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United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

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First Circuit
Court of Appeals
1st Circuit seal.png
Judges: 6
Posts: 6
Vacancies: 0
Active judges
Chief: Sandra Lea Lynch
Senior Judges
Former Judges
Key:
(Numbers indicate % of seats vacant.)
0%0%-10%
10%-25%25%-40%
More than 40%

The United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, sometimes referred to as just the First Circuit, is a federal appellate court with appellate jurisdiction. The main court is located in Boston, Massachusetts but also has a branch in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Cases can be appealed from the First Circuit to the Supreme Court of the United States.

Vacancy warning level

The current vacancy warning level for the First Circuit is set at green. The court currently has no vacancies of its six posts.

Pending nominations

There are no pending nominations for the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.


Active judges

With six judicial posts and four authorized senior judges, the First Circuit is the smallest of the thirteen United States courts of appeals.

Despite its small size, the First Circuit has two alumni, David Souter and Stephen Breyer, who have sat on the Supreme Court of the United States.

Article III judges

See: Article III federal judge
JudgeBornHomeAppointed byActiveChiefPreceededBachelorsLaw
Judge Jeffrey R. HowardNovember 5, 1955Claremont, NHW. Bush 5/3/2002-PresentNorman StahlPlymouth State University, 1978Georgetown University Law, 1981
Judge Juan Torruella1933San Juan, PRReagan 10/4/1984-Present1994-2001New Seat|98 Stat. 333University of Pennsylvania, 1954Boston University Law, 1957
Chief Judge Sandra Lea Lynch1946Oak Park, ILClinton 3/17/1995-Present6/16/2008-PresentStephen BreyerWellesley College, 1968Boston University Law School, 1971
Judge O. Rogeriee Thompson8/8/1951Anderson, SCObama 3/17/2010-PresentBruce Marshall SelyaBrown University, 1973Boston University Law, 1976
Judge William Kayatta1953South Portland, ME; Pawtucket, RIObama 2/13/2013-PresentKermit LipezAmherst College, 1976Harvard Law, 1979
Judge David Barron1967Cambridge, MassachusettsObama 5/22/2014-PresentMichael BoudinHarvard, 1989Harvard Law, 1994

Senior judges

JudgeAppointed byActiveChiefSeniorBachelorsLaw
Senior Judge (Inactive) Conrad CyrH.W. Bush 11/20/1989-1/31/19971/31/1997-PresentHoly Cross College, 1953Yale Law School, 1956
Senior judge Norman StahlH.W. Bush 6/30/1992-4/16/20014/16/2001-PresentTufts University, 1952Harvard Law, 1955
Senior Judge Bruce Marshall SelyaReagan 10/14/1986-12/31/200612/31/2006-PresentHarvard University, 1955Harvard Law School, 1958
Senior Judge Levin Hicks CampbellNixon 6/30/1972-1/3/19921983-19901/3/1992-PresentHarvard College, 1948Harvard Law, 1951
Senior Judge Kermit LipezClinton 4/7/1998-12/31/201112/31/2011-PresentHaverford College, 1963Yale Law, 1967
Senior Judge Michael BoudinH.W. Bush 5/26/1992-6/1/20132001-20086/1/2013-PresentHarvard University, 1961Harvard Law, 1964


Jurisdiction

United States Court of Appeals for the First CircuitUnited States Court of Appeals for the First CircuitUnited States District Court for the District of MaineUnited States District Court for the District of New HampshireUnited States District Court for the District of MassachusettsUnited States District Court for the District of MassachusettsUnited States District Court for the District of Rhode IslandUnited States District Court for the District of Rhode IslandUnited States District Court for the District of Puerto RicoUnited States District Court for the District of Puerto RicoUnited States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico
Map of the First Circuit. Click on a district to find out more about it.


The First Circuit has appellate jurisdiction over cases heard in one of its subsidiary districts. These cases can include civil and criminal matters that fall under federal law. Appeals of rulings by the First Circuit Court of Appeals are petitioned to the Supreme Court of the United States. Justice Stephen Breyer is the Circuit Justice for the First Circuit.

The United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit has jurisdiction over the district courts in the following districts:


Caseloads

pChart


Federal Court Caseload Statistics*
YearStarting case load:Cases filed:Total cases:Cases terminated:Remaining casesTerminations on merits:Terminations on ProcedureCross Appeals:Total Terminations: Written decisions per Judge**
201312251578280314721331936473631472165
201212821587286916121257972549911612149
201112901507279714371360819542761437119
201014641530299417061288965647941706156
2009146417463210175014601049635661750163
2008160016313231177614551020705511776158
2007148818633351175215999906571051752164
20061643185234952027146811337741202027165
*All statistics are taken from the Official Federal Courts' Website (for District Courts) and reflect the calendar year through September.    **This statistic reflects only judges that are active for the entire 12 month period.

Notable cases

For a search-able list of decisions from the First Circuit, please see: First Circuit Searchable Opinions

History

First Circuit Court of Appeals (1891-present)

Congress established the U.S. circuit courts of appeals for nine judicial circuits in 1891. In 1905, an additional seat was added to the First Circuit and in 1915, the District of Puerto Rico was added to the First Circuit. Additional judicial seats were added in 1978 and two more in 1984.[5][6]

Circuit Courts for the First Circuit (1802-1891)

The Evarts Act in 1891 added a fourth tier to the federal judiciary, by establishing courts of appeals in each circuit. Circuit court judges were reassigned to the court of appeals.[7] The Judicial Code of 1911 abolished the entire circuit court system and established the three-tiered judicial system that is in place today.[8][9]

Circuit Court for the First Circuit (1801-1802)

The United States Circuit Court for the First Circuit was created by the Judiciary Act of 1801. Prior to this act, appeals were reviewed by a three-judge panel composed of two judges from the Supreme Court and the district court judge who had issued the decision being appealed. It provided the first circuit with three new judges.[10][11] The act was repealed thirteen months later when a new Congressional majority took power. They returned to the previous system, with slight modifications to lighten the travel load of the Supreme Court Justices.[10][12]

Judicial posts

The following table highlights the development of judicial posts for the First Circuit:

Year Statute Total Seats
March 3, 1891 26 Stat. 826 2
January 21, 1905 33 Stat. 611 3
October 20, 1978 92 Stat. 1629 4
July 10, 1984 98 Stat. 333 6
[13]

Former judges

Former chief judges

In order to qualify for the office of chief judge in one of the federal courts, 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 in the office of chief judge 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. Unlike the Chief Justice of the United States, a chief judge returns to active service after the expiration of his or her term and does not create a vacancy on the bench by the fact of his or her promotion.[14][15]

Former judges

To learn more about the judges who have served on the court, see former federal judges of the First Circuit.

Locations

The court is based at the John Joseph Moakley Federal Courthouse in Boston, Massachusetts. The court normally meets in Boston, but for two weeks each year it assembles in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico and occasionally at other locations within the circuit.

The John Joseph Moakley Federal Courthouse was designed by Henry Cobb, whose notable work includes Boston's John Hancock Tower and the headquarters for the International Monetary Fund in Washington D.C. Construction was finished in 1998. The building overlooks Boston Harbor, houses 27 courtrooms and is home to both the First Circuit and the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts. The dominant feature of the building is a 88-foot tall glass wall overlooking a park with views of downtown Boston and the Harbor.[16] You can find directions to the court house on the official website, MoakleyCourthouse.com under the Contact tab.

See also

External links

References