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. This court was created under Article IV of the U.S. Constitution, rather than Article III under which the other district courts in the Circuit were created.

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.[3] 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

As of February 1, 2017, the judges on the court are as follows:[5][8]

#TitleJudgeDuty stationBornTerm of serviceAppointed by
ActiveChiefSenior
56Chief JudgeD. Brooks SmithDuncansville, PA19512002–present2016–presentG.W. Bush
50Circuit JudgeTheodore McKeePhiladelphia, PA19471994–present2010–2016Clinton
54Circuit JudgeThomas L. AmbroWilmington, DE19492000–presentClinton
60Circuit JudgeMichael ChagaresNewark, NJ19622006–presentG.W. Bush
61Circuit JudgeKent A. JordanWilmington, DE19572006–presentG.W. Bush
62Circuit JudgeThomas HardimanPittsburgh, PA19652007–presentG.W. Bush
63Circuit JudgeJoseph A. Greenaway Jr.Newark, NJ19572010–presentObama
64Circuit JudgeThomas I. VanaskieScranton, PA19532010–presentObama
65Circuit JudgePatty ShwartzNewark, NJ19612013–presentObama
66Circuit JudgeCheryl Ann KrausePhiladelphia, PA19682014–presentObama
67Circuit JudgeL. Felipe RestrepoPhiladelphia, PA19592016–presentObama
68Circuit JudgeStephanos BibasPhiladelphia, PA1969beg. 2017Trump
69Circuit Judgevacant
70Circuit Judgevacant
38Senior Circuit JudgeDolores Korman Sloviterinactive19321979–20131991–19982013–presentCarter
41Senior Circuit JudgeWalter King StapletonWilmington, DE19341985–19991999–presentReagan
42Senior Circuit JudgeMorton Ira GreenbergTrenton, NJ19331987–20002000–presentReagan
44Senior Circuit JudgeAnthony Joseph SciricaPhiladelphia, PA19401987–20132003–20102013–presentReagan
45Senior Circuit JudgeRobert E. CowenTrenton, NJ19301987–19981998–presentReagan
46Senior Circuit JudgeRichard Lowell NygaardErie, PA19401988–20052005–presentReagan
48Senior Circuit JudgeJane Richards RothWashington, DC19351991–20062006–presentG.H.W. Bush
52Senior Circuit JudgeMarjorie O. RendellPhiladelphia, PA19471997–20152015–presentClinton
53Senior Circuit JudgeMaryanne Trump Barryinactive[9]19371999–20112011–presentClinton
55Senior Circuit JudgeJulio M. FuentesNewark, NJ19462000–20162016–presentClinton
58Senior Circuit JudgeD. Michael FisherPittsburgh, PA19442003–20172017–presentG.W. Bush

Vacancies and pending nominations

SeatSeat Last Held ByVacancy ReasonDate of VacancyNomineeDate of Nomination
3Julio M. FuentesSenior statusJuly 18, 2016
11D. Michael FisherSenior statusFebruary 1, 2017

List of former judges

#JudgeStateBorn–diedActive serviceChief JudgeSenior statusAppointed byReason for
termination
1Acheson, Marcus WilsonMarcus Wilson AchesonPA1828–19061891–1906Harrison, B.B. Harrisondeath
2Dallas, George M.George M. DallasPA1839–19171892–1909Harrison, B.B. Harrisonretirement
3Gray, GeorgeGeorge GrayDE1840–19251899–1914McKinley, McKinleyretirement
4Buffington, JosephJoseph BuffingtonPA1855–19471906–19381938–1947Roosevelt, T.T. Rooseveltdeath
5Lanning, William M.William M. LanningNJ1849–19121909–1912Taft, Taftdeath
6McPherson, John BayardJohn Bayard McPhersonPA1846–19191912–1919Taft, Taftdeath
7Woolley, Victor BaynardVictor Baynard WoolleyDE1867–19451914–19381938–1945Wilson, Wilsondeath
8Haight, Thomas GriffithThomas Griffith HaightNJ1879–19421919–1920Wilson, Wilsonresignation
9Davis, John WarrenJohn Warren DavisNJ1867–19451920–19391939–1941Wilson, Wilsonresignation
10Thompson, Joseph WhitakerJoseph Whitaker ThompsonPA1861–19461931–19381938–1946Hoover, Hooverdeath
11Biggs, Jr., JohnJohn Biggs, Jr.DE1895–19791937–19651948–19651965–1979Roosevelt, F.F. Rooseveltdeath
12Maris, Albert BransonAlbert Branson MarisPA1893–19891938–19581958–1989Roosevelt, F.F. Rooseveltdeath
13Clark, WilliamWilliam ClarkNJ1891–19571938–1943Roosevelt, F.F. Rooseveltresignation
14Biddle, FrancisFrancis BiddlePA1886–19681939–1940Roosevelt, F.F. Rooseveltresignation
15Jones, Charles AlvinCharles Alvin JonesPA1887–19661939–1944Roosevelt, F.F. Rooseveltresignation
16Goodrich, Herbert FunkHerbert Funk GoodrichPA1889–19621940–1962Roosevelt, F.F. Rooseveltdeath
17McLaughlin, GeraldGerald McLaughlinNJ1893–19771943–19681968–1977Roosevelt, F.F. Rooseveltdeath
18O'Connell, John JosephJohn Joseph O'ConnellPA1894–19491945–1949Truman, Trumandeath
19Kalodner, Harry EllisHarry Ellis KalodnerPA1896–19771946–19691965–19661969–1977Truman, Trumandeath
20Hastie, William H.William H. HastieVI1904–19761949–19711968–19711971–1976Truman, Trumandeath
21Staley, Austin LeanderAustin Leander StaleyPA1902–19781950–19671966–19671967–1978Truman, Trumandeath
22Forman, PhillipPhillip FormanNJ1895–19781959–19611961–1978Eisenhower, Eisenhowerdeath
23Ganey, James CullenJames Cullen GaneyPA1899–19721961–19661966–1972Kennedy, Kennedydeath
24Smith, William FrancisWilliam Francis SmithNJ1903–19681961–1968Kennedy, Kennedydeath
25Freedman, Abraham LincolnAbraham Lincoln FreedmanPA1904–19711964–1971Johnson, L.L. Johnsondeath
26Seitz, Collins J.Collins J. SeitzDE1914–19981966–19891971–19841989–1998Johnson, L.L. Johnsondeath
27Van Dusen, Francis LundFrancis Lund Van DusenPA1912–19931967–19771977–1993Johnson, L.L. Johnsondeath
28Aldisert, Ruggero J.Ruggero J. AldisertPA1919–20141968–19861984-19861986–2014Johnson, L.L. Johnsondeath
29Stahl, David HenryDavid Henry StahlPA1920–19701968–1970Johnson, L.L. Johnsondeath
30Adams, Arlin M.Arlin M. AdamsPA1921–20151969–1987Nixon, Nixonretirement
31Gibbons, John JosephJohn Joseph GibbonsNJ1924–present1969–19901987–1990Nixon, Nixonretirement
32Rosenn, MaxMax RosennPA1910–20061970–19811981–2006Nixon, Nixondeath
33Rosen, JamesJames RosenNJ1909–19721971–1972Nixon, Nixondeath
34Hunter III, JamesJames Hunter IIINJ1916–19891971–19861986–1989Nixon, Nixondeath
35Weis Jr., Joseph F.Joseph F. Weis Jr.PA1923–20141973–19881988–2014Nixondeath
36Leonard I. GarthNJ1921–20161973–19861986–2016Nixondeath
37Higginbotham Jr., A. LeonA. Leon Higginbotham Jr.PA1928–19981977–19911990–19911991–1993Carter, Carterretirement
39Becker, Edward RoyEdward Roy BeckerPA1933–20061981–20031998–20032003–2006Reagan, Reagandeath
40Mansmann, Carol LosCarol Los MansmannPA1942–20021985–2002Reagan, Reagandeath
43Hutchinson, William D.William D. HutchinsonPA1932–19951987–1995Reagan, Reagandeath
47Alito, SamuelSamuel AlitoNJ1950–present1990–2006Bush, G.H.W.G.H.W. Bushelevated to Supreme Court
49Lewis, Timothy K.Timothy K. LewisPA1954–present1992–1999Bush, G.H.W.G.H.W. Bushresignation
51Sarokin, H. LeeH. Lee SarokinNJ1928–present1994–1996Clinton, Clintonretirement
57Chertoff, MichaelMichael ChertoffNJ1953–present2003–2005Bush, G.W.G.W. Bushresignation
59Van Antwerpen, FranklinFranklin Van AntwerpenPA1941–20162004–20062006–2016Bush, G.W.G.W. Bushdeath
  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.

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
AchesonPA1892–1906
BuffingtonPA1906–1938
BiddlePA1939–1940
GoodrichPA1940–1962
FreedmanPA1964–1971
WeisPA1973–1988
NygaardPA1988–2005
HardimanPA2007–present
Seat 2
Established on June 16, 1891 by the Judiciary Act of 1891
DallasPA1892–1909
LanningNJ1909–1912
McPhersonPA1912–1919
HaightNJ1919–1920
DavisNJ1920–1939
JonesPA1939–1944
KalodnerPA1946–1969
AdamsPA1969–1987
HutchinsonPA1987–1995
RendellPA1997–2015
BibasPA2017–present
Seat 3
Established on February 23, 1899 by 30 Stat. 846
GrayDE1899–1914
WoolleyDE1914–1938
MarisPA1938–1958
FormanNJ1959–1961
W. SmithNJ1961–1968
HunterNJ1971–1986
CowenNJ1987–1998
FuentesNJ2000–2016
vacantNJ2016–present
Seat 4
Established on June 10, 1930 by 46 Stat. 538
ThompsonPA1931–1938
ClarkNJ1938–1943
McLaughlinNJ1943–1968
GibbonsNJ1969–1990
AlitoNJ1990–2006
GreenawayNJ2010–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
BiggsDE1937–1965
SeitzDE1966–1989
RothDE1991–2006
JordanDE2006–present
Seat 6
Established on December 7, 1944 by 58 Stat. 796
O'ConnellPA1945–1949
StaleyPA1950–1967
AldisertPA1968–1986
SciricaPA1987–2013
RestrepoPA2016–present
Seat 7
Established on August 3, 1949 by 63 Stat. 493
HastieVI1950–1971
RosenNJ1971–1972
GarthNJ1973–1986
GreenbergNJ1987–2000
ChertoffNJ2003–2005
ChagaresNJ2006–present
Seat 8
Established on May 19, 1961 by 75 Stat. 80
GaneyPA1961–1966
Van DusenPA1967–1977
HigginbothamPA1977–1991
McKeePA1994–present
Seat 9
Established on June 18, 1968 by 82 Stat. 184
StahlPA1968–1970
RosennPA1970–1981
BeckerPA1981–2003
Van AntwerpenPA2004–2006
VanaskiePA2010–present
Seat 10
Established on October 20, 1978 by 92 Stat. 1629
SloviterPA1979–2013
KrausePA2014–present
Seat 11
Established on July 10, 1984 by 98 Stat. 333
MansmannPA1985–2002
FisherPA2003–2017
vacantPA2017–present
Seat 12
Established on July 10, 1984 by 98 Stat. 333
StapletonDE1985–1999
AmbroDE2000–present
Seat 13
Established on December 1, 1990 by 104 Stat. 5089
LewisPA1992–1999
B. SmithPA2002–present
Seat 14
Established on December 1, 1990 by 104 Stat. 5089
SarokinNJ1994–1996
BarryNJ1999–2011
ShwartzNJ2013–present

See also