|United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama|
|Location||Frank M. Johnson Jr. Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse|
|Appeals to||Eleventh Circuit|
|Established||February 6, 1839|
|Chief Judge||Emily C. Marks|
|Officers of the court|
|U.S. Attorney||Sandra Stewart|
|U.S. Marshal||Jesse Seroyer Jr.|
The United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama (in case citations, M.D. Ala.) is a federal court in the Eleventh Circuit (except for patent claims and claims against the U.S. government under the Tucker Act, which are appealed to the Federal Circuit).
The District was established on February 6, 1839.
The United States Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Alabama represents the United States in civil and criminal litigation in the court. As of April 25, 2022[update] the United States Attorney is Sandra Stewart.
The United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama is one of three federal judicial districts in Alabama. Court for the District is held at Dothan, Montgomery, and Opelika.
Eastern Division comprises the following counties: Chambers, Lee, Macon, Randolph, Russell, and Tallapoosa.
Northern Division comprises the following counties: Autauga, Barbour, Bullock, Butler, Chilton, Coosa, Covington, Crenshaw, Elmore, Lowndes, Montgomery, and Pike.
Southern Division comprises the following counties: Coffee, Dale, Geneva, Henry, and Houston.
As of June 30, 2020[update]:
|#||Title||Judge||Duty station||Born||Term of service||Appointed by|
|20||Chief Judge||Emily C. Marks||Montgomery||1973||2018–present||2019–present||—||Trump|
|22||District Judge||R. Austin Huffaker Jr.||Montgomery||1973||2019–present||—||—||Trump|
|14||Senior Judge||Myron H. Thompson||Montgomery||1947||1980–2013||1991–1998||2013–present||Carter|
|16||Senior Judge||Harold Albritton||Montgomery||1936||1991–2004||1998–2004||2004–present||G.H.W. Bush|
|19||Senior Judge||William Keith Watkins||Montgomery||1951||2005–2019||2011–2019||2019–present||G.W. Bush|
|Seat||Prior judge's duty station||Seat last held by||Vacancy reason||Date of vacancy||Nominee||Nominated|
|4||Montgomery||Andrew L. Brasher||Elevation||June 30, 2020||–||–|
|#||Judge||State||Born–died||Active service||Chief Judge||Senior status||Appointed by||Reason for|
|1||William Crawford||AL||1784–1849||1839–1849[Note 1]||—||—||J.Q. Adams/Operation of law||death|
|2||John Gayle||AL||1792–1859||1849–1859[Note 1]||—||—||Taylor||death|
|3||William Giles Jones||AL||1808–1883||1859–1861[Note 2][Note 1]||—||—||Buchanan||resignation|
|4||George Washington Lane||AL||1806–1863||1861–1863[Note 1]||—||—||Lincoln||death|
|5||Richard Busteed||AL||1822–1898||1863–1874[Note 3][Note 1]||—||—||Lincoln||resignation|
|6||John Bruce||AL||1832–1901||1875–1901[Note 4][Note 5]||—||—||Grant||death|
|7||Thomas G. Jones||AL||1844–1914||1901–1914[Note 6][Note 4]||—||—||T. Roosevelt||death|
|8||Henry De Lamar Clayton Jr.||AL||1857–1929||1914–1929[Note 4]||—||—||Wilson||death|
|9||Charles Brents Kennamer||AL||1874–1955||1931–1955[Note 7]||—||—||Hoover||death|
|10||Frank Minis Johnson||AL||1918–1999||1955–1979[Note 8]||1966–1979||—||Eisenhower||elevation to 5th Cir.|
|11||Thomas Virgil Pittman||AL||1916–2012||1966–1970[Note 9]||—||—||L. Johnson||seat abolished|
|12||Robert Edward Varner||AL||1921–2006||1971–1986||1979–1984||1986–2006||Nixon||death|
|13||Truman McGill Hobbs||AL||1921–2015||1980–1991||1984–1991||1991–2015||Carter||death|
|15||Joel Fredrick Dubina||AL||1947–present||1986–1990||—||—||Reagan||elevation to 11th Cir.|
|17||Ira De Ment||AL||1931–2011||1992–2002||—||2002–2011||G.H.W. Bush||death|
|18||Mark Fuller||AL||1958–present||2002–2015||2004–2011||—||G.W. Bush||resignation|
|21||Andrew L. Brasher||AL||1981–present||2019–2020||—||—||Trump||elevation to 11th 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.
Browder v. Gayle (1956) – Court rules that bus segregation in Montgomery was unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment. Decision upheld by U.S. Supreme Court six months later.
Gomillion v. Lightfoot (1958) – Court dismissed action, which was later affirmed by the Fifth Circuit. In 1960, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the decision, finding that electoral districts drawn in Tuskegee, with the purpose of disenfranchising black voters, violated the Fifteenth Amendment.
Lee v. Macon County Board of Education (1963) – Court rules segregation in schooling was unconstitutional under the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendment. Decision upheld by U.S. Supreme Court.
United States v. Alabama (1966) – Court rules poll tax violates the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendment. U.S. Supreme Court concurred three weeks later in an unrelated case, Harper v. Virginia Board of Elections.
Glassroth v. Moore (2002) – Court rules that a display of the Ten Commandments, erected by Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore in the Alabama Judicial Building violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.
|Name||Term Started||Term Ended||Presidents served under|
|John A. Minnis||1870||1874||Ulysses S. Grant|
|N. S. McAfee||1874||1875||Ulysses S. Grant|
|Charles B. Mayer||1876||1880||Ulysses S. Grant|
Rutherford B. Hayes
|William Hugh Smith||1880||1885||Rutherford B. Hayes|
James A. Garfield
Chester A. Arthur
|George H. Craig||1885||1885||Grover Cleveland|
|William H. Denson||1885||1889||Grover Cleveland|
|Lewis E. Parsons, Jr.||1889||1893||Benjamin Harrison|
|Henry D. Clayton, Jr.||1893||1896||Grover Cleveland|
|George F. Moore, Jr.||1896||1897||Grover Cleveland|
|Warren S. Reese, Jr.||1897||1906||William McKinley|
|Erastus J. Parsons||1906||1913||Theodore Roosevelt|
William H. Taft
|Thomas D. Samford||1913||1924||Woodrow Wilson|
Warren G. Harding
|Grady Reynolds||1924||1931||Calvin Coolidge|
|Arthur B. Chilton||1931||1934||Herbert Hoover|
Franklin D. Roosevelt
|Thomas D. Samford||1934||1942||Franklin D. Roosevelt|
|Edward B. Parker||1942||1953||Franklin D. Roosevelt|
Harry S. Truman
Dwight D. Eisenhower
|Hartwell Davis||1953||1962||Dwight D. Eisenhower|
John F. Kennedy
|Ben Hardeman||1962||1969||John F. Kennedy|
Lyndon B. Johnson
|Leon J. Hopper||1969||1969||Richard Nixon|
|Ira De Ment||1969||1977||Richard Nixon|
|Barry E. Teague||1977||1981||Jimmy Carter|
|John C. Bell||1981||1987||Ronald Reagan|
|James E. Wilson||1987||1994||Ronald Reagan|
George H. W. Bush
|Charles R. Pitt||1994||2001||Bill Clinton|
George W. Bush
|Leura G. Canary||2001||2011||George W. Bush|
|George L. Beck Jr.||2011||2017||Barack Obama|
|A. Clark Morris||2017||2017||Donald Trump|
|Louis V. Franklin Sr.||2017||2021||Donald Trump|