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United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania
(W.D. Pa.)
Western District of Pennsylvania (map).svg
Western District in green
LocationJoseph F. Weis, Jr. U.S. Courthouse
More locations
Appeals toThird Circuit
EstablishedApril 20, 1818
Chief JudgeMark R. Hornak
Officers of the court
U.S. AttorneySteve Kaufman (acting)[1]
U.S. MarshalMichael D. Baughman

The United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania (in case citations, W.D. Pa.) sits in Pittsburgh, Erie, and Johnstown, Pennsylvania. It is composed of ten judges as authorized by federal law. Appeals from this court are heard by 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).


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.[2][3] It was subdivided on April 20, 1818, by 3 Stat. 462,[2][3] into the Eastern and Western Districts to be headquartered in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, respectively.[2] The court began its first session on December 7, 1818 at the Old County Courthouse in Pittsburgh.[4] Portions of these districts were subsequently subdivided into the Middle District on March 2, 1901, by 31 Stat. 880.[3] At the time of its initial subdivision, presiding judge Richard Peters Jr. was reassigned to only the Eastern District. This made it possible for President James Monroe to appoint Jonathan Hoge Walker as the first judge of the Western District of Pennsylvania.

The Erie courthouse and division was split from Pittsburgh for initial actions in January 1867, with the Johnstown courthouse and division being split from Pittsburgh for initial actions in 1989.[5]

Territory of jurisdiction

Current judges

As of March 12, 2021:

# Title Judge Duty station Born Term of service Appointed by
Active Chief Senior
56 Chief Judge Mark R. Hornak Pittsburgh 1956 2011–present 2018–present Obama
57 District Judge Cathy Bissoon Pittsburgh 1968 2011–present Obama
58 District Judge Susan Paradise Baxter Erie 1956 2018–present Trump
59 District Judge Marilyn Jean Horan Pittsburgh 1954 2018–present Trump
61 District Judge Nicholas Ranjan Pittsburgh 1978 2019–present Trump
62 District Judge William S. Stickman IV Pittsburgh 1979 2019–present Trump
63 District Judge Stephanie L. Haines Johnstown 1969 2019–present Trump
64 District Judge Robert J. Colville Pittsburgh 1965 2019–present Trump
65 District Judge W. Scott Hardy Pittsburgh 1971 2020–present Trump
66 District Judge Christy C. Wiegand Pittsburgh 1975 2020–present Trump
34 Senior Judge Maurice Blanchard Cohill Jr. inactive 1929 1976–1994 1985–1992 1994–present Ford
36 Senior Judge Gustave Diamond inactive 1928 1978–1994 1992–1994 1994–present Carter
38 Senior Judge Alan Neil Bloch Pittsburgh 1932 1979–1997 1997–present Carter
45 Senior Judge Donetta W. Ambrose Pittsburgh 1945 1993–2010 2002–2009 2010–present Clinton
49 Senior Judge Joy Flowers Conti Pittsburgh 1948 2002–2018 2013–2018 2018–present G.W. Bush
50 Senior Judge David S. Cercone Pittsburgh
1952 2002–2017 2017–present G.W. Bush
52 Senior Judge Arthur J. Schwab Pittsburgh 1946 2002–2018 2018–present G.W. Bush
53 Senior Judge Kim R. Gibson Johnstown 1948 2003–2016 2016–present G.W. Bush
55 Senior Judge Nora Barry Fischer Pittsburgh 1951 2007–2019 2019–present G.W. Bush

Former judges

# Judge State Born–died Active service Chief Judge Senior status Appointed by Reason for
1 Jonathan Hoge Walker PA 1754–1824 1818–1824  Monroe death
2 William Wilkins PA 1779–1865 1824–1831  Monroe resignation
3 Thomas Irwin PA 1785–1870 1831–1859[Note 1]  Jackson resignation
4 Wilson McCandless PA 1810–1882 1859–1876  Buchanan retirement
5 Winthrop Welles Ketcham PA 1820–1879 1876–1879  Grant death
6 Marcus Wilson Acheson PA 1828–1906 1880–1891  Hayes elevation to 3d Cir.
7 James Hay Reed PA 1853–1927 1891–1892 B. Harrison resignation
8 Joseph Buffington PA 1855–1947 1892–1906 B. Harrison elevation to 3d Cir.
9 Nathaniel Ewing PA 1848–1914 1906–1908[Note 2] T. Roosevelt resignation
10 James Scott Young PA 1848–1914 1908–1914 T. Roosevelt death
11 Charles Prentiss Orr PA 1858–1922 1909–1922  Taft death
12 W. H. Seward Thomson PA 1856–1932 1914–1928 1928–1932  Wilson death
13 Robert Murray Gibson PA 1869–1949 1922–1949 1948–1949 1949–1949  Harding death
14 Frederic Palen Schoonmaker PA 1870–1945 1922–1945  Harding death
15 Nelson McVicar PA 1871–1960 1928–1951[Note 3] 1949–1951 1951–1960  Coolidge death
16 Wallace Samuel Gourley PA 1904–1976 1945–1969 1951–1969 1969–1976  Truman death
17 Frederick Voris Follmer PA 1885–1971 1946–1955  Truman seat abolished
18 Owen McIntosh Burns PA 1892–1952 1949–1952[Note 4]  Truman death
19 Rabe Ferguson Marsh Jr. PA 1905–1993 1950–1977 1969–1975 1977–1993  Truman death
20 William Alvah Stewart PA 1903–1953 1951–1953  Truman death
21 Joseph Putnam Willson PA 1902–1998 1953–1968 1968–1998  Eisenhower death
22 John Lester Miller PA 1901–1978 1954–1971 1971–1978  Eisenhower death
23 John Wilson McIlvaine PA 1907–1963 1955–1963  Eisenhower death
24 Herbert Peter Sorg PA 1911–1979 1955–1976 1975–1976 1976–1979  Eisenhower death
25 Edward Dumbauld PA 1905–1997 1961–1976 1976–1997  Kennedy death
26 Louis Rosenberg PA 1898–1999 1961–1976[Note 5] 1976–1999  Kennedy death
27 Gerald Joseph Weber PA 1914–1989 1964–1988 1976–1982 1988–1989 L. Johnson death
28 Joseph F. Weis Jr. PA 1923–2014 1970–1973  Nixon elevation to 3d Cir.
29 William W. Knox PA 1911–1981 1970–1981  Nixon death
30 Hubert Irving Teitelbaum PA 1915–1995 1970–1985 1982–1985 1985–1995  Nixon death
31 Barron Patterson McCune PA 1915–2008 1970–1985 1985–2008  Nixon death
32 Ralph Francis Scalera PA 1930–2011 1971–1976  Nixon resignation
33 Daniel John Snyder Jr. PA 1916–1980 1973–1980  Nixon death
35 Paul Allen Simmons PA 1921–2014 1978–1990 1990–2014  Carter death
37 Donald Emil Ziegler PA 1936–2019 1978–2001 1994–2001 2001–2003  Carter retirement
39 Carol Los Mansmann PA 1942–2002 1982–1985  Reagan elevation to 3d Cir.
40 Glenn Everell Mencer PA 1925–2007 1982–1994 1994–2007  Reagan death
41 William Lloyd Standish PA 1930–2015 1987–2002 2002–2015  Reagan death
42 D. Brooks Smith PA 1951–present 1988–2002 2001–2002  Reagan elevation to 3d Cir.
43 Donald J. Lee PA 1927–2011 1990–2000 2000–2011 G.H.W. Bush death
44 Timothy K. Lewis PA 1954–present 1991–1992 G.H.W. Bush elevation to 3d Cir.
46 Gary L. Lancaster PA 1949–2013 1993–2013 2009–2013  Clinton death
47 Robert J. Cindrich PA 1943–present 1994–2004  Clinton resignation
48 Sean J. McLaughlin PA 1955–present 1994–2013 2013–2013  Clinton resignation
51 Terrence F. McVerry PA 1943–2021 2002–2013 2013–2021 G.W. Bush death
54 Thomas Hardiman PA 1965–present 2003–2007 G.W. Bush elevation to 3d Cir.
60 Peter J. Phipps PA 1973–present 2018–2019  Trump elevation to 3d Cir.
  1. ^ Recess appointment; formally nominated on December 7, 1831, confirmed by the United States Senate on March 21, 1832, and received commission the same day.
  2. ^ Recess appointment; formally nominated on December 3, 1906, confirmed by the Senate on December 11, 1906, and received commission the same day.
  3. ^ Recess appointment; formally nominated on December 6, 1928, confirmed by the Senate on December 17, 1928, and received commission the same day.
  4. ^ Recess appointment; formally nominated on January 5, 1950, confirmed by the Senate on March 8, 1950, and received commission on March 9, 1950.
  5. ^ Recess appointment; formally nominated on January 15, 1962, confirmed by the Senate on July 10, 1962, and received commission on July 12, 1962.

Chief judges

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 seats

United States Attorneys

Former United States Attorneys for the district have included:[6]

See also


  1. ^ "U.S. Attorney Scott Brady announces resignation" (Press release). Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: United States Attorney's Office. February 26, 2021. Retrieved March 1, 2021.
  2. ^ a b c Asbury Dickens, A Synoptical Index to the Laws and Treaties of the United States of America (1852), p. 388.
  3. ^ a b c U.S. District Courts of Pennsylvania, Legislative history, Federal Judicial Center.
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ "About The Office – USAO-WDPA – Department of Justice". Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  7. ^ "Beaver County Times – Google News Archive Search". Retrieved 2015-12-02.

External links

This page was last edited on 30 March 2021, at 21:05
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