United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (in case citations, 3d Cir.) is a federal court with appellate jurisdiction over the district courts for the following districts:

United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
(3d Cir.)
LocationJames A. Byrne U.S. Courthouse
Appeals from
EstablishedJune 16, 1891
Circuit JusticeSamuel Alito
Chief JudgeMichael Chagares

This circuit also hears appeals from the District Court of the Virgin Islands, which is an Article VI territorial court and not a district court under Article III of the Constitution.

The court is composed of 14 active judges and is based at the James A. Byrne United States Courthouse in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The court also conducts sittings in other venues, including the United States Virgin Islands.[1] It is one of 13 United States courts of appeals. Due to the court's appellate jurisdiction over Delaware (where more than half of publicly-traded companies in the United States incorporate), the court handles a significant number of influential commercial cases in the United States.

Current composition of the court


As of June 15, 2023:[2][3]

# Title Judge Duty station Born Term of service Appointed by
Active Chief Senior
61 Chief Judge Michael Chagares Newark, NJ 1962 2006–present 2021–present G. W. Bush
62 Circuit Judge Kent A. Jordan Wilmington, DE 1957 2006–present G. W. Bush
63 Circuit Judge Thomas Hardiman Pittsburgh, PA 1965 2007–present G. W. Bush
66 Circuit Judge Patty Shwartz Newark, NJ 1961 2013–present Obama
67 Circuit Judge Cheryl Ann Krause Philadelphia, PA 1968 2014–present Obama
68 Circuit Judge L. Felipe Restrepo Philadelphia, PA 1959 2016–present Obama
69 Circuit Judge Stephanos Bibas Philadelphia, PA 1969 2017–present Trump
70 Circuit Judge David J. Porter Pittsburgh, PA 1966 2018–present Trump
71 Circuit Judge Paul Matey Newark, NJ 1971 2019–present Trump
72 Circuit Judge Peter J. Phipps Pittsburgh, PA 1973 2019–present Trump
73 Circuit Judge Arianna J. Freeman Philadelphia, PA 1978 2022–present Biden
74 Circuit Judge Tamika Montgomery-Reeves Wilmington, DE 1981 2023–present Biden
75 Circuit Judge Cindy K. Chung Pittsburgh, PA 1975 2023–present Biden
76 Circuit Judge vacant
42 Senior Circuit Judge Walter King Stapleton Wilmington, DE 1934 1985–1999 1999–present Reagan
45 Senior Circuit Judge Anthony Joseph Scirica Philadelphia, PA 1940 1987–2013 2003–2010 2013–present Reagan
46 Senior Circuit Judge Robert Cowen inactive 1930 1987–1998 1998–present Reagan
47 Senior Circuit Judge Richard Lowell Nygaard Erie, PA 1940 1988–2005 2005–present Reagan
49 Senior Circuit Judge Jane Richards Roth Wilmington, DE 1935 1991–2006 2006–present G. H. W. Bush
51 Senior Circuit Judge Theodore McKee Philadelphia, PA 1947 1994–2022 2010–2016 2022–present Clinton
53 Senior Circuit Judge Marjorie Rendell Philadelphia, PA 1947 1997–2015 2015–present Clinton
55 Senior Circuit Judge Thomas L. Ambro Wilmington, DE 1949 2000–2023 2023–present Clinton
56 Senior Circuit Judge Julio M. Fuentes Newark, NJ 1946 2000–2016 2016–present Clinton
57 Senior Circuit Judge D. Brooks Smith Duncansville, PA 1951 2002–2021 2016–2021 2021–present G. W. Bush
59 Senior Circuit Judge D. Michael Fisher Pittsburgh, PA 1944 2003–2017 2017–present G. W. Bush

Vacancies and pending nominations

Seat Prior judge's duty station Seat last held by Vacancy reason Date of vacancy Nominee Date of nomination
4 Newark, NJ Joseph A. Greenaway Jr. Retirement June 15, 2023 Adeel A. Mangi November 27, 2023
5 Wilmington, DE Kent A. Jordan January 15, 2025[4]

List of former judges

# Judge State Born–died Active service Chief Judge Senior status Appointed by Reason for
1 Marcus Wilson Acheson PA 1828–1906 1891–1906[Note 1] B. Harrison / Operation of law death
2 George M. Dallas PA 1839–1917 1892–1909 B. Harrison retirement
3 George Gray DE 1840–1925 1899–1914[5] McKinley retirement
4 Joseph Buffington PA 1855–1947 1906–1938[5] 1938–1947 T. Roosevelt death
5 William M. Lanning NJ 1849–1912 1909–1912 Taft death
6 Robert W. Archbald PA 1848–1926 1911–1913 [6] impeachment and conviction
7 John Bayard McPherson PA 1846–1919 1912–1919 Taft death
8 Victor Baynard Woolley DE 1867–1945 1914–1938 1938–1945 Wilson death
9 Thomas Griffith Haight NJ 1879–1942 1919–1920[5] Wilson resignation
10 John Warren Davis NJ 1867–1945 1920–1939 1939–1941 Wilson resignation
11 Joseph Whitaker Thompson PA 1861–1946 1931–1938 1938–1946 Hoover death
12 John Biggs Jr. DE 1895–1979 1937–1965 1948–1965 1965–1979 F. D. Roosevelt death
13 Albert Branson Maris PA 1893–1989 1938–1958 1958–1989 F. D. Roosevelt death
14 William Clark NJ 1891–1957 1938–1943 F. D. Roosevelt resignation
15 Francis Biddle PA 1886–1968 1939–1940 F. D. Roosevelt resignation
16 Charles Alvin Jones PA 1887–1966 1939–1944 F. D. Roosevelt resignation
17 Herbert Funk Goodrich PA 1889–1962 1940–1962 F. D. Roosevelt death
18 Gerald McLaughlin NJ 1893–1977 1943–1968 1968–1977 F. D. Roosevelt death
19 John Joseph O'Connell PA 1894–1949 1945–1949 Truman death
20 Harry Ellis Kalodner PA 1896–1977 1946–1969 1965–1966 1969–1977 Truman death
21 William H. Hastie VI 1904–1976 1949–1971[5] 1968–1971 1971–1976 Truman death
22 Austin Leander Staley PA 1902–1978 1950–1967 1966–1967 1967–1978 Truman death
23 Phillip Forman NJ 1895–1978 1959–1961 1961–1978 Eisenhower death
24 James Cullen Ganey PA 1899–1972 1961–1966 1966–1972 Kennedy death
25 William Francis Smith NJ 1903–1968 1961–1968 Kennedy death
26 Abraham Lincoln Freedman PA 1904–1971 1964–1971 L. B. Johnson death
27 Collins J. Seitz DE 1914–1998 1966–1989 1971–1984 1989–1998 L. B. Johnson death
28 Francis Lund Van Dusen PA 1912–1993 1967–1977 1977–1993 L. B. Johnson death
29 Ruggero J. Aldisert PA 1919–2014 1968–1986 1984–1986 1986–2014 L. B. Johnson death
30 David Henry Stahl PA 1920–1970 1968–1970 L. B. Johnson death
31 Arlin M. Adams PA 1921–2015 1969–1987 Nixon retirement
32 John Joseph Gibbons NJ 1924–2018 1969–1990 1987–1990 Nixon retirement
33 Max Rosenn PA 1910–2006 1970–1981 1981–2006 Nixon death
34 James Rosen NJ 1909–1972 1971–1972 Nixon death
35 James Hunter III NJ 1916–1989 1971–1986 1986–1989 Nixon death
36 Joseph F. Weis Jr. PA 1923–2014 1973–1988 1988–2014 Nixon death
37 Leonard I. Garth NJ 1921–2016 1973–1986 1986–2016 Nixon death
38 A. Leon Higginbotham Jr. PA 1928–1998 1977–1991 1990–1991 1991–1993 Carter retirement
39 Dolores Sloviter PA 1932–2022 1979–2013 1991–1998 2013–2022 Carter death
40 Edward R. Becker PA 1933–2006 1981–2003 1998–2003 2003–2006 Reagan death
41 Carol Los Mansmann PA 1942–2002 1985–2002 Reagan death
43 Morton Ira Greenberg NJ 1933–2021 1987–2000 2000–2021 Reagan death
44 William D. Hutchinson PA 1932–1995 1987–1995 Reagan death
48 Samuel Alito NJ 1950–present 1990–2006 G. H. W. Bush elevation to Supreme Court
50 Timothy K. Lewis PA 1954–present 1992–1999 G. H. W. Bush resignation
52 H. Lee Sarokin NJ 1928–2023 1994–1996 Clinton retirement
54 Maryanne Trump Barry NJ 1937–2023 1999–2011 2011–2019 Clinton retirement
58 Michael Chertoff NJ 1953–present 2003–2005 G. W. Bush resignation
60 Franklin Van Antwerpen PA 1941–2016 2004–2006 2006–2016 G. W. Bush death
64 Joseph A. Greenaway Jr. NJ 1957–present 2010–2023 Obama retirement
65 Thomas I. Vanaskie PA 1953–present 2010–2018 2018–2019 Obama retirement
  1. ^ Acheson was appointed as a circuit judge for the Third Circuit in 1891 by Benjamin Harrison. The Judiciary Act of 1891 reassigned his seat to what is now the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

Chief judges

Chief Judge
Biggs Jr. 1948–1965
Kalodner 1965–1966
Staley 1966–1967
Hastie 1968–1971
Seitz 1971–1984
Aldisert 1984–1986
Gibbons 1987–1990
Higginbotham 1990–1991
Sloviter 1991–1998
Becker 1998–2003
Scirica 2003–2010
McKee 2010–2016
D. Smith 2016–2021
Chagares 2021–present

Chief judges have administrative responsibilities with respect to their circuits, and preside over any panel on which they serve, unless the circuit justice (the Supreme Court justice responsible for the circuit) is also on the panel. Unlike the Supreme Court, where one justice is specifically nominated to be chief, the office of chief judge rotates among the circuit 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, with seniority determined first by commission date, then by age. The chief judge serves for a term of seven years, or until age 70, whichever occurs first. If no judge qualifies to be chief, the youngest judge over the age of 65 who has served on the court for at least one year shall act as chief until another judge qualifies. If no judge has served on the court for more than a year, the most senior judge shall act as chief. Judges can forfeit or resign their chief judgeship or acting chief judgeship while retaining their active status as a circuit judge.[7]

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.[8]

Succession of seats


The court has fourteen seats for active judges, numbered in the order in which they were initially filled. Judges who assume senior status enter a kind of retirement in which they remain on the bench but vacate their seats, thus allowing the U.S. President to appoint new judges to fill their seats.

See also



  1. ^ "Notice for Sitting in Virgin Islands" (PDF). Official website of the Third Circuit. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 1, 2013. Retrieved March 6, 2013.
  2. ^ "U. S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit". Official website of the Federal Judicial Center. Archived from the original on May 25, 2005. Retrieved May 30, 2005.
  3. ^ "Third Circuit Court of Appeals Judges" (PDF). Official website of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 10, 2005. Retrieved May 30, 2005.
  4. ^ "Future Judicial Vacancies | United States Courts". www.uscourts.gov.
  5. ^ a b c d Recess appointment, confirmed by the United States Senate at a later date.
  6. ^ Archbald did not have a permanent seat on this court. Instead, he was appointed to the ill-fated United States Commerce Court in 1910 by William Howard Taft. Aside from their duties on the Commerce Court, the judges of the Commerce Court also acted as at-large appellate judges, able to be assigned by the chief justice of the United States to whichever circuit most needed help. Archbald was assigned to the Third Circuit upon his commission.
  7. ^ 28 U.S.C. § 45
  8. ^ 62 Stat. 871, 72 Stat. 497, 96 Stat. 51