- United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
- Eastern District of Arkansas
- Western District of Arkansas
- Northern District of Iowa
- Southern District of Iowa
- District of Minnesota
- Eastern District of Missouri
- Western District of Missouri
- District of Nebraska
- District of North Dakota
- District of South Dakota
The Eighth Circuit is the most Republican U.S. Court of Appeals in the nation, with 9 of its 11 active judges (82%) appointed by Republican Presidents. The opposite end of the political spectrum is represented by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which has the highest percentage of Democratic appointees at 60% of active judges (as of November 2010).
See Federal judicial appointment history.
- The Eighth Circuit is the only Court of Appeal in the nation to have a majority of its judges appointed by a single President. George W. Bush appointed six of the Eighth Circuit's eleven allotted judges. Although short of an outright majority, President Bush also appointed eight of the sixteen members of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
See Federal judicial appointment history.
Current composition of the court
# Title Judge Duty station Born Term of service Appointed by Active Chief Senior 51 Chief Judge William J. Riley Omaha, NE 1947 2001–present 2010–present — G.W. Bush 42 Circuit Judge Roger Leland Wollman Sioux Falls, SD 1934 1985–present 1999–2002 — Reagan 45 Circuit Judge James B. Loken Minneapolis, MN 1940 1990–present 2003–2010 — G.H.W. Bush 48 Circuit Judge Diana E. Murphy Minneapolis, MN 1934 1994–present (none) — Clinton 50 Circuit Judge Kermit Edward Bye Fargo, ND 1937 2000–present (none) — Clinton 52 Circuit Judge Michael Joseph Melloy Cedar Rapids, IA 1948 2002–present (none) — G.W. Bush 53 Circuit Judge Lavenski R. Smith Little Rock, AR 1958 2002–present (none) — G.W. Bush 54 Circuit Judge Steven M. Colloton Des Moines, IA 1963 2003–present (none) — G.W. Bush 55 Circuit Judge Raymond W. Gruender Saint Louis, MO 1963 2004–present (none) — G.W. Bush 56 Circuit Judge William Duane Benton Kansas City, MO 1950 2004–present (none) — G.W. Bush 57 Circuit Judge Bobby E. Shepherd El Dorado, AR 1951 2006–present (none) — G.W. Bush 32 Senior Circuit Judge Myron H. Bright Fargo, ND 1919 1968–1985 (none) 1985–present L. Johnson 33 Senior Circuit Judge Donald Roe Ross (inactive) 1922 1970–1987 (none) 1987–present Nixon 40 Senior Circuit Judge George Gardner Fagg (inactive) 1934 1982–1999 (none) 1999–present Reagan 41 Senior Circuit Judge Pasco Bowman II Kansas City, MO 1933 1983–2003 1998–1999 2003–present Reagan 43 Senior Circuit Judge Frank J. Magill (inactive) 1927 1986–1997 (none) 1997–present Reagan 44 Senior Circuit Judge C. Arlen Beam Lincoln, NE 1930 1987–2001 (none) 2001–present Reagan 46 Senior Circuit Judge David R. Hansen (inactive) 1938 1991–2003 2002–2003 2003–2011 G.H.W. Bush 47 Senior Circuit Judge Morris Sheppard Arnold Little Rock, AR 1941 1992–2006 (none) 2006–present G.H.W. Bush
Vacancies and pending nominations
Seat Seat Last Held By Vacancy Reason Date of Vacancy Nominee Date of Nomination — No Current Vacancies
List of former judges
# Judge State Born/Died Active service Term as Chief Judge Senior status Appointed by Reason for
1 Henry Clay Caldwell AR 1832–1915 1891–1903 (none) (none)  retirement 2 Walter Henry Sanborn MN 1845–1928 1892–1928 (none) (none) B. Harrison death 3 Amos Madden Thayer MO 1841–1905 1894–1905 (none) (none) Cleveland death 4 Willis Van Devanter 1859–1941 1903–1910 (none) (none) T. Roosevelt elevation to Supreme Court 5 William Cather Hook KS 1857–1921 1903–1921 (none) (none) T. Roosevelt death 6 Elmer Bragg Adams MO 1842–1916 1905–1916 (none) (none) T. Roosevelt death — John Emmett Carland SD 1853–1922 1911–1922 (none) (none)  death 7 Walter I. Smith IA 1862–1922 1911–1922 (none) (none) Taft death 8 Kimbrough Stone MO 1875–1958 1916–1947 (none) 1947–1958 Wilson death 9 Robert E. Lewis CO 1857–1941 1921–1929 (none) (none) Harding reassignment to 10th Circuit 10 William Squire Kenyon IA 1869–1933 1922–1933 (none) (none) Harding death 11 Wilbur Franklin Booth MN 1861–1944 1925–1932 (none) 1932–1944 Coolidge death 12 Arba Seymour Van Valkenburgh MO 1862–1944 1925–1933 (none) 1933–1944 Coolidge death 13 John Hazelton Cotteral OK 1864–1933 1928–1929 (none) (none) Coolidge reassignment to 10th Circuit 14 Archibald K. Gardner SD 1867–1962 1929–1960 1948–1959 1960–1962 Hoover death 15 John B. Sanborn, Jr. MN 1883–1964 1932–1958 (none) 1959–1964 Hoover death 16 Joseph William Woodrough NE 1873–1977 1933–1961 (none) 1961–1977 F. Roosevelt death 17 Charles Breckenridge Faris MO 1864–1938 1935–1935 (none) 1935–1938 F. Roosevelt death 18 Seth Thomas IA 1873–1962 1935(b)–1954 (none) 1954–1962 F. Roosevelt death 19 Harvey M. Johnsen NE 1895–1975 1940–1965 1959–1965 1965–1975 F. Roosevelt death 20 Walter Garrett Riddick AR 1883–1953 1941–1953 (none) (none) F. Roosevelt death 21 John Caskie Collet MO 1898–1955 1947–1955 (none) (none) Truman death 22 Charles Joseph Vogel ND 1898–1980 1954–1968 1965–1968 1968–1980 Eisenhower death 23 Martin Donald Van Oosterhout IA 1900–1979 1954–1971 1968–1970 1971–1979 Eisenhower death 24 Charles Evans Whittaker MO 1901–1973 1956–1957 (none) (none) Eisenhower elevation to Supreme Court 25 Marion Charles Matthes MO 1906–1980 1958–1973 1970–1973 1973–1980 Eisenhower death 26 Harry Blackmun MN 1908–1999 1959–1970 (none) (none) Eisenhower elevation to Supreme Court 27 Albert Alphonso Ridge MO 1898–1967 1961–1965 (none) 1965–1967 Kennedy death 28 Pat Mehaffy AR 1904–1981 1963–1974 1973–1974 1974–1981 Kennedy death 29 Floyd Robert Gibson MO 1910–2001 1965–1979 1974–1979 1979–2001 L. Johnson death 30 Donald P. Lay MN 1926–2007 1966–1992 1979–1992 1992–2007 L. Johnson death 31 Gerald William Heaney MN 1918–2010 1966–1988 (none) 1988–2006 L. Johnson retirement 34 Roy Laverne Stephenson IA 1917–1982 1971–1982 (none) 1982–1982 Nixon death 35 William Hedgcock Webster MO 1924–present 1973–1978 (none) (none) Nixon resignation to become FBI Director 36 Jesse Smith Henley AR 1917–1997 1975–1982 (none) 1982–1997 Ford death 37 Theodore McMillian MO 1919–2006 1978–2003 (none) 2003–2006 Carter death 38 Richard Sheppard Arnold AR 1936–2004 1980–2001 1992–1998 2001–2004 Carter death 49 John David Kelly ND 1934–1998 1998–1998 (none) (none) Clinton death
Chief Judge Gardner 1948–1959 Johnsen 1959–1965 Vogel 1965–1968 Van Oosterhout 1968–1970 Matthes 1970–1973 Mehaffy 1973–1974 Gibson 1974–1979 Lay 1979–1992 Arnold 1992–1998 Bowman 1998–1999 Wollman 1999–2002 Hansen 2002–2003 Loken 2003–2010 Riley 2010–present
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 had thirteen seats for active judges. Two of these seats were reassigned to the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, leaving a eleven-seat court. The seats are 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 Circuit Judges Act as a circuit judgeship for the Eighth Circuit Reassigned to the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit by the Judiciary Act of 1891 Caldwell AR 1891–1903 Hook KS 1903–1921 Lewis CO 1921–1929 Reassigned on February 28, 1929 to the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit by 45 Stat. 1346 Seat 2 Established on June 16, 1891 by the Judiciary Act of 1891 W. Sanborn MN 1892–1928 Cotteral OK 1928–1929 Reassigned on February 28, 1929 to the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit by 45 Stat. 1346 Seat 3 Established on July 23, 1894 by 28 Stat. 115 Thayer MO 1894–1905 Adams MO 1905–1916 Stone MO 1916–1947 Collet MO 1947–1955 Whittaker MO 1956–1957 Matthes MO 1958–1973 Webster MO 1973–1978 McMillian MO 1978–2003 Benton MO 2004–present Seat 4 Established on January 31, 1903 by 32 Stat. 791 Van Devanter WY 1903–1910 W. Smith IA 1911–1922 Kenyon IA 1922–1933 Faris MO 1935–1935 Thomas IA 1935–1954 Van Oosterhout IA 1954–1971 Stephenson IA 1971–1982 Fagg IA 1982–1999 Melloy IA 2002–present Seat 5 Established on March 3, 1925 by 43 Stat. 1116 Booth MN 1925–1932 J. Sanborn MN 1932–1959 Blackmun MN 1959–1970 Ross NE 1970–1987 Beam NE 1987–2001 Riley NE 2001–present Seat 6 Established on March 3, 1925 by 43 Stat. 1116 Van Valkenburgh MO 1925–1933 Woodrough NE 1933–1961 Mehaffy AR 1963–1974 Henley AR 1975–1982 Bowman MO 1983–2003 Gruender MO 2004–present Seat 7 Established on February 28, 1929 by 45 Stat. 1346 Gardner SD 1929–1960 Ridge MO 1961–1965 F. Gibson MO 1965–1979 J. Gibson MO 1982–1994 Murphy MN 1994–present Seat 8 Established on May 24, 1940 by 54 Stat. 219 Johnsen NE 1940–1965 Lay NE 1966–1992 M. Arnold AR 1992–2006 Shepherd AR 2006–present Seat 9 Established on May 24, 1940 by 54 Stat. 219 Riddick AR 1941–1953 Vogel ND 1954–1968 Bright ND 1968–1985 Magill ND 1986–1997 Kelly ND 1998–1998 Bye ND 2000–present Seat 10 Established on March 18, 1966 by 80 Stat. 75 Heaney MN 1966–1988 Loken MN 1990–present Seat 11 Established on October 20, 1978 by 92 Stat. 1629 R. Arnold AR 1980–2001 L. Smith AR 2002–present Seat 12 Established on July 10, 1984 by 98 Stat. 333 Wollman SD 1985–present Seat 13 Established on December 1, 1990 by 104 Stat. 5089 Hansen IA 1991–2003 Colloton IA 2003–present
- Federal judicial appointment history#Eighth Circuit
- ^ Caldwell was appointed as a circuit judge for the Eighth Circuit in 1890 by Benjamin Harrison. The Judiciary Act of 1891 reassigned his seat to what is now the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.
- ^ Recess appointment, confirmed by the United States Senate at a later date.
- ^ Carland did not have a permanent seat on this court. Instead, he was appointed to the ill-fated United States Commerce Court in 1911 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. Carland was assigned to the Eighth Circuit upon his commission.
- "Standard Search". Federal Law Clerk Information System. https://lawclerks.ao.uscourts.gov/web/jobSearch. Retrieved June 10, 2005.
- primary but incomplete source for the duty stations
- "Instructions for Judicial Directory". Website of the University of Texas Law School. Archived from the original on November 11, 2005. http://web.archive.org/web/20051111193332/http://www.utexas.edu/law/depts/career/downloads/judicial_listing.html. Retrieved July 4, 2005.
- secondary source for the duty stations
- data is current to 2002
- "U. S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit". Official website of the Federal Judicial Center. Archived from the original on May 2, 2005. http://web.archive.org/web/20050502185439/http://www.fjc.gov/history/home.nsf/usca_08_frm?OpenFrameSet. Retrieved June 10, 2005.
- source for the state, lifetime, term of active judgeship, term of chief judgeship, term of senior judgeship, appointer, termination reason, and seat information
United States courts of appeals
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