- United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
- Eastern District of Kentucky
- Western District of Kentucky
- Eastern District of Michigan
- Western District of Michigan
- Northern District of Ohio
- Southern District of Ohio
- Eastern District of Tennessee
- Middle District of Tennessee
- Western District of Tennessee
Current composition of the court
The judges on the court are:
# Title Judge Duty station Born Term of service Appointed by Active Chief Senior 53 Chief Judge Alice M. Batchelder Medina, OH 1944 1991–present 2009–present — G.H.W. Bush 40 Circuit Judge Boyce F. Martin, Jr. Louisville, KY 1935 1979–present 1996–2003 — Carter 49 Circuit Judge Danny Julian Boggs Louisville, KY 1944 1986–present 2003–2009 — Reagan 55 Circuit Judge Karen Nelson Moore Cleveland, OH 1948 1995–present — — Clinton 56 Circuit Judge R. Guy Cole, Jr. Columbus, OH 1951 1995–present — — Clinton 57 Circuit Judge Eric L. Clay Detroit, MI 1948 1997–present — — Clinton 59 Circuit Judge Julia Smith Gibbons Memphis, TN 1950 2002–present — — G.W. Bush 60 Circuit Judge John M. Rogers Lexington, KY 1948 2002–present — — G.W. Bush 61 Circuit Judge Jeffrey Sutton Columbus, OH 1960 2003–present — — G.W. Bush 62 Circuit Judge Deborah L. Cook Akron, OH 1952 2003–present — — G.W. Bush 63 Circuit Judge David McKeague Lansing, MI 1946 2005–present — — G.W. Bush 64 Circuit Judge Richard Allen Griffin Traverse City, MI 1952 2005–present — — G.W. Bush 66 Circuit Judge Raymond M. Kethledge Ann Arbor, MI 1966 2008–present — — G.W. Bush 67 Circuit Judge Helene N. White Detroit, MI 1954 2008–present — — G.W. Bush 68 Circuit Judge Jane Branstetter Stranch Nashville, TN 1953 2010–present — — Obama 69 Circuit Judge Bernice B. Donald Memphis, TN 1951 2011–present — — Obama 36 Senior Circuit Judge Damon J. Keith Detroit, MI 1922 1977–1995 (none) 1995–present Carter 37 Senior Circuit Judge Gilbert Stroud Merritt, Jr. Nashville, TN 1936 1977–2001 1989–1996 2001–present Carter 39 Senior Circuit Judge Cornelia Groefsema Kennedy Detroit, MI 1923 1979–1999 (none) 1999–present Carter 46 Senior Circuit Judge Ralph B. Guy, Jr. Ann Arbor, MI 1929 1985–1994 (none) 1994–present Reagan 50 Senior Circuit Judge Alan Eugene Norris Columbus, OH 1935 1986–2001 (none) 2001–present Reagan 51 Senior Circuit Judge Richard Fred Suhrheinrich Lansing, MI 1936 1990–2001 (none) 2001–present G.H.W. Bush 52 Senior Circuit Judge Eugene Edward Siler, Jr. London, KY 1936 1991–2001 (none) 2001–present G.H.W. Bush 54 Senior Circuit Judge Martha Craig Daughtrey Nashville, TN 1942 1993–2008 (none) 2009–present Clinton 58 Senior Circuit Judge Ronald Lee Gilman Memphis, TN 1942 1997–2010 (none) 2010–present Clinton
Vacancies and pending nominations
Seat Seat Last Held By Vacancy Reason Date of Vacancy Nominee Date of Nomination
List of former judges
# Judge State Born/Died Active service Term as Chief Judge Senior status Appointed by Reason for
1 Howell Edmunds Jackson TN 1832–1895 1891–1893 (none) (none)  elevation to the Supreme Court 2 William Howard Taft OH 1857–1930 1892–1900 (none) (none) B. Harrison resignation 3 Horace Harmon Lurton TN 1844–1914 1893–1909 (none) (none) Cleveland elevation to the Supreme Court 4 William R. Day OH 1849–1923 1899–1903 (none) (none) McKinley elevation to the Supreme Court 5 Henry Franklin Severens MI 1835–1923 1900–1911 (none) (none) McKinley resignation 6 John Kelvey Richards OH 1856–1909 1903–1909 (none) (none) T. Roosevelt death 7 John Wesley Warrington OH 1844–1921 1909–1919 (none) 1919–1921 Taft death 8 Loyal Edwin Knappen MI 1854–1930 1910–1924 (none) 1924–1930 Taft death 9 Arthur Carter Denison MI 1861–1942 1911–1931 (none) (none) Taft resignation 10 Maurice H. Donahue OH 1864–1928 1919–1928 (none) (none) Wilson death 11 Charles Harwood Moorman KY 1876–1938 1925–1938 (none) (none) Coolidge death 12 Xenophon Hicks TN 1872–1952 1928–1952 1948–1952 1952–1952 Coolidge death 13 Smith Hickenlooper OH 1880–1933 1928–1933 (none) (none) Coolidge death — Julian William Mack 1866–1943 1929–1930 (none) (none)  reassignment to 2nd Circuit 14 Charles Casper Simons MI 1876–1964 1932–1959 1952–1958 1959–1964 Hoover death 15 Florence Ellinwood Allen OH 1884–1966 1934–1959 1958–1959 1959–1966 F. Roosevelt death 16 Elwood Hamilton KY 1883–1945 1938–1945 (none) (none) F. Roosevelt death 17 Herschel Whitfield Arant OH 1887–1941 1939–1941 (none) (none) F. Roosevelt death 18 John Donelson Martin, Sr. TN 1883–1962 1940–1962 1959–1959 (none) F. Roosevelt death 19 Thomas Francis McAllister MI 1896–1976 1941–1963 1959–1961 1963–1976 F. Roosevelt death 20 Shackelford Miller, Jr. KY 1892–1965 1945–1965 1961–1962 1965–1965 Truman death 21 Potter Stewart OH 1915–1985 1954–1958 (none) (none) Eisenhower elevation to the Supreme Court 22 Lester LeFevre Cecil OH 1893–1983 1959–1965 1962–1963 1965–1982 Eisenhower death 23 Paul Charles Weick OH 1899–1997 1959–1981 1963–1969 1981–1997 Eisenhower death 24 Clifford Patrick O'Sullivan MI 1897–1975 1960–1969 (none) 1969–1975 Eisenhower death 25 Harry Phillips TN 1909–1985 1963–1979 1969–1979 1979–1985 Kennedy death 26 George Clifton Edwards, Jr. MI 1914–1995 1963–1985 1979–1983 1985–1995 Kennedy death 27 Anthony J. Celebrezze OH 1910–1998 1965–1980 (none) 1980–1998 L. Johnson death 28 John Weld Peck II OH 1913–1993 1966–1978 (none) 1978–1993 L. Johnson death 29 Wade H. McCree MI 1920–1987 1966–1977 (none) (none) L. Johnson resignation 30 Bert T. Combs KY 1911–1991 1967–1970 (none) (none) L. Johnson resignation 31 Henry Luesing Brooks KY 1905–1971 1969–1971 (none) (none) Nixon death 32 William Ernest Miller TN 1908–1976 1970–1976 (none) (none) Nixon death 33 W. Wallace Kent MI 1916–1973 1970–1973 (none) (none) Nixon death 34 Pierce Lively KY 1921-present 1972–1989 1983–1988 1989–2007 Nixon retirement 35 Albert J. Engel, Jr. MI 1924-present 1973–1989 1988–1989 1989–2002 Nixon retirement 38 Bailey Brown TN 1917–2004 1979–1982 (none) 1982–1997 Carter retirement 41 Nathaniel R. Jones OH 1926–present 1979–1995 (none) 1995–2002 Carter retirement 42 Leroy John Contie, Jr. OH 1920–2001 1982–1986 (none) 1986–2001 Reagan death 43 Robert B. Krupansky OH 1921–2004 1982–1991 (none) 1991–2004 Reagan death 44 Harry W. Wellford TN 1924-present 1982–1991 (none) 1991–2001 Reagan retirement 45 Herbert Theodore Milburn TN 1931-present 1984–1996 (none) 1996–1996 Reagan retirement 47 David Aldrich Nelson OH 1932–2010 1985–1999 (none) 1999–2010 Reagan death 48 James Leo Ryan MI 1932-present 1985–2000 (none) 2000–2010 Reagan retirement 65 Susan Bieke Neilson MI 1956–2006 2005–2006 (none) (none) G.W. Bush death
Chief Judge Hicks 1948–1952 Simons 1952–1958 Allen 1958–1959 Martin 1959–1959 McAllister 1959–1961 S. Miller 1961–1962 Cecil 1962–1963 Weick 1963–1969 Phillips 1969–1979 Edwards 1979–1983 Lively 1983–1988 Engel 1988–1989 Merritt 1989–1996 Martin 1996–2003 Boggs 2003–2009 Batchelder 2009–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 sixteen 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 Sixth Circuit Reassigned to the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit by the Judiciary Act of 1891 Jackson TN 1891–1893 Lurton TN 1893–1909 Knappen MI 1910–1924 Moorman KY 1925–1938 Hamilton KY 1938–1945 S. Miller KY 1945–1965 Combs KY 1967–1970 Kent MI 1970–1973 Engel MI 1973–1989 Suhrheinrich MI 1990–2001 McKeague MI 2005–present Seat 2 Established on June 16, 1891 by the Judiciary Act of 1891 Taft OH 1892–1900 Severens MI 1900–1911 Denison MI 1911–1931 Simons MI 1932–1959 O'Sullivan MI 1960–1969 W. Miller TN 1970–1976 Merritt TN 1977–2001 Gibbons TN 2002–present Seat 3 Established on January 25, 1899 by 30 Stat. 803 Day OH 1899–1903 Richards OH 1903–1909 Warrington OH 1909–1919 Donahue OH 1919–1928 Hickenlooper OH 1928–1933 Allen OH 1934–1959 Weick OH 1959–1981 Krupansky OH 1982–1991 Moore OH 1995–present Seat 4 Established on May 8, 1928 by 45 Stat. 492 Hicks TN 1928–1952 Stewart OH 1954–1958 Cecil OH 1959–1965 Celebrezze 1965–1980 Contie OH 1982–1986 Norris OH 1986–2001 Cook OH 2003–present Seat 5 Established on May 31, 1938 by 52 Stat. 584 Arant OH 1939–1941 McAllister MI 1941–1963 Edwards MI 1963–1985 Ryan MI 1985–2000 Kethledge MI 2008–present Seat 6 Established on May 24, 1940 by 54 Stat. 219 J. Martin TN 1940–1962 Phillips TN 1963–1979 Brown TN 1979–1982 Wellford TN 1982–1991 Siler KY 1991–2001 Rogers KY 2002–present Seat 7 Established on March 18, 1966 by 80 Stat. 75 Peck OH 1966–1978 Jones OH 1979–1995 Cole OH 1995–present Seat 8 Established on March 18, 1966 by 80 Stat. 75 McCree MI 1966–1977 Keith MI 1977–1995 Griffin MI 2005–present Seat 9 Established on June 18, 1968 by 82 Stat. 184 Brooks KY 1969–1971 Lively KY 1972–1989 Batchelder OH 1991–present Seat 10 Established on October 20, 1978 by 92 Stat. 1629 Kennedy MI 1979–1999 Neilson MI 2005–2006 White MI 2008–present Seat 11 Established on October 20, 1978 by 92 Stat. 1629 B. Martin KY 1979–present Seat 12 Established on July 10, 1984 by 98 Stat. 333 Milburn TN 1984–1996 Gilman TN 1997–2010 Donald TN 2011–present Seat 13 Established on July 10, 1984 by 98 Stat. 333 Guy MI 1985–1994 Clay MI 1997–present Seat 14 Established on July 10, 1984 by 98 Stat. 333 Nelson OH 1985–1999 Sutton OH 2003–present Seat 15 Established on July 10, 1984 by 98 Stat. 333 Boggs KY 1986–present Seat 16 Established on December 1, 1990 by 104 Stat. 5089 Daughtrey TN 1993–2008 Stranch TN 2010–present
- Federal judicial appointment history#Sixth Circuit
- ^ Jackson was appointed to as a circuit judge for the Sixth Circuit in 1886 by Grover Cleveland. The Judiciary Act of 1891 reassigned his seat to what is now the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
- ^ Mack 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. Mack was assigned to the Seventh Circuit immediately prior to his assignment to the Sixth Circuit.
- "Standard Search". Federal Law Clerk Information System. https://lawclerks.ao.uscourts.gov/web/jobSearch. Retrieved June 26, 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 Sixth Circuit". Official website of the Federal Judicial Center. Archived from the original on January 1, 2005. http://web.archive.org/web/20050101190855/http://www.fjc.gov/history/home.nsf/usca_06_frm?OpenFrameSet. Retrieved June 26, 2005.
- source for the state, lifetime, term of active judgeship, term of chief judgeship, term of senior judgeship, appointer, termination reason, and seat information
- "Susan Bieke Neilson: She had a passion for justice". Detroit Free Press. Archived from the original on September 14, 2006. http://web.archive.org/web/20060914075423/http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060128/NEWS08/601280315. Retrieved February 7, 2006.
- obituary for death of Susan Bieke Neilson
United States courts of appeals
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