United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky
|United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky|
|Location||Gene Snyder U.S. Courthouse|
|Appeals to||Sixth Circuit|
|Established||February 12, 1901|
|Chief Judge||Gregory N. Stivers|
|Officers of the court|
|U.S. Attorney||Michael A. Bennett (acting)|
|U.S. Marshal||Gary B. Burman|
Appeals from the Western District of Kentucky are taken to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit (except for patent claims and claims against the U.S. government under the Tucker Act, which are appealed to the Federal Circuit).
Jurisdiction includes the following Kentucky counties: Adair, Allen, Ballard, Barren, Breckinridge, Bullitt, Butler, Caldwell, Calloway, Carlisle, Casey, Christian, Clinton, Crittenden, Cumberland, Daviess, Edmonson, Fulton, Graves, Grayson, Green, Hancock, Hardin, Hart, Henderson, Hickman, Hopkins, Jefferson, LaRue, Livingston, Logan, Lyon, Marion, Marshall, McCracken, McLean, Meade, Metcalfe, Monroe, Muhlenberg, Nelson, Ohio, Oldham, Russell, Simpson, Spencer, Taylor, Todd, Trigg, Union, Warren, Washington, and Webster.
The following counties are in the Louisville Division: Breckinridge, Bullitt, Hardin, Jefferson, LaRue, Marion, Meade, Nelson, Oldham, Spencer, and Washington.
The following counties are in the Bowling Green Division: Adair, Allen, Barren, Butler, Casey, Clinton, Cumberland, Edmonson, Green, Hart, Logan, Metcalf, Monroe, Russell, Simpson, Taylor, Todd, and Warren.
The following counties are in the Owensboro Division: Daviess, Grayson, Hancock, Henderson, Hopkins, McLean, Muhlenberg, Ohio, Union, and Webster.
The following counties are in the Paducah Division: Ballard, Caldwell, Calloway, Carlisle, Christian, Crittenden, Fulton, Graves, Hickman, Livingston, Lyon, McCracken, Marshall, and Trigg.
The United States District Court for the District of Kentucky was one of the original 13 courts established by the Judiciary Act of 1789, 1 Stat. 73, on September 24, 1789. At the time, Kentucky was not yet a state, but was within the territory of the state of Virginia. The District was unchanged when Kentucky became a state on June 1, 1792. On February 13, 1801 the Judiciary Act of 1801, 2 Stat. 89, abolished the U.S. district court in Kentucky, but the repeal of this Act restored the District on March 8, 1802, 2 Stat. 132. The District was subdivided into Eastern and Western Districts on February 12, 1901, by 31 Stat. 781.
The court is based in Louisville and also holds sessions in federal courthouses in Bowling Green, Owensboro, and Paducah. The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati, Ohio maintains appellate jurisdiction over the district. Its court in Louisville is located at the Gene Snyder U.S. Courthouse.
The United States Attorney's Office for the Western District of Kentucky represents the United States in civil and criminal litigation in the court. As of January 20, 2021 the Acting United States Attorney is Michael A. Bennett.
As of December 1, 2020[update]:
|#||Title||Judge||Duty station||Born||Term of service||Appointed by|
|21||Chief Judge||Gregory N. Stivers||Bowling Green
|22||District Judge||David J. Hale||Louisville||1967||2014–present||—||—||Obama|
|23||District Judge||Claria Horn Boom[Note 1]||Louisville||1969||2018–present||—||—||Trump|
|24||District Judge||Rebecca Grady Jennings||Louisville||1978||2018–present||—||—||Trump|
|26||District Judge||Benjamin J. Beaton||Louisville||1981||2020–present||—||—||Trump|
|16||Senior Judge||Charles Ralph Simpson III||Louisville||1945||1986–2013||1994–2001||2013–present||Reagan|
|19||Senior Judge||Thomas B. Russell||Paducah
|20||Senior Judge||Joseph H. McKinley Jr.||Louisville
- Judge Boom is jointly appointed to the Eastern and Western Districts of Kentucky.
|#||Judge||State||Born–died||Active service||Chief Judge||Senior status||Appointed by||Reason for|
|1||Walter Evans||KY||1842–1923||1901–1923[Note 1]||—||—||McKinley/Operation of law||death|
|2||Charles Harwood Moorman||KY||1876–1938||1924–1925||—||—||Coolidge||elevation to 6th Cir.|
|3||Charles I. Dawson||KY||1881–1969||1925–1935||—||—||Coolidge||resignation|
|4||Elwood Hamilton||KY||1883–1945||1935–1938||—||—||F. Roosevelt||elevation to 6th Cir.|
|5||Mac Swinford||KY||1899–1975||1937–1975[Note 2]||—||—||F. Roosevelt||death|
|6||Shackelford Miller Jr.||KY||1892–1965||1939–1945||—||—||F. Roosevelt||elevation to 6th Cir.|
|7||Roy Mahlon Shelbourne||KY||1890–1974||1946–1964||1948–1960||1964–1974||Truman||death|
|8||Henry Luesing Brooks||KY||1905–1971||1954–1969||1960–1969||—||Eisenhower||elevation to 6th Cir.|
|9||James Fleming Gordon||KY||1918–1990||1965–1976||1969–1976||1976–1990||L. Johnson||death|
|10||Clifton Rhodes Bratcher||KY||1917–1977||1970–1977||1976–1977||—||Nixon||death|
|11||Charles Mengel Allen||KY||1916–2000||1971–1985||1977–1985||1985–2000||Nixon||death|
|12||Eugene Edward Siler Jr.||KY||1936–present||1975–1991[Note 2]||—||—||Ford||elevation to 6th Cir.|
|13||Edward Huggins Johnstone||KY||1922–2013||1977–1993||1985–1990||1993–2013||Carter||death|
|14||Thomas Austin Ballantine Jr.||KY||1926–1992||1977–1991||1990–1991||1991–1992||Carter||death|
|15||Ronald Edward Meredith||KY||1946–1994||1985–1994||1991–1994||—||Reagan||death|
|17||John G. Heyburn II||KY||1948–2015||1992–2014||2001–2008||2014–2015||G.H.W. Bush||death|
|18||Jennifer B. Coffman||KY||1948–present||1993–2013[Note 2]||—||—||Clinton||retirement|
|25||Justin R. Walker||KY||1982–present||2019–2020||—||—||Trump||elevation to D.C. Cir.|
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
- Courts of Kentucky
- List of current United States district judges
- List of United States federal courthouses in Kentucky
- Asbury Dickens, A Synoptical Index to the Laws and Treaties of the United States of America (1852), p. 391.
- U.S. District Courts of Kentucky, Legislative history, Federal Judicial Center.