William Byrd Traxler Jr.

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William Byrd Traxler Jr.
Judge William Traxler.png
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
In office
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
In office
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
In office
March 2, 1992 – October 21, 1998
Appointed by George H. W. Bush
Preceded by Clyde H. Hamilton
Succeeded by Margaret B. Seymour
Personal details
Born (1948-05-01) May 1, 1948 (age 70)
Greenville, South Carolina
Education 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[edit]

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.[1]

Professional career[edit]

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.[1]

Federal judicial service[edit]

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.[1] 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.[citation needed]

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.[1] 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.[2]

In February 2013, Chief Justice John Roberts named Traxler the chair of the executive committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States.[3]

Traxler's term as Chief Judge ended on July 8, 2016 and he was succeeded by Judge Roger Gregory.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Traxler, William Byrd, Jr. - Federal Judicial Center". fjc.gov. Retrieved April 23, 2018.
  2. ^ Traxler Joins School as Distinguished Visiting Professor, Charleston School of Law (Oct. 9, 2009), [1]
  3. ^ "Fourth Circuit Judge to Chair Judicial Conference Executive Committee". The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times.
  4. ^ "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.

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Clyde H. Hamilton
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina
1992–1998
Succeeded by
Margaret B. Seymour
Preceded by
Donald S. Russell
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
1998–2018
Succeeded by
A. Marvin Quattlebaum Jr.
Preceded by
Karen J. Williams
Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
2009–2016
Succeeded by
Roger Gregory