United States District Court for the District of South Carolina
- 1 Vacancy warning level
- 2 Active judges
- 3 Jurisdiction
- 4 Caseloads
- 5 Notable cases
- 6 History
- 7 Federal courthouse
- 8 See also
- 9 External links
- 10 References
The United States District Court for the District of South Carolina is one of ninety-four United States district courts. When decisions of the court are appealed, they are appealed to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals based in downtown Richmond, Virginia at the Lewis F. Powell Federal Courthouse.
Vacancy warning level
There are no pending nominations for the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina.
Article III judges
|Judge David Norton||1946||Washington, DC||W. Bush||07/12/1990 - Present||2007 - 2012||Solomon Blatt||University of the South, B.A., 1968||University of South Carolina Law, J.D., 1975|
|Chief Judge Terry Wooten||1954||Louisville, KY||W. Bush||11/26/2001 - Present||1/16/2013 - Present||New Seat|114 Stat. 2762||University of South Carolina, B.A., 1976||University of South Carolina, J.D., 1980|
|Judge Robert Harwell||1959||Florence, SC||W. Bush||06/30/2004 - Present||Weston Houck||Clemson University, 1980||University of South Carolina Law, 1982|
|Judge Bruce Hendricks||1957||Charleston, South Carolina||Obama||6/4/2014-Present||Margaret Seymour||College of Charleston, 1983||University of South Carolina Law, 1990|
|Judge Timothy M. Cain||1961||Seneca, SC||Obama||9/20/2011 - Present||Patrick Duffy||University of South Carolina, B.S., 1983||University of South Carolina School of Law, J.D., 1986|
|Judge J. Michelle Childs||March 24, 1966||Detroit, MI||Obama||08/05/2010 - Present||George Anderson||University of South Florida, B.A., 1984||University of South Carolina School of Law, J.D., 1991|
|Judge Richard Mark Gergel||1954||Columbia, SC||Obama||08/9/2010 - Present||Henry Herlong||Duke U., B.A., 1975||Duke U., J.D., 1979|
|Judge Mary Geiger Lewis||1958||Columbia, SC||Obama||6/18/2012 - Present||Henry Franklin Floyd||Clemson U., B.A., 1980||University of South Carolina Law, J.D., 1984|
Active Article III judges by appointing political party
This graph displays the percent of active judges by the party of the appointing president and does not reflect how a judge may rule on specific cases or their own political preferences.
|Senior Judge George Anderson||05/23/1980-01/29/2009||01/29/2009-Present||Southeastern University, 1949||University of South Carolina Law, 1954|
|Senior Judge Joseph Anderson||Reagan||10/14/1986-11/16/2014||2000-2007||11/17/2014-Present||Clemson University, 1972||University of South Carolina Law Center, 1975|
|Senior Judge Henry Herlong||H.W. Bush||5/14/1991-5/31/2009||6/1/2009-Present||Clemson University, 1967||University of South Carolina Law, 1970|
|Senior Judge Cameron Currie||Clinton||03/11/1994 - 10/3/2013||10/3/2013 - Present||University of South Carolina, B.A., 1970||George Washington U. Law , J.D., 1975|
|Senior Judge Patrick Duffy||Clinton||12/26/1995 - 12/26/2007||12/27/2007 - Present||The Citadel, B.A., 1965||University of South Carolina Law, J.D., 1968|
|Senior Judge Margaret Seymour||Clinton||10/22/1998-1/16/2013||2012-1/16/2013||Howard U., B.A., 1969||American U. Law, J.D., 1977|
|Senior Judge Solomon Blatt||Nixon||05/28/1971 - 05/06/1990||1986 - 1990||05/07/1990 - Present||University of South Carolina, A.B., 1941||University of South Carolina Law, LL.B., 1946|
|Senior Judge Charles Weston Houck||Carter||9/26/1979 - 09/30/2003||1993 - 2000||10/1/2003 - Present||University of South Carolina Law, LL.B., 1956|
Senior judges by appointing political party
This graph displays the percent of senior judges by the party of the appointing president and does not reflect how a judge may rule on specific cases or their own political preferences.
|Magistrate Judge Robert Buchanan||1979 - Present||Erskine College, A.B., 1973||University of South Carolina Law, J.D., 1976|
|Magistrate Judge Paige Jones Gossett||10/24/2008 - Present|
|Magistrate Judge Bristow Marchant||1992 - Present||College of Charleston, 1977||University of South Carolina School of Law, 1980|
|Magistrate Judge Thomas Rogers||05/08/2002 - Present|
|Magistrate Judge Shiva Hodges|
|Magistrate Judge Kevin McDonald|
|Magistrate Judge Jacquelyn Austin|
|Magistrate Judge Kaymani West||2012 - Present|
The District of South Carolina has original jurisdiction over cases filed within its jurisdiction. These cases can include civil and criminal matters that fall under federal law.
There are eleven court divisions, each covering the following counties:
|Federal Court Caseload Statistics*|
|Year||Starting case load:||Cases filed:||Total cases:||Cases terminated:||Remaining cases:||Median time(Criminal)**:||Median time(Civil)**:||3 Year Civil cases#:||Vacant posts:##||Trials/Post|
|*All statistics are taken from the Official Federal Courts' Website and reflect the calendar year through September. **Time in months from filing to completion.|
#This statistic includes cases which have been appealed in higher courts. ##This is the total number of months that any judicial posts had spent vacant that year.
For a searchable list of opinions, please see Opinions of the District of South Carolina.
| • South Carolina immigration law (2011)||Click for summary→|
|In December 2011, U.S. District Judge Richard Mark Gergel blocked portions of the new South Carolina Immigration law, ruling that the law infringed upon the powers granted to the United States federal government. Gergel determined that measures including requiring police officers to check residency status and making it a felony for anyone to harbor or transport an illegal immigrant fell within the exclusive jurisdiction of the federal government and were unconstitutional. The judge found that "state-mandated scrutiny is without consideration of federal enforcement priorities and unquestionably vastly expands the persons targeted for immigration enforcement action."|
The District of South Carolina was established by Congress on September 24, 1789, with one post to cover the entire state. On February 21, 1823, Congress divided the district into the Eastern District of South Carolina and the Western District of South Carolina with one post to cover both districts. In 1898, in Bartlett v. U.S., 169 U.S. 219 the United States Supreme Court held that South Carolina was a single judicial district under the law. On March 3, 1911, Congress again divided the district into the Eastern District of South Carolina and the Western District of South Carolina with one post to cover both districts. On October 7, 1965, the two judicial districts were again merged, this time by congress, with four posts to cover the entire state. Over time six additional judicial posts were added to the Western District of Virginia for a total of ten current posts.
The following table highlights the development of judicial posts for the District of South Carolina:
|September 24, 1789||1 Stat. 73||1 (Whole state)|
|February 21, 1823||3 Stat. 726||1 (Whole state, 2 Districts)|
|1898||Bartlett v. U.S., 169 U.S. 219||1 (Whole state)|
|March 3, 1911||36 Stat. 1087, 1123||1 (Whole state, 2 Districts)|
|March 3, 1915||38 Stat. 961||1 Eastern + 1 Western = 2 Total|
|February 26, 1929||45 Stat. 1319||1 Eastern + 1 Western +1 Shared = 3 Total|
|May 19, 1961||75 Stat. 80||1 Eastern + 1 Western + 2 Shared = 4 Total|
|October 7, 1965||79 Stat. 951||4|
|June 2, 1970||84 Stat. 294||5|
|October 20, 1978||92 Stat. 1629||8|
|December 1, 1990||104 Stat. 5089||9|
|December 21, 2000||114 Stat. 2762||10|
Former chief judges
In order to qualify for the office of chief judge in one of the federal courts, 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 in the office of chief judge 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. Unlike the Chief Justice of the United States, a chief judge returns to active service after the expiration of his or her term and does not create a vacancy on the bench by the fact of his or her promotion.
For more information about the judges of the District of South Carolina, see former federal judges of the District of South Carolina.
There are eight federal courthouses that serve the District of South Carolina.
- United States District Court for the District of South Carolina Official Website
- United States Attorney for the District of South Carolina Official Website
- Opinions of the District of South Carolina
- District Judges of the District of South Carolina
- Magistrate Judges of the District of South Carolina
- Offices of the United States Attorneys, Official list
- Reuters, "Judge blocks parts of South Carolina immigration law," December 22, 2011
- History of the District of South Carolina from the Federal Judicial Center
- United States Courts, "Frequently Asked Questions"
- United States Courts, "On Being Chief Judge," February 2009
|Magistrate judges||Robert Buchanan • Paige Jones Gossett • Bristow Marchant • Thomas Rogers • Shiva Hodges • Kevin McDonald • Jacquelyn Austin • Kaymani West •|
|Former Article III judges||
Thomas Bee • William Drayton • John Drayton • Thomas Lee • Robert Budd Gilchrist • Andrew Gordon Magrath • George Seabrook Bryan • William Hiram Brawley • Clyde Hamilton • William Traxler • Dennis Shedd • Charles Henry Simonton • Henry Augustus Middleton Smith • Joseph Travis Johnson • Henry Floyd • Henry Hitt Watkins • Ernest Ford Cochran • Robert Chapman • John Lyles Glenn • Francis Kerschner Myers • Charles Wyche • Falcon Hawkins • Robert Hemphill • Donald S. Russell • Charles Simons • Matthew Perry • George Timmerman • Julius Waring • William Walter Wilkins • Ashton Williams • James Robert Martin, Jr. •
|Former Chief judges|
State of South Carolina
|State executive officers||
Governor | Lieutenant Governor | Attorney General | Secretary of State | Comptroller General | Treasurer | State Auditor | Superintendent of Education | Director of Insurance | Commissioner of Agriculture | Director of Natural Resources | Director of Labor, Licensing and Regulation | Chairman of Public Service Commission |