United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (in case citations, 4th Cir.) is a federal court located in Richmond, Virginia, with appellate jurisdiction over the district courts in the following districts:
- District of Maryland
- Eastern District of North Carolina
- Middle District of North Carolina
- Western District of North Carolina
- District of South Carolina
- Eastern District of Virginia
- Western District of Virginia
- Northern District of West Virginia
- Southern District of West Virginia
|United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit|
|Location||Lewis F. Powell Jr. U.S. Courthouse|
|Established||June 16, 1891|
|Circuit Justice||John Roberts|
|Chief Judge||Roger Gregory|
Current composition of the court
|#||Title||Judge||Duty station||Born||Term of service||Appointed by|
|40||Chief Judge||Roger Gregory||Richmond, VA||1953||2000–present||2016–present||—||Clinton /|
|29||Circuit Judge||J. Harvie Wilkinson III||Charlottesville, VA||1944||1984–present||1996–2003||—||Reagan|
|32||Circuit Judge||Paul V. Niemeyer||Baltimore, MD||1941||1990–present||—||—||G.H.W. Bush|
|37||Circuit Judge||Diana Gribbon Motz||Baltimore, MD||1943||1994–present||—||—||Clinton|
|39||Circuit Judge||Robert Bruce King||Charleston, WV||1940||1998–present||—||—||Clinton|
|43||Circuit Judge||G. Steven Agee||Salem, VA||1952||2008–present||—||—||G.W. Bush|
|45||Circuit Judge||Barbara Milano Keenan||Alexandria, VA||1950||2010–present||—||—||Obama|
|46||Circuit Judge||James A. Wynn Jr.||Raleigh, NC||1954||2010–present||—||—||Obama|
|47||Circuit Judge||Albert Diaz||Charlotte, NC||1960||2010–present||—||—||Obama|
|48||Circuit Judge||Henry Franklin Floyd||Spartanburg, SC||1947||2011–present||—||—||Obama|
|49||Circuit Judge||Stephanie Thacker||Charleston, WV||1965||2012–present||—||—||Obama|
|50||Circuit Judge||Pamela Harris||Bethesda, MD||1962||2014–present||—||—||Obama|
|51||Circuit Judge||Julius N. Richardson||Columbia, SC||1976||2018–present||—||—||Trump|
|52||Circuit Judge||A. Marvin Quattlebaum Jr.||Greenville, SC||1964||2018–present||—||—||Trump|
|53||Circuit Judge||Allison Jones Rushing||Asheville, NC||1982||2019–present||—||—||Trump|
|38||Senior Circuit Judge||William Byrd Traxler Jr.||Greenville, SC||1948||1998–2018||2009–2016||2018–present||Clinton|
|41||Senior Circuit Judge||Dennis Shedd||Columbia, SC||1953||2002–2018||—||2018–present||G.W. Bush|
- Recess appointment by Bill Clinton, re-appointed by George W. Bush after being confirmed by the United States Senate at a later date.
Vacancies and pending nominations
|Seat||Prior judge's duty station||Seat last held by||Vacancy reason||Date of vacancy||Nominee||Date of nomination|
|4||Alexandria, VA||Barbara Milano Keenan||Senior status||August 31, 2021||Toby J. Heytens||pending|
List of former judges
|#||Judge||State||Born–died||Active service||Chief Judge||Senior status||Appointed by||Reason for|
|1||Hugh Lennox Bond||MD||1828–1893||1891–1893||—||—||Grant||death|
|2||Nathan Goff Jr.||WV||1843–1920||1892–1913||—||—||B. Harrison||resignation|
|3||Charles Henry Simonton||SC||1829–1904||1893–1904||—||—||Cleveland||death|
|4||Jeter Connelly Pritchard||NC||1857–1921||1904–1921||—||—||T. Roosevelt||death|
|—||Martin Augustine Knapp||NY||1843–1923||1916–1923||—||—||death|
|5||Charles Albert Woods||SC||1852–1925||1913–1925||—||—||Wilson||death|
|6||Edmund Waddill Jr.||VA||1855–1931||1921–1931||—||—||Harding||death|
|7||John Carter Rose||MD||1861–1927||1922–1927||—||—||Harding||death|
|8||John J. Parker||NC||1885–1958||1925–1958||1948–1958||—||Coolidge||death|
|10||Morris Ames Soper||MD||1873–1963||1931–1955||—||1955–1963||Hoover||death|
|11||Armistead Mason Dobie||VA||1881–1962||1939–1956||—||1956–1962||F. Roosevelt||death|
|14||Herbert Stephenson Boreman||WV||1897–1982||1959–1971||—||1971–1982||Eisenhower||death|
|15||Albert Vickers Bryan||VA||1899–1984||1961–1972||—||1972–1984||Kennedy||death|
|16||J. Spencer Bell||NC||1906–1967||1961–1967||—||—||Kennedy||death|
|17||Harrison Lee Winter||MD||1921–1990||1966–1990||1981–1989||1990–1990||L. Johnson||death|
|18||James Braxton Craven Jr.||NC||1918–1977||1966–1977||—||—||L. Johnson||death|
|19||John D. Butzner Jr.||VA||1917–2006||1967–1982||—||1982–2006||L. Johnson||death|
|20||Donald S. Russell||SC||1906–1998||1971–1998||—||—||Nixon||death|
|21||John A. Field Jr.||WV||1910–1995||1971–1976||—||1976–1995||Nixon||death|
|22||Hiram Emory Widener Jr.||VA||1923–2007||1972–2007||—||2007||Nixon||death|
|23||Kenneth Keller Hall||WV||1918–1999||1976–1998||—||1998–1999||Ford||death|
|24||James Dickson Phillips Jr.||NC||1922–2017||1978–1994||—||1994–2017||Carter||death|
|25||Francis Dominic Murnaghan Jr.||MD||1920–2000||1979–2000||—||—||Carter||death|
|26||James Marshall Sprouse||WV||1923–2004||1979–1992||—||1992–1995||Carter||retirement|
|27||Samuel James Ervin III||NC||1926–1999||1980–1999||1989–1996||—||Carter||death|
|28||Robert F. Chapman||SC||1926–2018||1981–1991||—||1991–2018||Reagan||death|
|30||Emory M. Sneeden||NC||1927–1987||1984–1986||—||—||Reagan||resignation|
|31||William Walter Wilkins||SC||1942–present||1986–2007||2003–2007||2007–2008||Reagan||retirement|
|33||Clyde H. Hamilton||SC||1934–2020||1991–1999||—||1999–2020||G.H.W. Bush||death|
|34||J. Michael Luttig||VA||1954–present||1991–2006||—||—||G.H.W. Bush||resignation|
|35||Karen J. Williams||SC||1951–2013||1992–2009||2007–2009||2009–2013||G.H.W. Bush||death|
|36||M. Blane Michael||WV||1943–2011||1993–2011||—||—||Clinton||death|
|42||Allyson Kay Duncan||NC||1951–present||2003–2019||—||2019||G.W. Bush||retirement|
|44||Andre M. Davis||MD||1949–present||2009–2014||—||2014–2017||Obama||retirement|
Chief judges have administrative responsibilities with respect to their circuits, and preside over any panel on which they serve unless the circuit justice (i.e., the Supreme Court justice responsible for the circuit) is also on the panel. Unlike the Supreme Court, where one justice is specifically nominated to be chief, the office of chief judge rotates among the circuit judges. To be chief, 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 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.
When the office was created in 1948, the chief judge was the longest-serving judge who had not elected to retire on what has since 1958 been known as senior status or declined to serve as chief judge. After August 6, 1959, judges could not become or remain chief after turning 70 years old. The current rules have been in operation since October 1, 1982.
Succession of seats
The court has fifteen seats for active judges, numbered in the order in which they were initially filled. Judges who assume senior status enter a kind of retirement in which they remain on the bench, while vacating their seats, thus allowing the president to appoint new judges to fill their seats.
Practice in the 4th Circuit
The Chief Justice is always assigned to the Fourth Circuit as the circuit advisory justice, due to Richmond's close proximity to Washington, D.C.
- Judicial appointment history for United States federal courts#Fourth Circuit
- List of current United States circuit judges
- Same-sex marriage in the Fourth Circuit
- "U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit". Official website of the Federal Judicial Center. Retrieved February 27, 2017.
- "Fourth Circuit Judges". Official website of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Retrieved February 27, 2017.
- Future Judicial Vacancies
- Bond was appointed as a circuit judge for the Fourth Circuit in 1870 by Ulysses S. Grant. The Judiciary Act of 1891 reassigned his seat to what is now the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
- Knapp did not have a permanent seat on this court. Instead, he was appointed to the ill-fated United States Commerce Court in 1910 by William Howard Taft. Aside from their duties on the Commerce Court, the judges of the Commerce Court also acted as at-large appellate judges, able to be assigned by the Chief Justice of the United States to whichever circuit most needed help. Knapp was assigned to the Second Circuit upon his commission and then to the Fourth Circuit in 1916.
- Recess appointment, confirmed by the United States Senate at a later date.
- Aaron S. Bayer (August 24, 2009), Unpublished Appellate Opinions Are Still Commonplace, The National Law Journal
- Roberts, John G. (2006). "What Makes the D.C. Circuit Different?: A Historical View". Virginia Law Review. 92 (3): 375–389. ISSN 0042-6601. JSTOR 4144947.
- Sontag, Deborah (2003-03-09). "The Power of the Fourth". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-05-08.