United States District Court for the Eastern District of Illinois
(E.D. Ill.)
Map indicating the changing Districts of Illinois
LocationMelvin Price Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse
More locations
Appeals toSeventh Circuit
EstablishedMarch 3, 1905
AbolishedMarch 31, 1979

The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Illinois (in case citations, E.D. Ill.) is a former federal district court for the state of Illinois. The court was established on March 3, 1905, by 33 Stat. 992.[1] The Northern and Southern Districts had been established on February 13, 1855. The statute establishing the Eastern District specified the counties to be included in that District as follows:

Kankakee, Iroquois, Ford, Vermilion, Champaign, Piatt, Moultrie, Douglas, Edgar, Shelby, Coles, Clark, Cumberland, Effingham, Fayette, Marion, Clay, Jasper, Crawford, Lawrence, Richland, Clinton, Saint Clair, Washington, Jefferson, Wayne, Edwards, Wabash, White, Hamilton, Franklin, Perry, Randolph, Monroe, Gallatin, Saline, Williamson, Jackson, Hardin, Pope, Johnson, Union, Alexander, Pulaski, and Massac.

On October 2, 1978, Illinois was reorganized into the Northern, Central, and Southern Districts, with thirteen judgeships authorized for the Northern District, two for the Central District, and two for the Southern District.[2]

Former judges

# Judge State Born–died Active service Chief Judge Senior status Appointed by Reason for
1 Francis Marion Wright IL 1844–1917 1905–1917 T. Roosevelt death
2 George W. English IL 1866–1941 1918–1926 Wilson resignation
3 Walter C. Lindley IL 1880–1958 1922–1949 Harding elevation to 7th Cir.
4 Fred Louis Wham IL 1884–1967 1927–1956 1949–1956 1956–1967 Coolidge death
5 Casper Platt IL 1892–1965 1949–1965 1956–1965 Truman death
6 William George Juergens IL 1904–1988 1956–1972 1965–1972 1972–1979 Eisenhower reassignment to S.D. Ill.
7 Henry Seiler Wise IL 1909–1982 1966–1978 1972–1978 1978–1979 L. Johnson reassignment to C.D. Ill.
8 James L. Foreman IL 1927–2012 1972–1979 1978–1979 Nixon reassignment to S.D. Ill.
9 Harold A. Baker IL 1929–present 1978–1979 Carter reassignment to C.D. Ill.

Chief judges

Chief Judge
Wham 1949–1956
Platt 1956–1965
Juergens 1965–1972
Wise 1972–1978
Foreman 1978–1979
Abolished on March 31, 1979 by 92 Stat. 883

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.

Succession of seats

See also