United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
(2d Cir.)
LocationThurgood Marshall U.S. Courthouse
Appeals from
EstablishedJune 16, 1891
Circuit JusticeSonia Sotomayor
Chief JudgeDebra Ann Livingston

The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (in case citations, 2d Cir.) is one of the thirteen United States Courts of Appeals. Its territory covers the states of Connecticut, New York, and Vermont, and it has appellate jurisdiction over the U.S. district courts in the following federal judicial districts:

The Second Circuit has its clerk's office and courtrooms at the Thurgood Marshall United States Courthouse at 40 Foley Square in Lower Manhattan.

Because the Second Circuit includes New York City, it has long been one of the largest and most influential American federal appellate courts, especially in matters of contract law, securities law, and antitrust law. In the 20th century, it came to be considered one of the two most prestigious federal appellate courts, along with the District of Columbia Circuit Court.[1] Several notable judges have served on the Second Circuit, including three later named Associate Justices of the United States Supreme Court: John Marshall Harlan II, Thurgood Marshall, and Sonia Sotomayor. Judge Learned Hand served on the court from 1924 to 1961, as did his cousin, Augustus Noble Hand, from 1927 until 1953. Judge Henry Friendly served from 1959 to 1986.

Current composition of the court


As of July 13, 2024:

# Title Judge Duty station Born Term of service Appointed by
Active Chief Senior
66 Chief Judge Debra Ann Livingston New York, NY 1959 2007–present 2020–present G.W. Bush
69 Circuit Judge Raymond Lohier New York, NY 1965 2010–present Obama
72 Circuit Judge Richard J. Sullivan New York, NY 1964 2018–present Trump
73 Circuit Judge Joseph F. Bianco Central Islip, NY 1966 2019–present Trump
74 Circuit Judge Michael H. Park New York, NY 1976 2019–present Trump
75 Circuit Judge William J. Nardini New Haven, CT 1969 2019–present Trump
76 Circuit Judge Steven Menashi New York, NY 1979 2019–present Trump
77 Circuit Judge Eunice C. Lee New York, NY 1970 2021–present Biden
78 Circuit Judge Beth Robinson Burlington, VT 1965 2021–present Biden
79 Circuit Judge Myrna Pérez New York, NY 1974 2021–present Biden
80 Circuit Judge Alison Nathan New York, NY 1972 2022–present Biden
81 Circuit Judge Sarah A. L. Merriam Bridgeport, CT 1971 2022–present Biden
82 Circuit Judge Maria Araújo Kahn New Haven, CT 1964 2023–present Biden
41 Senior Circuit Judge Jon O. Newman Hartford, CT 1932 1979–1997 1993–1997 1997–present Carter
42 Senior Circuit Judge Amalya Kearse New York, NY 1937 1979–2002 2002–present Carter
50 Senior Circuit Judge John M. Walker Jr. New Haven, CT 1940 1989–2006 2000–2006 2006–present G.H.W. Bush
52 Senior Circuit Judge Dennis Jacobs New York, NY 1944 1992–2019 2006–2013 2019–present G.H.W. Bush
53 Senior Circuit Judge Pierre N. Leval New York, NY 1936 1993–2002 2002–present Clinton
54 Senior Circuit Judge Guido Calabresi New Haven, CT 1932 1994–2009 2009–present Clinton
55 Senior Circuit Judge José A. Cabranes New Haven, CT 1940 1994–2023 2023–present Clinton
59 Senior Circuit Judge Robert D. Sack New York, NY 1939 1998–2009 2009–present Clinton
62 Senior Circuit Judge Barrington D. Parker Jr. New York, NY 1944 2001–2009 2009–present G.W. Bush
63 Senior Circuit Judge Reena Raggi Brooklyn, NY 1951 2002–2018 2018–present G.W. Bush
64 Senior Circuit Judge Richard C. Wesley Geneseo, NY 1949 2003–2016 2016–present G.W. Bush
67 Senior Circuit Judge Gerard E. Lynch New York, NY 1951 2009–2016 2016–present Obama
68 Senior Circuit Judge Denny Chin New York, NY 1954 2010–2021 2021–present Obama
70 Senior Circuit Judge Susan L. Carney New Haven, CT 1951 2011–2022 2022–present Obama

List of former judges

# Judge State Born–died Active service Chief Judge Senior status Appointed by Reason for
1 William James Wallace NY 1837–1917 1891–1907[Note 1] Arthur / Operation of law retirement
2 Emile Henry Lacombe NY 1846–1924 1891–1916[Note 2] Cleveland / Operation of law retirement
3 Nathaniel Shipman CT 1828–1906 1892–1902 B. Harrison retirement
4 William Kneeland Townsend CT 1849–1907 1902–1907 T. Roosevelt death
5 Alfred Conkling Coxe Sr. NY 1847–1923 1902–1917 T. Roosevelt retirement
6 Henry Galbraith Ward NY 1851–1933 1907–1921[2] 1921–1924 T. Roosevelt retirement
7 Walter Chadwick Noyes CT 1865–1926 1907–1913[2] T. Roosevelt resignation
8 Martin Augustine Knapp NY 1843–1923 1910–1916 [3] reassigned to the 4th Circuit
9 Henry Wade Rogers CT 1853–1926 1913–1926 Wilson death
10 Charles Merrill Hough NY 1858–1927 1916–1927 Wilson death
11 Martin Thomas Manton NY 1880–1946 1918–1939 Wilson resignation
12 Julius Marshuetz Mayer NY 1865–1925 1921–1924 Harding resignation
13 Learned Hand NY 1872–1961 1924–1951 1948–1951 1951–1961 Coolidge death
14 Thomas Walter Swan CT 1877–1975 1926–1953 1951–1953 1953–1975 Coolidge death
15 Augustus Noble Hand NY 1869–1954 1927–1953 1953–1954 Coolidge death
16 Harrie B. Chase VT 1889–1969 1929–1954 1953–1954 1954–1969 Coolidge death
17 Julian Mack IL 1866–1943 1929–1940 1940–1943 [4] death
18 Charles Edward Clark CT 1889–1963 1939–1963 1954–1959 F. Roosevelt death
19 Robert P. Patterson NY 1891–1952 1939–1940 F. Roosevelt resignation
20 Jerome Frank NY 1889–1957 1941–1957 F. Roosevelt death
21 Harold Medina NY 1888–1990 1951–1958 1958–1980 Truman retirement
22 Carroll C. Hincks CT 1889–1964 1953–1959 1959–1964 Eisenhower death
23 John Marshall Harlan II NY 1899–1971 1954–1955 Eisenhower elevation to Supreme Court
24 J. Edward Lumbard NY 1901–1999 1955–1971 1959–1971 1971–1999 Eisenhower death
25 Sterry R. Waterman VT 1901–1984 1955–1970 1970–1984 Eisenhower death
26 Leonard P. Moore NY 1898–1982 1957–1971 1971–1982 Eisenhower death
27 Henry Friendly NY 1903–1986 1959–1974 1971–1973 1974–1986 Eisenhower death
28 J. Joseph Smith CT 1904–1980 1960–1971 1971–1980 Eisenhower death
29 Irving Kaufman NY 1910–1992 1961–1987 1973–1980 1987–1992 Kennedy death
30 Paul R. Hays NY 1903–1980 1961–1974 1974–1980 Kennedy death
31 Thurgood Marshall NY 1908–1993 1961–1965 Kennedy resignation
32 Robert P. Anderson CT 1906–1978 1964–1971 1971–1978 L. Johnson death
33 Wilfred Feinberg NY 1920–2014 1966–1991 1980–1988 1991–2014 L. Johnson death
34 Walter R. Mansfield NY 1911–1987 1971–1981 1981–1987 Nixon death
35 William Hughes Mulligan NY 1918–1996 1971–1981 Nixon resignation
36 James L. Oakes VT 1924–2007 1971–1992 1988–1992 1992–2007 Nixon death
37 William H. Timbers CT 1915–1994 1971–1981 1981–1994 Nixon death
38 Murray Gurfein NY 1907–1979 1974–1979 Ford[5] death
39 Ellsworth Van Graafeiland NY 1915–2004 1974–1985 1985–2004 Ford death
40 Thomas Meskill CT 1928–2007 1975–1993 1992–1993 1993–2007 Ford death
43 Richard J. Cardamone NY 1925–2015 1981–1993 1993–2015 Reagan death
44 Lawrence W. Pierce NY 1924–2020 1981–1990 1990–1995 Reagan retirement
45 Ralph K. Winter Jr. CT 1935–2020 1981–2000 1997–2000 2000–2020 Reagan death
46 George C. Pratt NY 1928–present 1982–1993 1993–1995 Reagan retirement
47 Roger Miner NY 1934–2012 1985–1997 1997–2012 Reagan death
48 Frank Altimari NY 1928–1998 1985–1996 1996–1998 Reagan death
49 J. Daniel Mahoney NY 1931–1996 1986–1996 Reagan death
51 Joseph M. McLaughlin NY 1933–2013 1990–1998 1998–2013 G.H.W. Bush death
56 Fred I. Parker VT 1938–2003 1994–2003 Clinton death
57 Rosemary S. Pooler NY 1938–2023 1998–2022 2022–2023 Clinton death
58 Chester J. Straub NY 1937–2024 1998–2008 2008–2024 Clinton death
60 Sonia Sotomayor NY 1954–present 1998–2009 Clinton elevation to Supreme Court
61 Robert Katzmann NY 1953–2021 1999–2021 2013–2020 2021 Clinton death
65 Peter W. Hall VT 1948–2021 2004–2021 2021 G.W. Bush death
71 Christopher F. Droney CT 1954–present 2011–2019 2019–2020 Obama retirement
  1. ^ Wallace was appointed as a circuit judge for the Second Circuit in 1882 by Chester A. Arthur. The Judiciary Act of 1891 reassigned his seat to what is now the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
  2. ^ Lacombe was appointed as a circuit judge for the Second Circuit in 1887 by Grover Cleveland. The Judiciary Act of 1891 reassigned his seat to what is now the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Chief judges

Chief Judge
Hand 1948–1951
Swan 1951–1953
Chase 1953–1954
Clark 1954–1959
Lumbard 1959–1971
Friendly 1971–1973
Kaufman 1973–1980
Feinberg 1980–1988
Oakes 1988–1992
Meskill 1992–1993
Newman 1993–1997
Winter 1997–2000
Walker 2000–2006
Jacobs 2006–2013
Katzmann 2013–2020
Livingston 2020–present

Chief judges have administrative responsibilities with respect to their circuits, and preside over any panel on which they serve, unless the circuit justice (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, with seniority determined first by commission date, then by age. The chief judge serves for a term of seven years, or until age 70, whichever occurs first. If no judge qualifies to be chief, the youngest judge over the age of 65 who has served on the court for at least one year shall act as chief until another judge qualifies. If no judge has served on the court for more than a year, the most senior judge shall act as chief. Judges can forfeit or resign their chief judgeship or acting chief judgeship while retaining their active status as a circuit judge.[6]

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 or remain chief after turning 70 years old. The current rules have been in operation since October 1, 1982.[7]

Succession of seats


The court has thirteen seats for active judges, numbered in the order in which they were initially filled. Judges who assume senior status enter a kind of retirement in which they remain on the bench but vacate their seats, thus allowing the U.S. President to appoint new judges to fill their seats.

See also



  1. ^ Solimine, Michael E. (Summer 2005). "Judicial Stratification and the Reputations of the United States Courts of Appeals". Florida State University Law Review. 32 (4): 1341–1342. Retrieved July 22, 2020.
  2. ^ a b Recess appointment, confirmed by the United States Senate at a later date.
  3. ^ Knapp did not have a permanent seat on this court. Instead, he was appointed to the ill-fated United States Commerce Court in 1910 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. Knapp was assigned to the Second Circuit upon his commission.
  4. ^ 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 joint assignment to the Second and Sixth Circuit. Reassigned solely to the Second Circuit in 1930.
  5. ^ Gurfein was nominated for a seat on the Second Circuit by President Nixon, but he was confirmed after Nixon's resignation and was appointed to the Second Circuit by (i.e., received his commission from) President Ford.
  6. ^ 28 U.S.C. § 45
  7. ^ 62 Stat. 871, 72 Stat. 497, 96 Stat. 51