United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

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Fourth Circuit
Court of Appeals
US-CourtOfAppeals-4thCircuit-Seal.png
Judges: 15
Posts: 15
Vacancies: 0
Active judges
Chief: William Traxler
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 Fourth Circuit, sometimes referred to as the Fourth Circuit, is one of the thirteen federal appellate courts. It has appellate jurisdiction over cases originating in federal courts in the states of South Carolina, North Carolina, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia. Rulings of the court are petitioned to the Supreme Court of the United States for appeal. The court was established in 1891 and has fifteen posts. The court is located at the Lewis F. Powell Jr. Federal Courthouse in Richmond, Virginia.

Vacancy warning level

The vacancy warning level for the Fourth Circuit is set at green. The court currently has no vacancies out of its 15 total seats.

Pending nominations

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


Active judges

Article III judges

JudgeBornHomeAppointed byActiveChiefPreceededBachelorsLaw
Judge Barbara Keenan1950Vienna, AustriaObama 3/2/2010 - PresentHiram WidenerCornell U.George Washington U. '74
Judge Steven Agee1952Roanoke, VAW. Bush 7/1/2008 - PresentMichael LuttigBridgewater College '74U. Virginia Law '77
Judge Harvie Wilkinson1944New York, NYReagan 8/13/1984 - Present1996-2003John ButznerYale, 1967U. Virginia Law, 1972
Judge Paul Niemeyer1941Princeton, NJH.W. Bush 8/7/1990-PresentHarrison WinterKenyon College, 1962Notre Dame Law, 1966
Judge Diana Motz1943Washington D.C.Clinton 6/16/1994 - PresentNew SeatVassar College '65U. Virginia Law '68
Chief Judge William Traxler1948Greenville, SCClinton 10/1/1998 - Present2009-PresentDonald RussellDavidson College '70University of South Carolina Law '73
Judge Robert King1940White Sulphur Springs, WVClinton 10/9/1998 - PresentKenneth HallWest Virginia U. '61West Virginia U. Law '68
Judge Roger Gregory1953Philadelphia, PAClinton 7/25/2001-PresentNew SeatVirginia State University, 1975University of Michigan Law, 1978
Judge Dennis Shedd1953Cordova, SCW. Bush 11/19/2002 - PresentClyde HamiltonWofford College, 1975University of South Carolina Law, 1978
Judge Allyson Duncan1951Durham, NCW. Bush 8/15/2003 - PresentSamuel ErvinHampton U. '72Duke Law '75
Judge Henry Floyd1947Brevard, NCObama 10/3/2011-PresentKaren J. WilliamsWofford College, 1970University of South Carolina Law, 1973
Judge James Wynn1954Robersonville, NCObama 8/5/2010 - PresentJames PhillipsUniversity of North Carolina '75Marquette U. Law '79
Judge Albert Diaz1960Brooklyn, NYObama 12/22/2010 - PresentWilliam Walter WilkinsUniversity of Pennsylvania '83New York U. Law '88
Judge Stephanie Thacker1965Huntington, WVObama 04/16/2012 - PresentBlane MichaelMarshall U., B.A., 1987West Virginia U. Law, J.D., 1990
Judge Pamela Harris1962Hartford, ConnecticutObama 2014-PresentAndre DavisYale, 1985Yale Law, 1990

Senior judges

JudgeAppointed byActiveChiefSeniorBachelorsLaw
Senior Judge Clyde HamiltonH.W. Bush 7/22/1991 - 11/30/199911/30/1999 - PresentWofford College '56George Washington U. Law '61
Senior Judge Andre DavisObama 11/10/2009-02/28/201402/28/2014-PresentUniversity of Pennsylvania, 1971University of Maryland Law, 1978
Senior Judge Robert ChapmanReagan 9/19/1981 - 5/31/19915/31/1991 - PresentUniversity of South Carolina, 1945Univeristy of South Carolina Law, 1949
Senior Judge James PhillipsCarter 8/11/1978 - 7/31/19947/31/1994 - PresentDavidson College '43University of North Carolina Law '48


Jurisdiction

United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth CircuitUnited States Court of Appeals for the Fourth CircuitUnited States District Court for the District of South CarolinaUnited States District Court for the Eastern District of North CarolinaUnited States District Court for the Middle District of North CarolinaUnited States District Court for the Western District of North CarolinaUnited States District Court for the Eastern District of VirginiaUnited States District Court for the Western District of VirginiaUnited States District Court for the Southern District of West VirginiaUnited States District Court for the Northern District of West VirginiaUnited States District Court for the District of MarylandUnited States District Court for the District of MarylandUnited States District Court for the District of ColumbiaUnited States District Court for the District of Columbia
Map of the Fourth Circuit. Click on a district to find out more about it.

The Fourth 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 Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals are petitioned to the Supreme Court of the United States. Chief Justice John Roberts is the Circuit Justice for the Fourth Circuit.

The court hears appeals from the United States district courts in:

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**
201325225061758352152368382811842035215243
201227385002774052192521380811862255219265
201132314576780750692738317717341585069245
201033434854819749513246289419291284951241
200933105311862152823339292621871695282270
200827935185797846713307258119161744671234
200731524542769449002794274119162434900243
200633215460878156283153320621972255628229
*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

Notable cases

For a searchable list of decisions from the Fourth Circuit, please see:
Fourth Circuit Searchable Opinions

History

Court history

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit was originally the United States Circuit Court for the Fourth Circuit and cases were heard by a district court judge and the Supreme Court justice appointed to the district. In 1869, a judgeship was created for each of the existing nine circuits allowing the circuit court to hear cases without a justice.[6][7]

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit was created by the Evarts Act of 1891. The Fourth Circuit served as a trial and appeals court until 1912 when its original jurisdiction was removed by the Judicial Code of 1911 and it became solely an appellate court.[8]

The Fourth Circuit prides itself on its traditions, still requiring judges to descend and shake the hands of all lawyers after oral arguments. Fourth Circuit Judge John Johnston Parker is credited for creating the first circuit conference in 1931.[9]

Judicial posts

The following table highlights the development of judicial posts for the Fourth Circuit:[7]

Year Statute Total Seats
March 3, 1891 26 Stat. 826 2
September 14, 1922 42 Stat. 837 3
May 19, 1961 75 Stat. 80 5
March 18, 1966 80 Stat. 75 7
October 20, 1978 92 Stat. 1629 10
July 10, 1984 98 Stat. 333 11
December 1, 1990 104 Stat. 5089 15


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.[10][11]

Former judges

For more information on former judges, see former federal judges of the Second Circuit.

Location

Lewis F. Powell, Jr. United States Courthouse

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals is housed in the Lewis F. Powell, Jr. United States Courthouse. The building, started in 1855 and completed in 1858, originally served as Richmond, Virginia's Custom House, Post Office and Courthouse. It was built in the Italianate style, popular in mid to late nineteenth century. The building was designed by Ammi B. Young, the Supervising Architect of the United States Treasury department and used iron beams and girders, a new concept in 1855. The main materials used in the construction of the building are steel, granite and limestone. Additions to the building were added in 1889, 1912 and 1932.

When Richmond was named the capital of the Confederacy during the Civil War, the courthouse was used as offices for Confederate President Jefferson Davis. The Courthouse was one of two buildings to survive in historic Richmond after the city was burned to the ground by the Confederate Army at the end of the war. After the Civil War, Davis was indicted for treason on the third floor of the building but was granted amnesty.

The courthouse was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1969. The Post Office had left the building by 1991 leaving the building to function solely in a judicial role. The courthouse was named in honor of Associate Justice Lewis Franklin Powell, Jr. by President Bill Clinton in 1993.[12]

See also

External links

References