United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

From Judgepedia
Jump to: navigation, search


Third Circuit
Court of Appeals
Judges: 13
Posts: 14
Vacancies: 1
Active judges
Chief: Theodore McKee
Senior Judges
Former Judges
(Numbers indicate % of seats vacant.)
More than 40%

The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit is one of the thirteen federal appellate courts. The court was established in 1891 and has fourteen posts. The Third Circuit shares the James A. Byrne Federal Courthouse with the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Vacancy warning level

The current vacancy warning level for the Third Circuit is at blue. The court currently has one vacancy.

Pending nominations

Felipe RestrepoUniversity of Pennsylvania, 1981Tulane Law, 1986

Active judges

Article III judges

JudgeBornHomeAppointed byActiveChiefPreceededBachelorsLaw
Judge Joseph Greenaway1957EnglandObama 2/9/2010-PresentSamuel AlitoColumbia University, 1978Harvard Law School, 1981
Judge Patty Shwartz1961Paterson, NJObama 4/9/2013-PresentMaryanne BarryRutgers College, 1983University of Pennsylvania Law, 1986
Judge Thomas Vanaskie1953Shamokin, PAObama 4/21/2010-PresentFranklin Van AntwerpenLycoming College, 1975Dickinson School of Law, 1978
Chief Judge Theodore McKee1947Rochester, NYClinton 6/9/1994-Present2010-PresentLeon Higginbotham, Jr.SUNY Cortland, 1969Syracuse Law, 1975
Judge Marjorie Rendell1947Wilmington, DEClinton 9/29/1997-PresentWilliam HutchinsonUniversity of Pennsylvania, 1969Villanova University, 1973
Judge Thomas Ambro1949Cambridge, OHClinton 02/16/2000 - PresentWalter StapletonGeorgetown '71Georgetown Law '75
Judge Julio Fuentes1946Humacao, PRClinton 3/9/2000-PresentRobert CowenSouthern Illinois University, 1971SUNY Buffalo Law, 1975
Judge Brooks Smith1951Altoona, PAW. Bush 8/2/2002-PresentTimothy LewisFranklin and Marshall College, 1973Dickinson School of Law, 1976
Judge Michael Fisher1944Pittsburgh, PAW. Bush 12/11/2003 - PresentCarol MansmannGeorgetown, 1966Georgetown Law, 1969
Judge Michael Chagares1962Pittsburgh, PAW. Bush 4/20/2006-PresentMichael ChertoffGettysburg College, 1984Seton Hall Law, 1987
Judge Kent Jordan1957West Point, NYW. Bush 12/13/2006 - PresentJane RothBrigham Young U. '81Georgetown Law '84
Judge Thomas Hardiman1965Winchester, MAW. Bush 04/02/2007 - PresentRichard NygaardNotre Dame '87Georgetown Law '90
Judge Cheryl Ann Krause1968St. Louis, MissouriObama 7/7/2014-PresentDolores SloviterU. of Pennsylvania, 1989Stanford Law, 1993

Senior judges

JudgeAppointed byActiveChiefSeniorBachelorsLaw
Senior Judge Anthony SciricaReagan 8/6/1987-7/1/20132003-20107/1/2013-PresentWesleyan University, 1962University of Michigan Law, 1965
Senior Judge Leonard GarthNixon 8/6/1973-6/30/19866/30/1986-PresentColumbia University, 1942Harvard Law, 1952
Senior Judge Walter StapletonReagan 4/4/1985-6/2/19996/2/1999-PresentPrinceton, 1956Harvard Law, 1959
Senior Judge Morton GreenbergReagan 3/23/1987-6/30/20006/30/2000-PresentUniversity of Pennsylvania, 1954Yale Law, 1957
Senior Judge Robert CowenReagan 11/9/1987-9/4/19989/4/1998-PresentDrake University, 1952Rutgers University Law, 1958
Senior Judge Jane RothH.W. Bush 07/02/1991 - 05/31/200605/31/2006 - PresentSmith College '56Harvard Law '65
Senior Judge Franklin Van AntwerpenW. Bush 5/24/2004-10/23/200610/23/2006-PresentUniversity of Maine, 1964Temple University Law, 1967
Senior Judge Richard NygaardReagan 10/17/1988-7/9/20057/9/2005-PresentUniversity of Southern California, 1969University of Michigan Law, 1971
Senior Judge Dolores SloviterCarter 6/21/1979-6/21/20131991-19986/21/2013-PresentTemple U., 1953U. Pennsylvania Law, 1956
Senior judge Maryanne BarryClinton 9/22/1999-6/30/20116/30/2011-PresentMount Holyoke College, 1962Hofstra University Law, 1974


United States Court of Appeals for the Third CircuitUnited States Court of Appeals for the Third CircuitUnited States District Court for the Western District of PennsylvaniaUnited States District Court for the Middle District of PennsylvaniaUnited States District Court for the Eastern District of PennsylvaniaUnited States District Court for the District of New JerseyUnited States District Court for the District of DelawareUnited States District Court for the District of DelawareUnited States District Court for the U.S. Virgin IslandsUnited States District Court for the U.S. Virgin IslandsUnited States District Court for the U.S. Virgin IslandsUnited States District Court for the U.S. Virgin Islands
Map of the Third Circuit. Click on a district to find out more about it.

The Third 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 Third Circuit Court of Appeals are petitioned to the Supreme Court of the United States. Justice Samuel Alito is the Circuit Justice for the Third Circuit.

The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has appellate jurisdiction over the United States district court in the following federal judicial districts:

It also has appellate jurisdiction over the United States District Court for the U.S. Virgin Islands which, in spite of the name, is a territorial court and belongs to no federal judicial district.



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**
*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

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


Court history

The Third Circuit was established by the United States Congress in 1891 with the Evarts Act of 1891, which established the first nine appeals circuits. Over the years, twelve additional seats were added to the court resulting in a total of fourteen seats.[7]

Judicial posts

The following table highlights the development of judicial posts for the Third Circuit:

Year Statute Total Seats
March 3, 1891 26 Stat. 826 2
February 23, 1899 30 Stat. 846 3
June 10, 1930 46 Stat. 538 4
June 24, 1936 49 Stat. 1903 5
December 7, 1944 58 Stat. 796 6
August 3, 1949 63 Stat. 493 7
May 19, 1961 75 Stat. 80 8
June 18, 1968 82 Stat. 184 9
October 20, 1978 92 Stat. 1629 10
July 10, 1984 98 Stat. 333 12
December 1, 1990 104 Stat. 5089 14

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.[8][9]

Former judges

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


The Third Circuit shares the James A. Byrne Federal Courthouse with the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. In December 2013, the Third Circuit announced that it would be moving forward with a judicial chambers-sharing plan in an effort to save money. The federal courthouse has nine chambers, and instead of building new offices to house visiting judges, three unoccupied chambers would be converted into four smaller offices, with enough space to make room for up to twelve out-of-town jurists. Third Circuit Executive Margaret Wiegand said that the remodeling would "take care of all [the court's] space needs for the foreseeable future," and that if the court "had to rent new space in another building, it would have been very expensive." Thanks to this "innovative redesign," it was projected that the court would save about $250,000 in rent each year.[10][11]

See also

External links