Biographical Directory of Federal Judges

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The Biographical Directory of Federal Judges is a publication of the Federal Judicial Center providing basic biographical information on all past and present United States federal court Article III judges (those federal judges with life tenure).

Federal Judicial Center

The Federal Judicial Center is the education and research agency of the United States federal courts. It was established by Pub.L. 90–219 in 1967, at the recommendation of the Judicial Conference of the United States.

United States federal judge position in the USA

In the United States, the title of federal judge means a judge appointed by the president of the United States and confirmed by the United States Senate pursuant to the Appointments Clause in Article II of the United States Constitution.

A life tenure or service during good behaviour is a term of office that lasts for the office holder's lifetime, unless the office holder is removed from office for cause under extraordinary circumstances or chooses to resign.

These include justices of the Supreme Court of the United States and judges of United States courts of appeals, district courts, and the now-obsolete circuit courts.

Supreme Court of the United States Highest court in the United States

The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) is the highest court in the federal judiciary of the United States of America, established pursuant to Article III of the U.S. Constitution in 1789. It has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all federal and state court cases that involve a point of federal law, and original jurisdiction over a narrow range of cases, including suits between two or more states and those involving ambassadors. The Court holds the power of judicial review, the ability to invalidate a statute for violating a provision of the Constitution. Presidential directives can be struck down by the Court for violating either the Constitution or statutory law. However, it may act only within the context of a case in an area of law over which it has jurisdiction. The Court may decide cases having political overtones, but it has ruled that it does not have power to decide non-justiciable political questions.

United States district court type of court of the United States federal court system

The United States district courts are the general trial courts of the United States federal court system. Both civil and criminal cases are filed in the district court, which is a court of law, equity, and admiralty. There is a United States bankruptcy court associated with each United States district court. Each federal judicial district has at least one courthouse, and many districts have more than one. The formal name of a district court is "the United States District Court for" the name of the district—for example, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.

United States circuit court pre-1912 class of U.S. federal circuit court, that lost appellate jurisdiction in 1891

The United States circuit courts were the original intermediate level courts of the United States federal court system. They were established by the Judiciary Act of 1789. They had trial court jurisdiction over civil suits of diversity jurisdiction and major federal crimes. They also had appellate jurisdiction over the United States district courts. The Judiciary Act of 1891 transferred their appellate jurisdiction to the newly created United States circuit courts of appeals, which are now known as the United States courts of appeals. On January 1, 1912, the effective date of the Judicial Code of 1911, the circuit courts were abolished, with their remaining trial court jurisdiction transferred to the U.S. district courts.

The Biographical Directory is available online in searchable format. Biographical information provided for each judge includes birth and death dates, educational background, a summary of the judge's professional career and a summary of the judge's federal judicial service (including dates of nomination, confirmation, and acceptance of commission.) Where available, links to the location of the judge's manuscript papers, biographical sources, and oral history sources are also provided.

Oral history collection of information about something recorded through interviews

Oral history is the collection and study of historical information about individuals, families, important events, or everyday life using audiotapes, videotapes, or transcriptions of planned interviews. These interviews are conducted with people who participated in or observed past events and whose memories and perceptions of these are to be preserved as an aural record for future generations. Oral history strives to obtain information from different perspectives and most of these cannot be found in written sources. Oral history also refers to information gathered in this manner and to a written work based on such data, often preserved in archives and large libraries. Knowledge presented by Oral History (OH) is unique in that it shares the tacit perspective, thoughts, opinions and understanding of the interviewee in its primary form.

As a non-copyrighted work of the United States government, the Biographical Directory is in the public domain within the United States.

Copyright is the exclusive right, given to the creator of a creative work, to reproduce the work, usually for a limited time. The creative work may be in a literary, artistic or musical form. Copyright is intended to protect the original expression of an idea in the form of a creative work, but not the idea itself. A copyright is subject to limitations based on public interest considerations, such as the fair use doctrine in the United States. Some jurisdictions require "fixing" copyrighted works in a tangible form. It is often shared among multiple authors, each of whom holds a set of rights to use or license the work, and who are commonly referred to as rights holders. These rights frequently include reproduction, control over derivative works, distribution, public performance, and moral rights such as attribution.

The public domain consists of all the creative work to which no exclusive intellectual property rights apply. Those rights may have expired, been forfeited, expressly waived, or may be inapplicable.


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