World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
Seal of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
Location Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Appeals from
Established June 16, 1891
Chief judge Theodore A. McKee
Active judges 14
Senior judges 9
Circuit justice Samuel Alito
Official site

The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (in case citations, 3d Cir.) is a federal court with appellate jurisdiction over the district courts for the following districts:

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

The court is composed of 14 active judges and is based at the James A. Byrne Courthouse in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The court also conducts sittings in other venues, including the U.S. Virgin Islands.[1] It is one of thirteen United States courts of appeals. Due to the court's appellate jurisdiction over Delaware (where more than half of publicly traded companies in the United States incorporate), the court handles a significant number of influential commercial cases in the United States.


  • Current composition of the court 1
    • Vacancies and pending nominations 1.1
  • List of former judges 2
  • Chief judges 3
  • Succession of seats 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Current composition of the court

As of July 9, 2014, the judges on the court are as follows:[2][3]

# Title Judge Duty station Born Term of service Appointed by
Active Chief Senior
50 Chief Judge Theodore A. McKee Philadelphia, PA 1947 1994–present 2010–present Clinton
52 Circuit Judge Marjorie O. Rendell Philadelphia, PA 1947 1997–present Clinton
54 Circuit Judge Thomas L. Ambro Wilmington, DE 1949 2000–present Clinton
55 Circuit Judge Julio M. Fuentes Newark, NJ 1946 2000–present Clinton
56 Circuit Judge D. Brooks Smith Duncansville, PA 1951 2002–present G.W. Bush
58 Circuit Judge D. Michael Fisher Pittsburgh, PA 1944 2003–present G.W. Bush
60 Circuit Judge Michael Chagares Newark, NJ 1962 2006–present G.W. Bush
61 Circuit Judge Kent A. Jordan Wilmington, DE 1957 2006–present G.W. Bush
62 Circuit Judge Thomas M. Hardiman Pittsburgh, PA 1965 2007–present G.W. Bush
63 Circuit Judge Joseph A. Greenaway Newark, NJ 1957 2010–present Obama
64 Circuit Judge Thomas I. Vanaskie Scranton, PA 1953 2010–present Obama
65 Circuit Judge Patty Shwartz Newark, NJ 1961 2013–present Obama
66 Circuit Judge Cheryl Ann Krause Philadelphia, PA 1968 2014–present Obama
67 Circuit Judge vacant
28 Senior Circuit Judge Ruggero J. Aldisert Santa Barbara, CA 1919 1968–1986 1984–1986 1986–present L. Johnson
36 Senior Circuit Judge Leonard I. Garth Newark, NJ 1921 1973–1986 1986–present Nixon
38 Senior Circuit Judge Dolores Korman Sloviter Philadelphia, PA 1932 1979–2013 1991–1998 2013–present Carter
41 Senior Circuit Judge Walter King Stapleton Wilmington, DE 1934 1985–1999 1999–present Reagan
42 Senior Circuit Judge Morton Ira Greenberg Trenton, NJ 1933 1987–2000 2000–present Reagan
44 Senior Circuit Judge Anthony Joseph Scirica Philadelphia, PA 1940 1987–2013 2003–2010 2013–present Reagan
45 Senior Circuit Judge Robert E. Cowen Trenton, NJ 1930 1987–1998 1998–present Reagan
46 Senior Circuit Judge Richard Lowell Nygaard Erie, PA 1940 1988–2005 2005–present Reagan
48 Senior Circuit Judge Jane Richards Roth Washington, DC 1935 1991–2006 2006–present G.H.W. Bush
53 Senior Circuit Judge Maryanne Trump Barry Newark, NJ 1937 1999–2011 2011–present Clinton
59 Senior Circuit Judge Franklin Stuart Van Antwerpen Easton, PA 1941 2004–2006 2006–present G.W. Bush

Vacancies and pending nominations

Seat Seat Last Held By Vacancy Reason Date of Vacancy Nominee Date of Nomination
6 Anthony Joseph Scirica Senior status July 1, 2013 Luis Felipe Restrepo November 12, 2014

List of former judges

# Judge State Born/Died Active service Chief Judge Senior status Appointed by Reason for
1 Acheson, Marcus WilsonMarcus Wilson Acheson PA 1828–1906 1891–1906[Note 1] Harrison, B.B. Harrison death
2 Dallas, George M.George M. Dallas PA 1839–1917 1892–1909 Harrison, B.B. Harrison retirement
3 Gray, GeorgeGeorge Gray DE 1840–1925 1899–1914[4] McKinley,McKinley retirement
4 Buffington, JosephJoseph Buffington PA 1855–1947 1906–1938[4] 1938–1947 Roosevelt, T.T. Roosevelt death
5 Lanning, William MershonWilliam Mershon Lanning NJ 1849–1912 1909–1912 Taft,Taft death
6 McPherson, John BayardJohn Bayard McPherson PA 1846–1919 1912–1919 Taft,Taft death
7 Woolley, Victor BaynardVictor Baynard Woolley DE 1867–1945 1914–1938 1938–1945 Wilson,Wilson death
8 Haight, Thomas GriffithThomas Griffith Haight NJ 1879–1942 1919–1920[4] Wilson,Wilson resignation
9 Davis, John WarrenJohn Warren Davis NJ 1867–1945 1920–1939 1939–1941 Wilson,Wilson resignation
10 Thompson, Joseph WhitakerJoseph Whitaker Thompson PA 1861–1946 1931–1938 1938–1946 Hoover,Hoover death
11 Biggs, Jr., JohnJohn Biggs, Jr. DE 1895–1979 1937–1965 1948–1965 1965–1979 Roosevelt, F.F. Roosevelt death
12 Maris, Albert BransonAlbert Branson Maris PA 1893–1989 1938–1958 1958–1989 Roosevelt, F.F. Roosevelt death
13 Clark, WilliamWilliam Clark NJ 1891–1957 1938–1943 Roosevelt, F.F. Roosevelt resignation
14 Biddle, FrancisFrancis Biddle PA 1886–1968 1939–1940 Roosevelt, F.F. Roosevelt resignation
15 Jones, Charles AlvinCharles Alvin Jones PA 1887–1966 1939–1944 Roosevelt, F.F. Roosevelt resignation
16 Goodrich, Herbert FunkHerbert Funk Goodrich PA 1889–1962 1940–1962 Roosevelt, F.F. Roosevelt death
17 McLaughlin, GeraldGerald McLaughlin NJ 1893–1977 1943–1968 1968–1977 Roosevelt, F.F. Roosevelt death
18 O'Connell, John JosephJohn Joseph O'Connell PA 1894–1949 1945–1949 Truman,Truman death
19 Kalodner, Harry EllisHarry Ellis Kalodner PA 1896–1977 1946–1969 1965–1966 1969–1977 Truman,Truman death
20 Hastie, William HenryWilliam Henry Hastie VI 1904–1976 1949–1971[4] 1968–1971 1971–1976 Truman,Truman death
21 Staley, Austin LeanderAustin Leander Staley PA 1902–1978 1950–1967 1966–1967 1967–1978 Truman,Truman death
22 Forman, PhillipPhillip Forman NJ 1895–1978 1959–1961 1961–1978 Eisenhower,Eisenhower death
23 Ganey, James CullenJames Cullen Ganey PA 1899–1972 1961–1966 1966–1972 Kennedy,Kennedy death
24 Smith, William FrancisWilliam Francis Smith NJ 1903–1968 1961–1968 Kennedy,Kennedy death
25 Freedman, Abraham LincolnAbraham Lincoln Freedman PA 1904–1971 1964–1971 Johnson, L.L. Johnson death
26 Seitz, Collins JacquesCollins Jacques Seitz DE 1914–1998 1966–1989 1971–1984 1989–1998 Johnson, L.L. Johnson death
27 Van Dusen, Francis LundFrancis Lund Van Dusen PA 1912–1993 1967–1977 1977–1993 Johnson, L.L. Johnson death
29 Stahl, David HenryDavid Henry Stahl PA 1920–1970 1968–1970 Johnson, L.L. Johnson death
30 Adams, Arlin M.Arlin M. Adams PA 1921–present 1969–1987 Nixon,Nixon retirement
31 Gibbons, John JosephJohn Joseph Gibbons NJ 1924–present 1969–1990 1987–1990 Nixon,Nixon retirement
32 Rosenn, MaxMax Rosenn PA 1910–2006 1970–1981 1981–2006 Nixon,Nixon death
33 Rosen, JamesJames Rosen NJ 1909–1972 1971–1972 Nixon,Nixon death
34 Hunter III, JamesJames Hunter III NJ 1916–1989 1971–1986 1986–1989 Nixon,Nixon death
35 Weis, Jr., Joseph F.Joseph F. Weis, Jr. PA 1923–2014 1973–1988 1988–2014 Nixon death
37 Higginbotham, Jr., Aloyisus LeonAloyisus Leon Higginbotham, Jr. PA 1928–1998 1977–1991 1990–1991 1991–1993 Carter,Carter retirement
39 Becker, Edward RoyEdward Roy Becker PA 1933–2006[Note 2] 1981–2003 1998–2003 2003–2006 Reagan,Reagan death
40 Mansmann, Carol LosCarol Los Mansmann PA 1942–2002 1985–2002 Reagan,Reagan death
43 Hutchinson, William D.William D. Hutchinson PA 1932–1995 1987–1995 Reagan,Reagan death
47 Alito, Jr., Samuel A.Samuel A. Alito, Jr. NJ 1950–present 1990–2006 Bush, G.H.W.G.H.W. Bush elevated to SCOTUS
49 Lewis, Timothy K.Timothy K. Lewis PA 1954–present 1992–1999 Bush, G.H.W.G.H.W. Bush resignation
51 Sarokin, H. LeeH. Lee Sarokin NJ 1928–present 1994–1996 Clinton,Clinton retirement
57 Chertoff, MichaelMichael Chertoff NJ 1953–present 2003–2005 Bush, G.W.G.W. Bush resignation
  1. ^ Acheson was appointed as a circuit judge for the Third Circuit in 1891 by Benjamin Harrison. The Judiciary Act of 1891 reassigned his seat to what is now the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
  2. ^ Weiner, Tim (2006-05-20). "Edward R. Becker, 73, Judge on Federal Court of Appeals, Dies".  

Chief judges

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 chief after turning 70 years old. The current rules have been in operation since October 1, 1982.

Succession of seats

The court has fourteen seats for active judges, numbered in the order in which they were filled. Judges who retire into senior status remain on the bench but leave their seat vacant. That seat is filled by the next circuit judge appointed by the president.

Seat 1
Established on December 10, 1869 by the Judiciary Act of 1869 as a circuit judgeship for the Third Circuit
Reassigned on June 16, 1891 to the newly formed United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit by the Judiciary Act of 1891
Acheson PA 1891–1906
Buffington PA 1906–1938
Biddle PA 1939–1940
Goodrich PA 1940–1962
Freedman PA 1964–1971
Weis PA 1973–1988
Nygaard PA 1988–2005
Hardiman PA 2007–present
Seat 2
Established on June 16, 1891 by the Judiciary Act of 1891
Dallas PA 1892–1909
Lanning NJ 1909–1912
McPherson PA 1912–1919
Haight NJ 1919–1920
Davis NJ 1920–1939
Jones PA 1939–1944
Kalodner PA 1946–1969
Adams PA 1969–1987
Hutchinson PA 1987–1995
Rendell PA 1997–present
Seat 3
Established on February 23, 1899 by 30 Stat. 846
Gray DE 1899–1914
Woolley DE 1914–1938
Maris PA 1938–1958
Forman NJ 1959–1961
W. Smith NJ 1961–1968
Hunter NJ 1971–1986
Cowen NJ 1987–1998
Fuentes NJ 2000–present
Seat 4
Established on June 10, 1930 by 46 Stat. 538
Thompson PA 1931–1938
Clark NJ 1938–1943
McLaughlin NJ 1943–1968
Gibbons NJ 1969–1990
Alito NJ 1990–2006
Greenaway NJ 2010–present
Seat 5
Established as a temporary judgeship on June 24, 1936 by 49 Stat. 1903
Made permanent on May 31, 1938 by 52 Stat. 584
Biggs DE 1937–1965
Seitz DE 1966–1989
Roth DE 1991–2006
Jordan DE 2006–present
Seat 6
Established on December 7, 1944 by 58 Stat. 796
O'Connell PA 1945–1949
Staley PA 1950–1967
Aldisert 1968–1986
Scirica PA 1987–2013
vacant PA 2013–present
Seat 7
Established on August 3, 1949 by 63 Stat. 493
Hastie VI 1949–1971
Rosen NJ 1971–1972
Garth NJ 1973–1986
Greenberg NJ 1987–2000
Chertoff NJ 2003–2005
Chagares NJ 2006–present
Seat 8
Established on May 19, 1961 by 75 Stat. 80
Ganey PA 1961–1966
Van Dusen PA 1967–1977
Higginbotham PA 1977–1991
McKee PA 1994–present
Seat 9
Established on June 18, 1968 by 82 Stat. 184
Stahl PA 1968–1970
Rosenn PA 1970–1981
Becker PA 1981–2003
Van Antwerpen PA 2004–2006
Vanaskie PA 2010–present
Seat 10
Established on October 20, 1978 by 92 Stat. 1629
Sloviter PA 1979–2013
Krause PA 2014–present
Seat 11
Established on July 10, 1984 by 98 Stat. 333
Mansmann PA 1985–2002
Fisher PA 2003–present
Seat 12
Established on July 10, 1984 by 98 Stat. 333
Stapleton DE 1985–1999
Ambro DE 2000–present
Seat 13
Established on December 1, 1990 by 104 Stat. 5089
Lewis PA 1992–1999
B. Smith PA 2002–present
Seat 14
Established on December 1, 1990 by 104 Stat. 5089
Sarokin NJ 1994–1996
Barry NJ 1999–2011
Shwartz NJ 2013–present

See also


  1. ^ "Notice for Sitting in Virgin Islands". Official website of the Third Circuit. Retrieved 2013-03-06. 
  2. ^ "U. S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit". Official website of the Federal Judicial Center. Archived from the original on 2005-05-25. Retrieved 2005-05-30. 
  3. ^ "Third Circuit Court of Appeals Judges" (PDF). Official website of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Retrieved 2005-05-30. 
  4. ^ a b c d Recess appointment, confirmed by the United States Senate at a later date.

External links

  • United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • Recent opinions from Findlaw
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.