|United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa|
The Northern (red) and Southern (blue) Districts of Iowa
|Location||United States Courthouse|
|Appeals to||Eighth Circuit|
|Established||July 20, 1882|
|Chief Judge||John Alfred Jarvey|
|Officers of the court|
|U.S. Attorney||Marc Krickbaum|
|U.S. Marshal||Ted G. Kamatchus|
The United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa (in case citations, S.D. Iowa) has jurisdiction over forty-seven of Iowa's ninety-nine counties. It is subject to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals (except for patent claims and claims against the U.S. government under the Tucker Act, which are appealed to the Federal Circuit).
The United States District Court for the District of Iowa, established on March 3, 1845, by 5 Stat. 789,   was subdivided into the current Northern and Southern Districts on July 20, 1882, by 22 Stat. 172.  Initially, one judge was assigned to each District.
By 1927, a backlog of unresolved cases dating back to 1920 had developed.  In October 1927, Judge Martin Joseph Wade announced that he "was through" attempting to try cases requiring more than one day, but urged Congress to create a second judgeship for the Southern District of Iowa.  On January 19, 1928, President Calvin Coolidge signed into law a bill that authorized a second judgeship for the District, with the proviso that when the existing judgeship (held by Judge Wade) becomes vacant, it shall not be filled unless authorized by Congress.  When the original judgeship became vacant upon Wade's death in 1931, Congress did not act to reauthorize it, leaving the Southern District with a single judgeship.  A second judgeship in the Southern District was not reauthorized by Congress until 1979, with the creation of the judgeship first held by Harold Duane Vietor. 
In 1962, Congress created a new judgeship that would be shared by the Northern and Southern Districts of Iowa.  The shared judgeship was replaced in 1990 when the shared judgeship (then held by Judge Donald Eugene O'Brien) was assigned entirely to the Northern District, and a third Southern District judgeship (first held by Judge Ronald Earl Longstaff) was authorized. 
John Alfred Jarvey, Stephanie Marie Rose and Rebecca Goodgame Ebinger currently serve on the bench as full, Article III judges while Ronald Earl Longstaff, Robert W. Pratt, Charles Wolle, and James E. Gritzner have the status of senior judges.
It is headquartered at the United States Courthouse in Des Moines, with satellite facilities in Council Bluffs and at the United States Court House in Davenport. Marc Krickbaum is the current United States Attorney.
The Southern District of Iowa has three court divisions, each covering the following counties:
The Central Division, covering Adair, Adams, Appanoose, Boone, Clarke, Dallas, Davis, Decatur, Greene, Guthrie, Jasper, Jefferson, Keokuk, Lucas, Madison, Mahaska, Marion, Marshall, Monroe, Polk, Poweshiek, Ringgold, Story, Taylor, Union, Wapello, Warren and Wayne counties.
|#||Title||Judge||Duty station||Born||Term of service||Appointed by|
|18||Chief Judge||John Alfred Jarvey||Davenport||1956||2007–present||2015–present||—||G.W. Bush|
|19||District Judge||Stephanie Marie Rose||Des Moines||1972||2012–present||—||—||Obama|
|20||District Judge||Rebecca Goodgame Ebinger||Des Moines||1975||2016–present||—||—||Obama|
|14||Senior Judge||Charles Robert Wolle||Des Moines||1935||1987–2001||1992–2001||2001–present||Reagan|
|15||Senior Judge||Ronald Earl Longstaff||inactive||1941||1991–2006||2001–2006||2006–present||G.H.W. Bush|
|16||Senior Judge||Robert W. Pratt||Des Moines||1947||1997–2012||2006–2011||2012–present||Clinton|
|17||Senior Judge||James E. Gritzner||Des Moines||1947||2002–2015||2011–2015||2015–present||G.W. Bush|
|#||Judge||State||Born–died||Active service||Chief Judge||Senior status||Appointed by||Reason for|
|1||James M. Love||IA||1820–1891||1882–1891 [Note 1]||—||—||Pierce||death|
|2||John Simson Woolson||IA||1840–1899||1891–1899 [Note 2]||—||—||B. Harrison||death|
|4||Martin Joseph Wade||IA||1861–1931||1915–1931||—||—||Wilson||death|
|5||Charles Almon Dewey||IA||1877–1958||1928–1949||—||1949–1958||Coolidge||death|
|6||Carroll O. Switzer||IA||1908–1960||1949–1950 [Note 3]||—||—||Truman||not confirmed|
|7||William F. Riley||IA||1884–1956||1950–1956||—||—||Truman||death|
|8||Edwin Richley Hicklin||IA||1895–1963||1957–1960||—||1960–1963||Eisenhower||death|
|9||Roy Laverne Stephenson||IA||1917–1982||1960–1971||1961–1971||—||Eisenhower||appointment to 8th Cir.|
|10||William Cook Hanson||IA||1909–1995||1962–1977||1971–1977||1977–1995||Kennedy||death|
|11||William Corwin Stuart||IA||1920–2010||1971–1986||1977–1985||1986–2010||Nixon||death|
|12||Donald Eugene O'Brien||IA||1923–2015||1978–1990||—||—||Carter||seat abolished|
|13||Harold Duane Vietor||IA||1931–2016||1979–1996||1985–1992||1996–2016||Carter||death|
- Reassigned from the District of Iowa
- Recess appointment; formally nominated on December 10, 1891, confirmed by the United States Senate on January 11, 1892, and received commission on January 11, 1892.
- Recess appointment; the United States Senate later rejected the appointment.
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.
- Asbury Dickens, A Synoptical Index to the Laws and Treaties of the United States of America (1852), p. 394.
- U.S. District Courts of Iowa, Legislative history, Federal Judicial Center.
- "Judge Wade Hits Delayed Legal Cases," Sioux City Journal, 1927-10-06, p. 1.
- Pub. L. No. 6, ch. 10, 70th Cong., 1st Sess, 45 Stat. 52.
- "No Additional Judgeship Created in Southern Iowa," Atlantic News-Telegraph, 1931-04-18 p. 5.
- 92 Stat. 1629.
- 75 Stat. 80.
- 104 Stat. 5089.
- Southern District website
- US Attorney for the Southern District
- Active district court judges
- Senior status judges