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James R. Browning

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This page is about the federal judge for the Ninth Circuit. If you are looking for information on the federal judge for the District of New Mexico, please see James O. Browning.

James R. Browning
Current Court Information:
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
Title:   Former Judge
Station:   San Francisco, CA
Appointed by:   John F. Kennedy
Active:   9/18/1961 - 9/1/2000
Chief:   1976-1988
Senior:   9/1/2000 - 5/5/2012
Preceded by:   Walter Lyndon Pope
Personal History
Deceased:   May 5, 2012
Law School:   Montana State U. '41

James Robert Browing was a federal appeals judge with the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit based in San Francisco. He was first nominated to the federal bench in 1961 by John F. Kennedy. Browning served on senior status until his death in May 2012.[1]

Browning was nominated to the federal bench in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy. He was one of 125 judges nominated to the federal bench by President Kennedy.

Browning was the 1990 recipient of the Edward J. Devitt Distinguished Service to Justice Award.

Early life and education

Browning graduated from Montana State Law with his law degree in 1941 and also served as a U.S. Army Lieutenant from 1943 to 1946.[2]


Browning began his legal career as a trial attorney in the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice based in Denver from 1941 to 1943 and after taking a three year hiatus for military service served as a Special attorney in the Antitrust Division for the Justice Department based in Washington, D.C. from 1946 to 1948. Browning continued with the US Department of Justice as Chief of the Northwest Regional Office handling matters for the Antitrust Division based in Seattle from 1948 to 1949 then was promoted to Assistant chief of the Antitrust Division handling cases General Litigation Section based in Washington, DC from 1949 to 1951 and was later promoted to First assistant to the Civil Division of the US Justice Department from 1951 to 1952 before moving to Executive assistant to the United States Attorney General from 1952-1953 and later became the Chief of the executive office for U.S. attorneys in 1953 before spending five years as a Private practice attorney in Washington, DC from 1953 to 1958. In 1958, Browning became the clerk of court for the Supreme Court of the United States until his nomination to the Federal Bench in 1961.[2]

Federal judicial career

Browning was nominated by President John F. Kennedy on September 6, 1961 to a seat vacated by Walter Lyndon Pope. Browning was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on September 14, 1961 on a Senate vote and received his commission on September 18, 1961. Browning served as the chief judge of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals from 1976 to 1988 before later assuming senior status on September 1, 2000. Browning served on senior status until his death in May 2012.[1][2]


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