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Early life and educationEdit

Born on November 5, 1947, in Brevard, North Carolina, Floyd received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wofford College in 1970 and a Juris Doctor from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1973.[1][2]

Professional careerEdit

Floyd served in the South Carolina House of Representatives from 1972 to 1978.[3] He was elected as a Democrat.[4] Floyd was in private practice in South Carolina from 1973 to 1992. He was a Circuit judge, Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Court of South Carolina from 1992 to 2003.[2]

Federal judicial serviceEdit

Service on District Court for the District of South CarolinaEdit

On May 15, 2003, Floyd was nominated by President George W. Bush to a seat on the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina vacated by Dennis Shedd. Floyd was confirmed by the United States Senate on September 22, 2003, and received his commission on September 24, 2003. His service terminated on October 6, 2011 due to elevation to the Fourth Circuit.[2]

Floyd presided over the case of José Padilla, a United States citizen detained by President Bush as an enemy combatant. In 2005, Floyd ruled that Bush did not have the authority to hold Padilla as an enemy combatant.[5]

Service on Fourth CircuitEdit

On January 26, 2011, President Barack Obama nominated Floyd to serve on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.[5] Floyd was recommended by Republican Senator Lindsey Graham and Democratic Representatives Jim Clyburn and John Spratt.[6] The United States Senate confirmed Floyd to the Fourth Circuit on October 3, 2011 in a 96–0 vote. He received his commission on October 5, 2011.[2]

Notable CasesEdit

On 28 July 2014, Floyd, in a 2–1 ruling joined by Judge Roger Gregory, struck down Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional.[7] He ruled that "Neither Virginia’s federalism-based interest in defining marriage nor our respect for the democratic process that codified that definition can excuse the Virginia Marriage Laws’ infringement of the right to marry...We recognize that same-sex marriage makes some people deeply uncomfortable. However, inertia and apprehension are not legitimate bases for denying same-sex couples due process and equal protection of the laws."[8]


  1. ^ "SC Judicial Department".
  2. ^ a b c d "Floyd, Henry Franklin – Federal Judicial Center".
  3. ^ "Henry F. Floyd nominated to appellate court". Class Notes: University of South Carolina School of Law. January 2011. Retrieved January 31, 2011.
  4. ^ "For 4th Circuit, Obama Nominates Judge Who Ruled in Padilla Case". The National Law Journal. January 27, 2011. Retrieved January 31, 2011.
  5. ^ a b Ingram, David (January 26, 2011). "Obama Nominates Judge Who Ruled in Padilla Case". The Blog of Legal Times. Retrieved January 31, 2011.
  6. ^ Rosen, James (January 27, 2011). "Obama nominates S.C. federal judge to appellate court". The Miami Herald. Retrieved January 31, 2011.
  7. ^ Gerstein, Josh (28 July 2014). "Court: Virginia same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional". Politico. Retrieved 28 July 2014.

External linksEdit