An interesting factoid pertinent to this post:

Did you know that there is a living, still hearing cases federal judge who received his first federal judicial appointment during the Eisenhower administration?

It requires some minor caveats, but it is nevertheless true!

A judge who makes a cameo appearance in this post -- the Hon. John T. Copenhaver, Jr., S. D. W. Va. -- was appointed to be a district judge by President Ford in 1976.

However, that is not his first federal judicial service. Judge Copenhaver was also the first federal bankruptcy judge in the S. D W. Va, beginning in 1973.

And prior to that, he served in the precursor position to federal bankruptcy judge -- a sort of "proto-bankruptcy judge" position called a "referee in bankruptcy."

Beginning in 1958. That is, during the latter half of the Eisenhower administration.

To be sure, bankruptcy judgeships (and referees in bankruptcy) are not Article III judgeships. Thus, Judge Copenhaver was not an Eisenhower appointee (bankruptcy judges and referees before them are selected by other Article III judges in the relevant geographic area).

Still, both positions certainly qualify, at least colloquially, as "federal judges." Under this metric, Judge Copenhaver has been acting in a judicial capacity -- that is, presiding over federal cases of one sort or another -- for approximately 65 years!

Expand full comment

Judge Carlos Bea competed in the 1952 Olympics, for Cuba.

Expand full comment

Thanks for this interesting retrospective. I think there's a small error, though. The piece says Judge Tjoflat was "transferred to the Eleventh Circuit during the Carter administration." I could quibble with the verb "transferred," since judges of the Fifth Circuit who sat in the states in the new Eleventh were assigned by statute to the new court. But more to the point, CA11 came into existence on Oct. 1, 1981---which was during the Reagan administration.

Expand full comment

Justice Sotomayor was a GHW Bush appointee??? Nope.

Expand full comment