United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, known informally as the D.C. Circuit, is the federal appellate court for the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. Appeals from the D.C. Circuit, as with all the U.S. Courts of Appeals, are heard on a discretionary basis by the Supreme Court. It should not be confused with the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, which is roughly equivalent to a state supreme court in the District of Columbia, or with the Federal Circuit, whose jurisdiction is limited only by subject matter. The court was established in 1893 and currently has a total of eleven seats. The court is located at the E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse in Washington D.C..
Vacancy warning level
Currently the vacancy warning level for the District of Columbia Circuit is set at orange. The court currently has four vacancies out of their eleven total seats, constituting 36% of the total seats. However, there are two pending nominations awaiting action by the Senate.
The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has appellate jurisdiction over cases heard by the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. The Court is located in the E. Barrett Prettyman United States Courthouse and William B. Bryant Annex in Washington D.C..
The District of Columbia 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.
|Federal Court Case Load Statistics*|
|Year||Starting case load:||Cases filed:||Total cases:||Cases terminated:||Remaining cases||Terminations on merits:||Terminations on Procedure||Cross Appeals:||Total Terminations:||Written decisions per Judge**|
|*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.|
The official Clerk of Court is Mark Langer. The Office is open for filing from 9am to 4pm Monday through Friday, excluding Federal holidays. Office closing due to incliment weather will be announced on the Clerk's official phone line, at (202) 216-7000 and (202) 216-7296 and will also be announced on the following stations:WRC (Channel 4), WTTG (Channel 5), WJLA-TV (Channel 7), and WUSA (Channel 9).
United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia
E. Barrett Prettyman United States Courthouse
333 Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Washington D.C., DC 20001
The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit was established on February 9, 1893 by 27 Stat. 434 which granted the court one chief justice position and two associate justice seats. Over the years eight additional seats were added resulting in a total of eleven posts. 
The following table highlights the development of judicial posts for the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit:
|February 9, 1893||27 Stat. 434||3|
|June 19, 1930||46 Stat. 785||5|
|May 31, 1938||52 Stat. 584||6|
|August 3, 1949||63 Stat. 493||9|
|October 20, 1978||92 Stat. 1629||11|
|July 10, 1984||98 Stat. 333||12|
|January 7, 2008||121 Stat. 2534||11|
This page is missing notable case information.
For a search-able list of decisions from the DC Circuit, please see:
DC Circuit Searchable Opinions
The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit shares the E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse with the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.
The land for the court house was originally obtained by the U.S. government for the creation of the District of Columbia. It was originally assigned to hold the U.S. Mint but was later changed when the mint remained in Philadelphia. The site was sold by the U.S. government on May 7, 1822 and developed as a commercial and residential district. The current court building was commission in 1949 to local architect Louis Justement for his original building plans. In August of 1949 ground was broken and the building was finally opened in 1952. In March 1977 the courthouse was renamed the E. Barrett Prettyman Courthouse. Prettyman was a judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit from 1945-1971.  To read the full history of the court building, see the Official Courthouse History.
Visiting the court
- Hours: 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, except holidays.
The court bans visitors from bringing in liquids, aerosols, and gels that in excess of 3.4 ounces into the building. Visitors are allowed to carry into the courthouse up to three liquid containers weighing 3.4 ounces or less. The policy has been in effect since April 5, 2010. Building tenants, judges, court staff, and jurors with their jury summons are exempt the ban.
Also, the court provides counsel an array of technological devices that are equipped in most courtrooms.
- DC Circuit website
- Judges of the Court
- The Blog of Legal Times "Court rules cooperating inmate not a 'government agent'," May 23, 2013
- The Blog of Legal Times, "D.C. Circuit: Bin Laden death images can remain secret," May 21, 2013
- The Blog of Legal Times, "D.C. Court: Judges Can Investigate Juror Racial Bias," May 17, 2013
- The Blog of Legal Times, "DOJ Asks D.C. Circuit to Keep Surveillance Law Memo Secret," May 10, 2013
- The Atlantic, "How Vacancies on the D.C. Circuit Court Are Swaying Policy in America," May 10, 2013
- ↑ Official history from the Federal judicial center
- ↑ FJC, Fourth Circuit History
- ↑ Courthouse History
- ↑ United States District Court for the District of Columbia "Contact Us"
- ↑ Google Maps "United States District Court for the District of Columbia", Accessed on January 27, 2011
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 United States District Court for the District of Columbia "Prohibition"
- ↑ United States District Court for the District of Columbia "Courtroom Technology"
|2.1 Active Judges|
|2.1.1 Article III judges|
|2.1.2 Pending appointments|
|2.1.3 Senior judges|
|2.2 Past judges|
|2.2.1 Former Chief judges|
|2.2.2 Former judges|
Article III judgesSee: Article III federal judge
The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has 11 posts and 4 vacancies. The current Chief Justice is David Sentelle. This is a list of the current judges on the court:
|Judge Janice Brown||1949||Greenville, AL||W. Bush||6/10/2005 - Present||Stephen F. Williams||California State U. '74||U. of California Los Angeles Law '77|
|Judge Merrick Garland||1952||Illinois||Clinton||3/20/1997 - Present||Abner Mikva||Harvard '74||Harvard Law '77|
|Judge Thomas Griffith||1954||Yokohama, Japan||W. Bush||6/29/2005 - Present||Patricia Wald||Brigham Young U. '78||U. of Virginia Law '85|
|Judge Karen Henderson||1944||Oberlin, OH||H.W. Bush||7/5/1990 - Present||Kenneth Starr||Duke U. '66||U. of North Carolina Law '69|
|Judge Brett Kavanaugh||1965||Washington D.C.||W. Bush||5/29/2006 - Present||Laurence Silberman||Yale '87||Yale Law '90|
|Judge Judith Rogers||1939||New York, NY||Clinton||3/11/1994 - Present||Clarence Thomas||Radcliffe College '61||Harvard Law '64|
|Judge David Tatel||1942||Washington D.C.||Clinton||10/7/1994 - Present||Ruth Bader Ginsburg||U. of Michigan '63||U. of Chicago Law '66|
Pending appointmentsThe United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has 2 appointees pending and 4 vacancies. This is a list of the current pending appointees to the court:
|Srikanth Srinivasan||Stanford U., B.A., 1989||Stanford U. Law, J.D., 1995|
Senior judgesSee: Federal judges on senior status
The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has 7 judges on senior status currently. This is a list of the current senior judges on the court:
|Senior judge Stephen F. Williams||Reagan||6/16/1986 - 9/30/2008||9/30/2008 - Present||Yale U. '58||Harvard Law '61|
|Former Judge David Sentelle||Reagan||9/11/1987 - 2/12/2013||2008-2013||2/12/2013 - Present||U. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill '65||U. of North Carolina Law '68|
|Senior Judge Douglas Ginsburg||Reagan||10/14/1986 - 10/14/2011||2001-2008||10/14/2011 - Present||Cornell'70||U. of Chicago Law '73|
|Senior judge Harry Edwards||Carter||2/20/1980 - 11/3/2005||1994-2001||11/3/2005 - Present||Cornell U. '62||U. of Michigan Law '65|
|Senior judge Arthur Randolph||H.W. Bush||7/16/1990 - 11/1/2008||11/1/2008 - Present||Drexel U. '66||U. of Pennsylvania Law '69|
|Senior judge Laurence Silberman||Reagan||10/28/1985 - 11/1/2000||11/1/2000 - Present||Dartmouth '57||Harvard Law '61|
|Senior judge James Buckley||Reagan||12/17/1985 - 8/31/1996||8/31/1996 - Present||Yale '43||Yale Law '49|
Former Chief judges
|Harold Montelle Stephens||1948-1955|
|George Ewing Martin||1924-1937|
|Constantine Joseph Smyth||1917-1924|
|Richard Henry Alvey||1893-1905|
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. See 28 U.S.C. § 45.
These rules for Chief Judges in the federal judiciary have been in effect since October 1, 1982. The office of Chief Judge was created in 1948. Until August 6, 1959, the position was filled in each federal court by 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. From then until 1982 it was filled by the senior such judge who had not turned 70.
- William Cranch
- James Markham Marshall
- Allen Bowie Duckett
- Nicholas Battalle Fitzhugh
- William Kilty
- James Sewall Morsell
- Buckner Thruston
- James Dunlop
- William Matthew Merrick
- Richard Henry Alvey
- Martin Ferdinand Morris
- Seth Shepard
- Louis Emory McComas
- Charles Holland Duell
- Charles Henry Robb
- Josiah Alexander Van Orsdel
- William Hitz
- Constantine Joseph Smyth
- Duncan Groner
- George Ewing Martin
- James McPherson Proctor
- Harold Montelle Stephens
- Henry Edgerton
- Justin Miller
- James Wright
- Walter Bastian
- Edward Tamm
- Spottswood Robinson
- Thurman Arnold
- Bennett Clark
- Wilbur Miller
- David Bazelon
- Robert Bork
- John Danaher
- Charles Fahy
- George MacKinnon
- Carl McGowan
- Abner Mikva
- Elijah Prettyman
- Roger Robb
- Kenneth Starr
- Patricia Wald
- George Thomas Washington
- Malcolm Wilkey
- George Edward MacKinnon
- James Proctor
|Former judges||William Cranch • James Markham Marshall • Allen Bowie Duckett • Nicholas Battalle Fitzhugh • William Kilty • James Sewall Morsell • Buckner Thruston • James Dunlop • William Matthew Merrick • Richard Henry Alvey • Martin Ferdinand Morris • Seth Shepard • Louis Emory McComas • Charles Holland Duell • Charles Henry Robb • Josiah Alexander Van Orsdel • William Hitz • Constantine Joseph Smyth • Duncan Groner • George Ewing Martin • James McPherson Proctor • Harold Montelle Stephens • Henry Edgerton • Justin Miller • James Wright • Walter Bastian • Edward Tamm • Spottswood Robinson • Thurman Arnold • Bennett Clark • Wilbur Miller • David Bazelon • Robert Bork • John Danaher • Charles Fahy • George MacKinnon • Carl McGowan • Abner Mikva • Elijah Prettyman • Roger Robb • Kenneth Starr • Patricia Wald • George Thomas Washington • Malcolm Wilkey • George Edward MacKinnon • James Proctor •|
|Former Chief judges||
William Cranch • Richard Henry Alvey • Seth Shepard • Constantine Joseph Smyth • Duncan Groner • George Ewing Martin • Harold Montelle Stephens • Henry Edgerton • David Sentelle • Douglas Ginsburg • Harry Edwards • James Wright • Spottswood Robinson • Wilbur Miller • David Bazelon • Carl McGowan • Abner Mikva • Elijah Prettyman • Patricia Wald •