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William Garwood

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William Garwood
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Current Court Information:
United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
Title:   Senior Judge
Appointed by:   Ronald Reagan
Active:   10/26/1981 - 01/22/1997
Senior:   01/23/1997 - 07/14/2011
Personal History
Born:   1931
Hometown:   Houston, TX
Undergraduate:   Princeton University, 1952
Law School:   University of Texas School of Law, 1955

William Lockhart Garwood (b. 1931) was an Article III federal judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. He died on July 14, 2011.[1] Garwood joined the court in 1981 after being nominated by President Ronald Reagan. He was serving on senior status at the time of his death.

Upon his death Chief Justice Edith Jones said "He had the most brilliant legal mind on our court during my tenure. He had an incredible memory for the law. He had a strong view for the interpretation of the Constitution, but his emotions never clouded his legal reasoning."[1]

Early life and education

Born in Houston, Texas, Garwood received a bachelor's degree from Princeton University in 1952 and a bachelor's of Laws degree, LL.B, from the University of Texas School of Law in 1955.[2]


Garwood was a law clerk for the Honorable John R. Brown in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit from 1955 to 1956. Garwood was a Lieutenant Judge Advocate in the United States Army Judge Advocate General Corps from 1956 to 1959, before entering private practice in Austin, Texas until 1979. Garwood was an Associate Justice for the Supreme Court of Texas from 1979 to 1980, and resumed private practice in Austin, Texas briefly, in 1981.[2]

Federal judicial career

On the recommendation of Texas U.S. Senator Phil Gramm, Garwood was nominated to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit by President Ronald Reagan on September 17, 1981 to a new seat created by 92 Stat.1629, which was approved by Congress. Garwood was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on October 21, 1981 on a Senate vote and received commission on October 26, 1981.[2]


Federal judicial offices
Preceded by:
NA - new seat
Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals
Succeeded by:
Priscilla Owen