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Stephen F. Williams

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This page is about the federal judge for the District of Columbia Circuit. If you are looking for information on a member of the Indiana Judicial Nominating and Qualifications Commission, please see Stephen L. Williams.

Stephen F. Williams
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Current Court Information:
United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
Title:   Senior judge
Position:   45
Station:   D.C.
Appointed by:   Ronald Reagan
Active:   06/16/1986 - 09/30/2008
Senior:   09/30/2008 - Present
Preceded by:   Malcolm Wilkey
Succeeded by:   Janice Brown
Past post:   Professor of law, University of Colorado School of Law
Past term:   1976-1986
Personal History
Born:   1936
Hometown:   New York, NY
Undergraduate:   Yale U., 1958
Law School:   Harvard Law, 1961
Military service:   U.S. Army Reserve
Stephen Fain Williams is a federal judge serving on senior status on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He joined the court in 1986 after being nominated by President Ronald Reagan.[1]

Early life and education

Born in New York City, New York, Williams graduated from Yale University with his B.A. in 1958, and later from Harvard Law School with his J.D. in 1961. Williams served as Private E-2 in the United States Army Reserve from 1961 to 1962.[1]

Professional career

  • 1983-1984: Visiting professor of energy law, Southern Methodist University School of Law
  • 1979-1980: Visiting professor and fellow in law and economics, University of Chicago
  • 1975-1976: Visiting professor, University of California-Los Angeles School of Law
  • 1969-1986: Faculty member, University of Colorado School of Law
1976-1986: Professor of law
1969-1976: Associate professor of law
  • 1966-1969: Assistant U.S. attorney, Southern District of New York
  • 1962-1966: Attorney in private practice, New York City
  • 1961-1962: Private E2, U.S. Army Reserve[1]

Judicial career

On the recommendation of the at-large Congressional delegation for the District of Columbia, Williams was nominated to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit by President Ronald Reagan on February 19, 1986, to a seat vacated by Malcolm Wilkey as Wilkey assumed senior status. Williams was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on June 13, 1986, on a Senate vote and received commission on June 16, 1986. Williams assumed senior status on September 30, 2008.[1]

Notable cases

D.C. Circuit cannot rule on filibuster lawsuit due to jurisdictional issue (2014)

In April 2014, a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit, comprised of Judges Williams, Karen Henderson and Arthur Randolph, blocked a lawsuit filed by the advocacy group Common Cause having to do with Senate filibuster rules invoked as to the DREAM and DISCLOSE bills. The decision, written by Judge Randolph, noted that the advocacy group failed to sue the proper party, namely, the Senate itself, as it was the cause of the alleged injury in question. Judge Randolph further stated that the Senate was an "absent third party," and that the D.C. Circuit therefore lacked jurisdiction to rule on the case.


See also

External links


Federal judicial offices
Preceded by:
Malcolm Wilkey
Circuit Court of Appeals for D.C.
Succeeded by:
Janice Brown

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