The United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit (in case citations, 1st Cir.) is a federal court with appellate jurisdiction over the district courts in the following districts:
The court is based at the John Joseph Moakley Federal Courthouse in Boston, Massachusetts. Most sittings are held in Boston, where the court sits for one week most months of the year. The First Circuit also sits for one week each in March and November at the Jose V. Toledo Federal Building and United States Courthouse in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, and occasionally sits at other locations within the circuit.
With six active and three senior judges, the First Circuit is the smallest of the thirteen United States courts of appeals. Since retiring as an active Justice of the United States Supreme Court, Associate Justice David Souter has sat on the First Circuit by designation in several cases.
Current composition of the court
As of February 13, 2012:
, the active judges on the court are as follows
Three judges currently serve on the court on senior status and retired Supreme Court Justice David Souter has sat by designation.
List of former judges
Twenty judges have served on the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals, but no longer do:
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 six 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.
|Established on December 10, 1869 by the Judiciary Act of 1869 as a circuit judgeship for the First Circuit|
|Reassigned on June 16, 1891 to the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the First Circuit by the Judiciary Act of 1891|
|Established on June 16, 1891 by the Judiciary Act of 1891|
|Established on January 21, 1905 by 33 Stat. 611|
|Established on October 20, 1978 by 92 Stat. 1629|
|Established on July 10, 1984 by 98 Stat. 333|
|Established on July 10, 1984 by 98 Stat. 333|
- West v. Randall (1820), one of the first decisions setting precedent for class action suits
- ^ "Court Calendar". United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. http://www.ca1.uscourts.gov/?content=calendar.htm. Retrieved 26 Oct 2012. "In January through June, and October through December, the Court usually sits for one week starting on the first Monday of the month. In either July or August, the court sits for one week. In September, the Court starts on the Wednesday after Labor Day and sits for the 3 days in that week and the 5 days in the following week. In November and March the court sits two weeks, with one week in Boston and one week in Puerto Rico. Court sittings are held in the morning, typically between 9:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m."
- ^ a b c "U. S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit". Official website of the Federal Judicial Center. Archived from the original on December 31, 2004. http://web.archive.org/web/20041231131050/http://www.fjc.gov/history/home.nsf/usca_01_frm?OpenFrameSet. Retrieved May 29, 2005.
- ^ a b "Judges". Official website of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. http://www.ca1.uscourts.gov/judges.htm. Retrieved July 1, 2004.
- ^ Wente, Gary H. (September 7, 2012). "First Circuit 2010 Annual Report". In Pagano, Florence; Dumas, Michelle; and McQuillan, Kelly (pdf). Circuit Executive, United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. p. 8. http://www.ca1.uscourts.gov/circuitexec/2010AnnualReport.pdf. Retrieved December 28, 2012. "In January, February, March, and May 2010, retired United States Supreme Court Justice David Souter sat with the court."
- ^ Colt was appointed as a circuit judge for the First Circuit in 1884 by Chester A. Arthur. The Judiciary Act of 1891 reassigned his seat to what is now the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.
- Dargo, George (1993). A History of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit: Volume I, 1891–1960.