|United States District Court for the District of South Carolina|
|Appeals to||Fourth Circuit|
|Established||October 7, 1965|
|Chief Judge||Robert Bryan Harwell|
|Officers of the court|
|U.S. Attorney||Adair Ford Boroughs|
|U.S. Marshal||Chrissie C. Latimore|
The United States District Court for the District of South Carolina (in case citations, D.S.C.) is the federal district court whose jurisdiction is the state of South Carolina. Court is held in the cities of Aiken, Anderson, Beaufort, Charleston, Columbia, Florence, Greenville, and Spartanburg.
Appeals from the District of South Carolina are taken to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (except for patent claims and claims against the U.S. government under the Tucker Act, which are appealed to the Federal Circuit).
The United States attorney for the District of South Carolina represents the United States in civil and criminal litigation in the court. As of July 26, 2022[update], the United States attorney is Adair Ford Boroughs.
The District of South Carolina was one of the original 13 courts established by the Judiciary Act of 1789, 1 Stat. 73, on September 24, 1789. It was subdivided into the United States District Court for the Eastern District of South Carolina and the United States District Court for the Western District of South Carolina Districts on February 21, 1823, by 3 Stat. 726. The Eastern District was headquartered at Florence, and the Western District was headquartered in Greenville. The division was solely for the purposes of holding court – a single judge presided over both districts, and the act authorized no additional court staff.
In 1898 the United States Supreme Court held in Barrett v. United States that South Carolina legally constituted a single judicial district. Congress made another effort to subdivide the District on March 3, 1911, by 36 Stat. 1087 and 36 Stat. 1123. South Carolina was again split into Eastern and the Western Districts, with one judgeship authorized to serve both districts, effective January 1, 1912. Congress finally authorized an additional judgeship for the Western District, and assigned the sitting judge exclusively to the Eastern District, on March 3, 1915, by 38 Stat. 961. However, on October 7, 1965, by 79 Stat. 951, South Carolina was reorganized as a single judicial district with four judgeships authorized for the district court. It has since remained a single District.
As of August 31, 2022[update]:
|#||Title||Judge||Duty station||Born||Term of service||Appointed by|
|35||Chief Judge||Robert Bryan Harwell||Florence||1959||2004–present||2019–present||—||G.W. Bush|
|26||District Judge||David C. Norton||Charleston||1946||1990–present||2007–2012||—||G.H.W. Bush|
|36||District Judge||Richard Gergel||Charleston||1954||2010–present||—||—||Obama|
|38||District Judge||Timothy M. Cain||Anderson||1961||2011–present||—||—||Obama|
|39||District Judge||Mary Geiger Lewis||Columbia||1958||2012–present||—||—||Obama|
|40||District Judge||Bruce Howe Hendricks||Charleston||1957||2014–present||—||—||Obama|
|41||District Judge||Donald C. Coggins Jr.||Spartanburg||1959||2017–present||—||—||Trump|
|43||District Judge||Sherri Lydon||Florence||1962||2019–present||—||—||Trump|
|44||District Judge||Joseph Dawson III||Greenville||1970||2020–present||—||—||Trump|
|25||Senior Judge||Joseph F. Anderson||Columbia||1949||1986–2014||2000–2007||2014–present||Reagan|
|28||Senior Judge||Henry Michael Herlong Jr.||Greenville||1944||1991–2009||—||2009–present||G.H.W. Bush|
|30||Senior Judge||Cameron McGowan Currie||Columbia||1948||1994–2013||—||2013–present||Clinton|
|33||Senior Judge||Terry L. Wooten||Columbia||1954||2001–2019||2013–2019||2019–present||G.W. Bush|
|Seat||Prior judge's duty station||Seat last held by||Vacancy reason||Date of vacancy||Nominee||Date of nomination|
|3||Columbia||J. Michelle Childs||Elevation||August 2, 2022||–||–|
|#||Judge||State||Born–died||Active service||Chief Judge||Senior status||Appointed by||Reason for|
|1||William Drayton Sr.||SC||1732–1790||1789–1790||—||—||Washington||death|
|5||Robert Budd Gilchrist||SC||1796–1856||1839–1856||—||—||Van Buren||death|
|6||Andrew Gordon Magrath||SC||1813–1893||1856–1860||—||—||Pierce||resignation|
|7||George Seabrook Bryan||SC||1809–1905||1866–1886||—||—||A. Johnson||retirement|
|8||Charles Henry Simonton||SC||1829–1904||1886–1893||—||—||Cleveland||elevation to 4th Cir.|
|9||William H. Brawley||SC||1841–1916||1894–1911||—||—||Cleveland||retirement|
|10||Henry Augustus Middleton Smith||SC||1853–1924||1911–1912||—||—||Taft||reassignment to E.D.S.C. and W.D.S.C.|
|—||George Bell Timmerman Sr.||SC||1881–1966||—||—||1965–1966||F. Roosevelt/Operation of law||death|
|—||Julius Waties Waring||SC||1880–1968||—||—||1965–1968||F. Roosevelt/Operation of law||death|
|11||Charles Cecil Wyche||SC||1885–1966||1965–1966||—||—||F. Roosevelt/Operation of law||death|
|12||James Robert Martin Jr.||SC||1909–1984||1965–1979||1965–1979||1979–1984||Kennedy/Operation of law||death|
|13||Robert W. Hemphill||SC||1915–1983||1965–1980||1979–1980||1980–1983||L. Johnson/Operation of law||death|
|14||Charles Earl Simons Jr.||SC||1916–1999||1965–1986||1980–1986||1986–1999||L. Johnson/Operation of law||death|
|15||Donald S. Russell||SC||1906–1998||1966–1971||—||—||L. Johnson||elevation to 4th Cir.|
|16||Robert F. Chapman||SC||1926–2018||1971–1981||—||—||Nixon||elevation to 4th Cir.|
|17||Solomon Blatt Jr.||SC||1921–2016||1971–1990||1986–1990||1990–2016||Nixon||death|
|18||Matthew James Perry Jr.||SC||1921–2011||1979–1995||—||1995–2011||Carter||death|
|19||Falcon Black Hawkins Jr.||SC||1927–2005||1979–1993||1990–1993||1993–2005||Carter||death|
|20||Charles Weston Houck||SC||1933–2017||1979–2003||1993–2000||2003–2017||Carter||death|
|21||G. Ross Anderson||SC||1929–2020||1980–2009||—||2009–2016||Carter||retirement|
|22||William Walter Wilkins||SC||1942–present||1981–1986||—||—||Reagan||elevation to 4th Cir.|
|23||Clyde H. Hamilton||SC||1934–2020||1981–1991||—||—||Reagan||elevation to 4th Cir.|
|24||Karen L. Henderson||SC||1944–present||1986–1990||—||—||Reagan||elevation to D.C. Cir.|
|27||Dennis Shedd||SC||1953–present||1990–2002||—||—||G.H.W. Bush||elevation to 4th Cir.|
|29||William Byrd Traxler Jr.||SC||1948–present||1992–1998||—||—||G.H.W. Bush||elevation to 4th Cir.|
|31||Patrick Michael Duffy||SC||1943–present||1995–2009||—||2009–2019||Clinton||retirement|
|32||Margaret B. Seymour||SC||1947–present||1998–2013||2012–2013||2013–2022||Clinton||retirement|
|34||Henry F. Floyd||SC||1947–present||2003–2011||—||—||G.W. Bush||elevation to 4th Cir.|
|37||J. Michelle Childs||SC||1966–present||2010–2022||—||—||Obama||elevation to D.C. Cir.|
|42||A. Marvin Quattlebaum Jr.||SC||1964–present||2018||—||—||Trump||elevation to 4th Cir.|
Chief judges have administrative responsibilities with respect to their district court. Unlike the Supreme Court, where one justice is specifically nominated to be chief, the office of chief judge rotates among the district court 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 or remain chief after turning 70 years old. The current rules have been in operation since October 1, 1982.