United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania
The United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania (in case citations, M.D. Pa.) is a district level federal court with jurisdiction over approximately one half of Pennsylvania. The court was created in 1901 by subdividing the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. The court is under the jurisdiction of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (except for patent claims and claims against the U.S. government under the Tucker Act, which are appealed to the Federal Circuit).
|United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania|
|Location||Ronald Reagan Federal Building and Courthouse|
|Appeals to||Third Circuit|
|Established||March 2, 1901|
|Chief Judge||Christopher C. Conner|
|Officers of the court|
|U.S. Attorney||David Freed|
Because Harrisburg, the state capital, is located within the district's jurisdiction, most suits against the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania are filed in the Middle District. Similarly, because York County Prison served as the largest Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) facility in the Northeast, the Middle District also adjudicated many immigration cases. The courts of appeal are now responsible for most judicial review of immigration decisions, bypassing the Middle District and other district courts.
The United States District Court for the District of Pennsylvania was one of the original 13 courts established by the Judiciary Act of 1789, 1 Stat. 73, on September 24, 1789. It was subdivided on April 20, 1818, by 3 Stat. 462, into the Eastern and Western Districts to be headquartered in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, respectively. Portions of these districts were subsequently subdivided into the Middle District on March 2, 1901, by 31 Stat. 880.
As of October 11, 2018[update]:
|#||Title||Judge||Duty station||Born||Term of service||Appointed by|
|20||Chief Judge||Christopher C. Conner||Harrisburg||1957||2002–present||2013–present||—||G.W. Bush|
|21||District Judge||John E. Jones III||Harrisburg||1955||2002–present||—||—||G.W. Bush|
|22||District Judge||Robert D. Mariani||Scranton||1950||2011–present||—||—||Obama|
|23||District Judge||Malachy E. Mannion||Scranton||1953||2012–present||—||—||Obama|
|24||District Judge||Matthew W. Brann||Williamsport||1965||2012–present||—||—||Obama|
|12||Senior Judge||Sylvia H. Rambo||Harrisburg||1936||1979–2001||1992–1999||2001–present||Carter|
|17||Senior Judge||A. Richard Caputo||Wilkes-Barre||1938||1997–2009||—||2009–present||Clinton|
|18||Senior Judge||Yvette Kane||Harrisburg||1953||1998–2018||2006–2013||2018–present||Clinton|
|19||Senior Judge||James Martin Munley||Scranton||1936||1998–2009||—||2009–present||Clinton|
Vacancies and pending nominationsEdit
|Seat||Prior Judge's Duty Station||Seat last held by||Vacancy reason||Date of vacancy||Nominee||Date of nomination|
|5||Harrisburg||Yvette Kane||Senior status||October 11, 2018||Jennifer P. Wilson||May 13, 2019|
|#||Judge||State||Born–died||Active service||Chief Judge||Senior status||Appointed by||Reason for|
|1||Robert Wodrow Archbald||PA||1848–1926||1901–1911||—||—||McKinley||elevation to 3d Cir.|
|2||Charles B. Witmer||PA||1862–1925||1911–1925||—||—||Taft||death|
|3||Albert Williams Johnson||PA||1872–1957||1925–1945||—||—||Coolidge||resignation|
|4||Albert Leisenring Watson||PA||1876–1960||1929–1955||1948–1955||1955–1960||Hoover||death|
|5||John W. Murphy||PA||1902–1962||1946–1962||1955–1962||—||Truman||death|
|6||Frederick Voris Follmer||PA||1885–1971||1946–1967||1962||1967–1971||Truman||death|
|7||Michael Henry Sheridan||PA||1912–1976||1961–1976||1962–1976||—||Kennedy||death|
|8||William Joseph Nealon Jr.||PA||1923–2018||1962–1989[Note 1]||1976–1989||1989–2018||Kennedy||death|
|9||Robert Dixon Herman||PA||1911–1990||1969–1981||—||1981–1990||Nixon||death|
|11||Richard Paul Conaboy||PA||1925–2018||1979–1992||1989–1992||1992–2018||Carter||death|
|13||William W. Caldwell||PA||1925–2019||1982–1994||—||1994–2019||Reagan||death|
|14||Edwin Michael Kosik||PA||1925–2019||1986–1996||—||1996–2019||Reagan||death|
|15||James Focht McClure Jr.||PA||1931–2010||1990–2001||—||2001–2010||G.H.W. Bush||death|
|16||Thomas I. Vanaskie||PA||1953–present||1994–2010||1999–2006||—||Clinton||elevation to 3d 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.
Succession of seatsEdit
- Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District
- Whitewood v. Wolf This case struck down Pennsylvania's statutory ban on same-sex marriage on May 20, 2014. This was not appealed to the Third Circuit.
- Lozano et al. v. City of Hazleton, M.D. Pa. No. 3:06-cv-01586-JMM (2006) (affirmed in part by the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, No. 07-3531 (September 9, 2010)).
List of U.S. AttorneysEdit
The people in the district are represented by the United States Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.
- Samuel McCarrell (1901–1908)
- Charles B. Witmer (1908–1911)
- Andrew B. Dunsmore (1911–1914)
- Rogers L. Burnett (1914–1921)
- Andrew B. Dunsmore (1921–1934)
- Frank J. McDonnell (1934–1935)
- Frederick V. Follmer (1935–1946)
- Arthur A. Maguire (1946–1953)
- Joseph C. Kreder (1953)
- Julius Levy (1953–1957)
- Robert J. Hourigan (1957–1958)
- Daniel Jenkins (1958–1961)
- Bernard J. Brown (1961–1969)
- John Cottone (1969–1979)
- Carlon M. O'Malley, Jr. (1979–1982)
- David Dart Queen (1982–1985)
- James J. West (1985–1993)
- Wayne P. Samuelson (1993)
- David Barasch (1993–2001)
- Martin Carlson (2001–2002)
- Tom Marino (2002–2007)
- Martin Carlson (2007–2009)
- Dennis Pfannenschmidt (2009–2010)
- Peter J. Smith (2010–2016)
- David Freed (2017–present)
Within the Middle District, federal courthouses are located in:
- Harrisburg – Ronald Reagan Federal Building and Courthouse
- Scranton – William J. Nealon Federal Building and United States Courthouse
- Williamsport – Herman T. Schneebeli Federal Building and Courthouse
- Wilkes-Barre – Max Rosenn U.S. Courthouse
Counties of jurisdictionEdit
The Court's jurisdiction includes the following counties:
- Asbury Dickens, A Synoptical Index to the Laws and Treaties of the United States of America (1852), p. 388.
- U.S. District Courts of Pennsylvania, Legislative history, Federal Judicial Center.
- "Listing of U.S. Attorneys | USAO-MDPA | Department of Justice". justice.gov. Retrieved 2015-12-02.