|United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama|
|Location||John Archibald Campbell U.S. Courthouse|
|Appeals to||Eleventh Circuit|
|Established||March 10, 1824|
|Chief Judge||Jeff Beaverstock|
|Officers of the court|
|U.S. Attorney||Sean P. Costello|
|U.S. Marshal||Mark F. Sloke|
The United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama (in case citations, S.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 March 10, 1824, with the division of the state into a Northern and Southern district.
The United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Alabama represents the United States in civil and criminal litigation in the court. As of February 2, 2021[update] the United States attorney is Sean P. Costello.
The United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama is one of three federal judicial districts in Alabama. Court for the District is held at Mobile and Selma.
Mobile Division comprises the following counties: Baldwin, Choctaw, Clarke, Conecuh, Escambia, Mobile, Monroe, and Washington.
Selma Division comprises the following counties: Dallas, Hale, Marengo, Perry, and Wilcox.
As of October 1, 2021[update]:
|#||Title||Judge||Duty station||Born||Term of service||Appointed by|
|21||Chief Judge||Jeff Beaverstock||Mobile||1968||2018–present||2021–present||—||Trump|
|20||District Judge||Kristi DuBose||Mobile||1964||2005–present||2017–2021||—||G.W. Bush|
|22||District Judge||Terry F. Moorer||Mobile||1961||2018–present||—||—||Trump|
|16||Senior Judge||Charles R. Butler Jr.||Mobile||1940||1988–2005||1994–2003||2005–present||Reagan|
|18||Senior Judge||Callie V. Granade||Mobile||1950||2002–2016||2003–2010||2016–present||G.W. Bush|
|19||Senior Judge||William H. Steele||Mobile||1951||2003–2017||2010–2017||2017–present||G.W. Bush|
|#||Judge||State||Born–died||Active service||Chief Judge||Senior status||Appointed by||Reason for|
|1||Charles Tait||AL||1768–1835||1824–1826[Note 1][Note 2]||—||—||Monroe/Operation of law||resignation|
|2||William Crawford||AL||1784–1849||1826–1849[Note 2][Note 3]||—||—||J.Q. Adams||death|
|3||John Gayle||AL||1792–1859||1849–1859[Note 4]||—||—||Taylor||death|
|4||William Giles Jones||AL||1808–1883||1859–1861[Note 5][Note 4]||—||—||Buchanan||resignation|
|5||George Washington Lane||AL||1806–1863||1861–1863[Note 4]||—||—||Lincoln||death|
|6||Richard Busteed||AL||1822–1898||1863–1874[Note 6][Note 4]||—||—||Lincoln||resignation|
|7||John Bruce||AL||1832–1901||1875–1886[Note 4]||—||—||Grant||seat abolished|
|8||Harry Theophilus Toulmin||AL||1838–1916||1887–1916||—||—||Cleveland||death|
|9||Robert Tait Ervin||AL||1863–1949||1917–1935||—||1935–1949||Wilson||death|
|10||John McDuffie||AL||1883–1950||1935–1950||—||—||F. Roosevelt||death|
|11||Daniel Holcombe Thomas||AL||1906–2000||1951–1971||1966–1971||1971–2000||Truman||death|
|12||Thomas Virgil Pittman||AL||1916–2012||1966–1981[Note 7]||1971–1981||1981–2012||L. Johnson||death|
|13||William Brevard Hand||AL||1924–2008||1971–1989||1981–1989||1989–2008||Nixon||death|
|14||Emmett Ripley Cox||AL||1935–2021||1981–1988||—||—||Reagan||elevation to 11th Cir.|
|15||Alex T. Howard Jr.||AL||1924–2011||1986–1996||1989–1994||1996–2011||Reagan||death|
|17||Richard W. Vollmer Jr.||AL||1926–2003||1990–2000||—||2000–2003||G.H.W. Bush||death|
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.
Wallace v. Jaffree (1983) – Court affirmed that silent prayer was permissible in Mobile County public schools. Decision was reversed by Eleventh Circuit and U.S. Supreme Court, both ruling that it violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.
Smith v. Board of School Commissioners of Mobile County (1987) – Court rules that textbooks promoting secular humanism were unconstitutional, running contrary to the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. Decision was reversed by Eleventh Circuit, which held that secular humanism was not a violation of the Establishment Clause as it is not a system of belief constituting a "religion".
Searcy v. Strange (2015) – District Judge Callie V. S. "Ginny" Granade ruled that Alabama's ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional, violating the 14th Amendment's equal protection clause, on January 23. Days later, she issued an order clarifying her ruling, saying that all Alabama probate judges, who issue marriage licenses, must comply with the order. She stayed her order for two weeks to allow state defendants time to seek a stay from a higher court. On February 3, the Eleventh Circuit denied the stay, after denying a stay in a similar case out of Florida months before. On February 9, as the order was set to take effect, the U.S. Supreme Court also denied the stay.