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Sidney Thomas

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Sidney Thomas
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Current Court Information:
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
Title:   Chief Judge
Station:   Billings, MT
Appointed by:   Bill Clinton
Active:   1/4/1996-Present
Chief:   12/1/2014-Present
Preceded by:   Dorothy Wright Nelson
Past post:   Adjunct instructor of law
Past term:   1982-1995
Personal History
Born:   1953
Hometown:   Bozeman, MT
Undergraduate:   Montana State University 1975
Law School:   University of Montana School of Law 1978

Sidney Runyan Thomas is the chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit based in San Francisco. He joined the court in 1996, after being nominated by President Bill Clinton. Thomas became chief judge on December 1, 2014.[1]

Early life and education

Born in Bozeman, Montana, Thomas graduated from Montana State University with his bachelor's degree in 1975 and from University of Montana School of Law with his J.D. in 1978.[2]

Professional career

Thomas was a legal intern for District Court Judge W.W. Lessley in Montana State District Court for the 18th Judicial District before becoming a private practice attorney in the State of Montana from 1978 to 1995. Thomas also served as an adjunct instructor of law at Rocky Mountain College from 1982 to 1995.[2]

Judicial career

Ninth Circuit

Thomas was nominated to serve on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit by President Bill Clinton on July 19, 1995, to a seat vacated by Dorothy Wright Nelson. Thomas was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on January 2, 1996, on a majority vote and received commission on January 4, 1996.[3]

Supreme Court candidate

According to a White House source of The Associated Press, Judge Thomas was interviewed by President Obama on April 29, 2010, as a possible candidate to replace John Paul Stevens to the Supreme Court of the United States. Thomas was also interviewed by the Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden.

The Associated Press article reported that the great amount of personal time both President Obama and Vice President Biden devoted to Thomas in his interviews could be a suggestion that he may have been highly considered to replace Stevens.[4]

See also


Federal judicial offices
Preceded by:
Dorothy Wright Nelson
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
Succeeded by:

MontanaMontana Supreme CourtMontana District CourtsMontana Courts of Limited JurisdictionMontana Water CourtMontana Workers' Compensation CourtUnited States District Court for the District of MontanaUnited States bankruptcy court, District of MontanaUnited States Court of Appeals for the Ninth CircuitMontana countiesMontana judicial newsMontana judicial electionsJudicial selection in MontanaMontanaTemplate.jpg

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