
20 Chief Judge Kristi DuBose Mobile 1964 2005–present 2017–present G.W. Bush
21 District Judge vacant
22 District Judge vacant
16 Senior Judge Charles Randolph Butler, Jr. Mobile 1940 1988–2005 1994–2003 2005–present Reagan
18 Senior Judge Callie V. Granade Mobile 1950 2002–2016 2003–2010 2016–present G.W. Bush
19 Senior Judge William H. Steele Mobile 1951 2003–2017 2010–2017 2017–present G.W. Bush

Vacancies and pending nominations[edit]

Seat Seat last held by Vacancy reason Date of vacancy Nominee Date of nomination
4 Callie V. Granade Senior Status March 7, 2016 Jeffrey Uhlman Beaverstock September 7, 2017
2 William H. Steele Senior Status June 8, 2017 Terry F. Moorer September 7, 2017

Former judges[edit]

# Judge State Born–died Active service Chief Judge Senior status Appointed by Reason for
1 Tait, CharlesCharles Tait AL 1768–1835 1824[3]–1826 Monroe, Monroe resignation
2 Crawford, WilliamWilliam Crawford AL 1784–1849 1826–1849 Adams, J.Q.J.Q. Adams death
3 Gayle, JohnJohn Gayle AL 1792–1859 1849–1859 Taylor, Taylor death
4 Jones, William GilesWilliam Giles Jones AL 1808–1883 1859[4]–1861 Buchanan, Buchanan resignation
5 Lane, George WashingtonGeorge Washington Lane AL 1806–1863 1861–1863 Lincoln, Lincoln death
6 Busteed, RichardRichard Busteed AL 1822–1898 1863[5]–1874 Lincoln, Lincoln resignation
7 Bruce, JohnJohn Bruce AL 1832–1901 1875–1886 Grant, Grant seat reassigned
8 Toulmin, Harry TheophilusHarry Theophilus Toulmin AL 1838–1916 1887–1916 Cleveland, Cleveland death
9 Ervin, Robert TaitRobert Tait Ervin AL 1863–1949 1917–1935 1935–1949 Wilson, Wilson death
10 McDuffie, JohnJohn McDuffie AL 1883–1950 1935–1950 Roosevelt, F.F. Roosevelt death
11 Thomas, Daniel HolcombeDaniel Holcombe Thomas AL 1906–2000 1951–1971 1966–1971 1971–2000 Truman, Truman death
12 Pittman, Thomas VirgilThomas Virgil Pittman AL 1916–2012 1966–1981 1971–1981 1981–2012 L. Johnson, L. Johnson death
13 Hand, William BrevardWilliam Brevard Hand AL 1924–2008 1971–1989 1981–1989 1989–2008 Nixon, Nixon death
14 Cox, Emmett RipleyEmmett Ripley Cox AL 1935–present 1981–1988 Reagan, Reagan appointment to 11th Cir.
15 Howard, Jr., Alex T.Alex T. Howard, Jr. AL 1924–2011 1986–1996 1989–1994 1996–2011 Reagan, Reagan death
17 Vollmer, Jr., Richard W.Richard W. Vollmer, Jr. AL 1926–2003 1990–2000 2000–2003 G.H.W.Bush, G.H.W.Bush death

Court Decisions[edit]

Wallace v. Jaffree (1983) – Court affirmed that silent prayer was permissible in Mobile County public schools. Decision was reversed by Eleventh Circuit and U.S. Supreme Court, both ruling that it violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

Smith v. Board of School Commissioners of Mobile County (1987) – Court rules that textbooks promoting secular humanism were unconstitutional, running contrary to the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. Decision was reversed by Eleventh Circuit, which held that secular humanism was not a violation of the Establishment Clause.

Searcy v. Strange (2015) – District Judge Callie V. S. "Ginny" Granade ruled that Alabama's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, violating the 14th Amendment's equal protection clause, on January 23. Days later, she issued an order clarifying her ruling, saying that all Alabama probate judges, who issue marriage licenses, must comply with the order. She stayed her order for two weeks to allow state defendants time to seek a stay from a higher court. On February 3, the Eleventh Circuit denied the stay, after denying a stay in a similar case out of Florida months before. On February 9, as the order was set to take effect, the U.S. Supreme Court also denied the stay.

Succession of seats[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ http://www.fjc.gov/history/home.nsf/page/courts_district_al.html U.S. District Courts of Alabama, Legislative history, Federal Judicial Center
  2. ^ 28 U.S.C. § 81
  3. ^ Initially appointed to the District of Alabama in 1820 by James Monroe; reassigned to both the Northern District of Alabama and the Southern District of Alabama in 1824.
  4. ^ Recess appointment; formally nominated on January 23, 1860, confirmed by the United States Senate on January 30, 1860, and received commission on January 30, 1860.
  5. ^ Recess appointment; formally nominated on January 5, 1864, confirmed by the United States Senate on January 20, 1864, and received commission on January 20, 1864.

External links[edit]