United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama Article

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United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama
(M.D. Ala.)
Seal of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama.gif
MDAla.png
Location Frank M. Johnson Jr. Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse
More locations
Appeals to Eleventh Circuit
EstablishedFebruary 6, 1839
Judges3
Chief Judge William Keith Watkins
Officers of the court
U.S. Attorney Louis V. Franklin Sr.
U.S. Marshal Jesse Seroyer Jr.
www.almd.uscourts.gov

The United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama (in case citations, M.D. Ala.) is a federal court in the Eleventh Circuit (except for patent claims and claims against the U.S. government under the Tucker Act, which are appealed to the Federal Circuit).

The District was established on February 6, 1839 with the addition of the Middle district. The circuit court itself was established on June 22, 1874. [1]

The United States Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Alabama represents the United States in civil and criminal litigation in the court. The current United States Attorney is Louis V. Franklin Sr..

Organization of the court

The United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama is one of three federal judicial districts in Alabama. [2] Court for the District is held at Dothan, Montgomery, and Opelika.

Eastern Division comprises the following counties: Chambers, Lee, Macon, Randolph, Russell, and Tallapoosa.

Northern Division comprises the following counties: Autauga, Barbour, Bullock, Butler, Chilton, Coosa, Covington, Crenshaw, Elmore, Lowndes, Montgomery, and Pike.

Southern Division comprises the following counties: Coffee, Dale, Geneva, Henry, and Houston.

Current judges

# Title Judge Duty station Born Term of service Appointed by
Active Chief Senior
19 Chief Judge William Keith Watkins Montgomery 1951 2005–present 2011–present G.W. Bush
20 District Judge Emily Coody Marks Montgomery 1973 2018–present Trump
21 District Judge vacant
14 Senior Judge Myron Herbert Thompson Montgomery 1947 1980–2013 1991–1998 2013–present Carter
16 Senior Judge William Harold Albritton III Montgomery 1936 1991–2004 1998–2004 2004–present G.H.W. Bush

Vacancies and pending nominations

Seat Seat last held by Vacancy reason Date of vacancy Nominee Nominated
4 Mark Fuller Resignation August 1, 2015 Andrew L. Brasher April 10, 2018
3 William Keith Watkins Senior Status January 31, 2019 [3]

Former judges

# Judge State Born–died Active service Chief Judge Senior status Appointed by Reason for
termination
1 William Crawford AL 1784–1849 1826–1849 J.Q. Adams death
2 John Gayle AL 1792–1859 1849–1859 Taylor death
3 William Giles Jones AL 1808–1883 1859 [4]–1861 Buchanan resignation
4 George Washington Lane AL 1806–1863 1861–1863 Lincoln death
5 Richard Busteed AL 1822–1898 1863 [5]–1874 Lincoln resignation
6 John Bruce AL 1832–1901 1875–1901 Grant death
7 Thomas G. Jones AL 1844–1914 1901–1914 T. Roosevelt death
8 Henry De Lamar Clayton Jr. AL 1857–1929 1914–1929 Wilson death
9 Charles Brents Kennamer AL 1874–1955 1931–1955 Hoover death
10 Frank Minis Johnson AL 1918–1999 1955–1979 1966–1979 Eisenhower appointment to 11th Cir.
11 Thomas Virgil Pittman AL 1916–2012 1966–1970 L. Johnson seat abolished
12 Robert Edward Varner AL 1921–2006 1971–1986 1979–1984 1986–2006 Nixon death
13 Truman McGill Hobbs AL 1921–2015 1980–1991 1984–1991 1991–2015 Carter death
15 Joel Fredrick Dubina AL 1947–present 1986–1990 Reagan appointment to 11th Cir.
17 Ira De Ment AL 1931–2011 1992–2002 2002–2011 G.H.W. Bush death
18 Mark Fuller AL 1958–present 2002–2015 2004–2011 G.W. Bush resignation

Chief judges

Chief judges have administrative responsibilities with respect to their district court. Unlike the Supreme Court, where one justice is specifically nominated to be chief, the office of chief judge rotates among the district court 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.

Court decisions

Browder v. Gayle (1956) – Court rules that bus segregation in Montgomery was unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment. Decision upheld by U.S. Supreme Court six months later.

Gomillion v. Lightfoot (1958) – Court dismissed action, which was later affirmed by the Fifth Circuit. In 1960, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the decision, finding that electoral districts drawn in Tuskegee, with the purpose of disenfranchising black voters, violated the Fifteenth Amendment.

Lee v. Macon County Board of Education (1963) – Court rules segregation in schooling was unconstitutional under the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendment. Decision upheld by U.S. Supreme Court. [6]

United States v. Alabama (1966) – Court rules poll tax violates the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendment. U.S. Supreme Court concurred three weeks later in an unrelated case, Harper v. Virginia Board of Elections.

Glassroth v. Moore (2002) – Court rules that a display of the Ten Commandments, erected by Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore in the Alabama Judicial Building violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

Succession of seats

See also

Notes

  1. ^ http://www.fjc.gov/history/home.nsf/page/courts_district_al.html U.S. District Courts of Alabama, Legislative history, Federal Judicial Center
  2. ^ 28 U.S.C. § 81
  3. ^ Future Judicial Vacancies
  4. ^ Recess appointment; formally nominated on January 23, 1860, confirmed by the United States Senate on January 30, 1860, and received commission on January 30, 1860.
  5. ^ Recess appointment; formally nominated on January 5, 1864, confirmed by the United States Senate on January 20, 1864, and received commission on January 20, 1864.
  6. ^ http://www.leagle.com/decision/1964974231FSupp743_1831 (Lee v. Macon County Board of Education)

External links