William Byrd Traxler Jr.
|William Byrd Traxler Jr.|
|Senior Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit|
Assumed office |
August 31, 2018
|Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit|
July 8, 2009 – July 8, 2016
|Preceded by||Karen J. Williams|
|Succeeded by||Roger Gregory|
|Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit|
October 1, 1998 – August 31, 2018
|Appointed by||Bill Clinton|
|Preceded by||Donald S. Russell|
|Succeeded by||A. Marvin Quattlebaum Jr.|
|Judge of the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina|
March 2, 1992 – October 21, 1998
|Appointed by||George H. W. Bush|
|Preceded by||Clyde H. Hamilton|
|Succeeded by||Margaret B. Seymour|
May 1, 1948|
Greenville, South Carolina
Davidson College (B.A.)|
University of South Carolina School of Law (J.D.)
William Byrd Traxler Jr. (born May 1, 1948) is an American jurist who currently serves as a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
Early life and education
Traxler was born in Greenville, South Carolina. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Davidson College in 1970 and his Juris Doctor from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1973.
This section relies largely or entirely on a single source. (April 2018)
Traxler worked in the office of United States Army Reserve Adjutant General, from 1970–78. He practiced private law in Greenville from 1973–74 before working as a criminal prosecutor in the Office of the Solicitor for South Carolina's 13th Judicial Circuit from 1975–81.
From 1981–85, he served as Solicitor for the 13th Judicial Circuit, where he was the circuit's chief criminal prosecutor. In 1985, Traxler was elected by the General Assembly of South Carolina to be a state circuit court judge, where he served until becoming a federal judge in 1992.
Federal judicial service
Traxler was nominated by President George H. W. Bush in 1991, to a seat on the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina vacated by Clyde H. Hamilton. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on February 27, 1992, and received his commission on March 2, 1992. His service terminated on October 21, 1998, due to elevation to the Fourth Circuit.
Traxler presided over a significant case Hall vs. Marion School District 2, 1994. Judge Traxler ruled in favor of the defendant in this important case stating that Mullins District 2 acted illegally in firing a teacher for exercising free speech in criticizing her superintendent and school board. The school district appealed the case to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals and became one of the most important First Amendment cases to come down from the 4th Circuit in over a decade.
On July 10, 1998, President Bill Clinton nominated Traxler to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit to replace Judge Donald Stuart Russell, who had died on February 22, 1998. The Senate confirmed Traxler on voice vote on September 28, 1998. He received his commission on October 1, 1998. Traxler assumed senior status on August 31, 2018.
On the retirement of Chief Judge Karen J. Williams in July 2009, Traxler became the Chief Judge of the circuit. While continuing to serve as Chief Judge, Traxler joined the Charleston School of Law as a distinguished visiting professor of law in 2009.
- "Traxler, William Byrd, Jr. - Federal Judicial Center". fjc.gov. Retrieved April 23, 2018.
- Traxler Joins School as Distinguished Visiting Professor, Charleston School of Law (Oct. 9, 2009), 
- "Fourth Circuit Judge to Chair Judicial Conference Executive Committee". The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times.
- "Judge Roger L. Gregory will become the next chief judge of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals". The Associated Press. Daily Reporter. July 5, 2016. Retrieved July 7, 2016.
- William Byrd Traxler Jr. at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center.
Clyde H. Hamilton
| Judge of the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina
Margaret B. Seymour
Donald S. Russell
| Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
A. Marvin Quattlebaum Jr.
Karen J. Williams
| Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit