Active Judges

Carl Stewart – Shreveport, Louisiana

Born 1950 in Shreveport, LA

Federal Judicial Service:
Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
Nominated by William J. Clinton on January 27, 1994, to a new seat authorized by 104 Stat. 5089. Confirmed by the Senate on May 6, 1994, and received commission on May 9, 1994. Served as chief judge, 2012-present. 

Education:
Dillard University, B.A., 1971
Loyola University New Orleans School of Law, J.D., 1974

Professional Career:
U.S. Army captain, JAG Corps, 1975-1977
Private practice, Shreveport, Louisiana, 1977-1978, 1983-1985
Staff attorney, Louisiana Attorney General's Office, 1978-1979
Assistant U.S. attorney, Western District of Louisiana, 1979-1983
Judge, Louisiana District Court, First Judicial District, 1985-1991
Judge, Louisiana Court of Appeal, Second Judicial Circuit, 1991-1994

Grady Jolly – Jackson, Mississippi

Born 1937 in Louisville, MS

Federal Judicial Service:
Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
Nominated by Ronald Reagan on July 1, 1982, to a seat vacated by James Plemon Coleman. Confirmed by the Senate on July 27, 1982, and received commission on July 30, 1982. 

Education:
University of Mississippi, B.A., 1959
University of Mississippi School of Law, LL.B., 1962

Professional Career:
Trial attorney, National Labor Relations Board, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, 1962-1964
Assistant U.S. attorney, Northern District of Mississippi, 1964-1967
Trial attorney, Tax Division, U.S. Department of Justice, 1967-1969
Private practice, Jackson, Mississippi, 1969-1982

Edith Jones – Houston, Texas

Born 1949 in Philadelphia, PA

Federal Judicial Service:
Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
Nominated by Ronald Reagan on February 27, 1985, to a new seat authorized by 98 Stat. 333. Confirmed by the Senate on April 3, 1985, and received commission on April 4, 1985. Served as chief judge, 2006-2012. 

Education:
Cornell University, B.A., 1971
University of Texas School of Law, J.D., 1974

Professional Career:
Private practice, Houston, Texas, 1974-1985

Jerry Smith – Houston, Texas

Born 1946 in Del Rio, TX

Federal Judicial Service:
Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
Nominated by Ronald Reagan on June 2, 1987, to a new seat authorized by 98 Stat. 333. Confirmed by the Senate on December 19, 1987, and received commission on December 21, 1987. 

Education:
Yale University, B.A., 1969
Yale Law School, J.D., 1972

Professional Career:
Law clerk, Hon. Halbert O. Woodward, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas, 1972-1973
Private practice, Houston, Texas, 1973-1984
Director, Harris County [Texas] Housing Authority, 1978-1980
Special assistant attorney general, State of Texas, 1981-1982
Chairman, Houston [Texas] Civil Service Commission, 1982-1984
City attorney, Houston, Texas, 1984-1987

James Dennis – New Orleans, Louisiana

Born 1936 in Monroe, LA

Federal Judicial Service:
Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
Nominated by William J. Clinton on January 31, 1995, to a seat vacated by Charles Clark. Confirmed by the Senate on September 28, 1995, and received commission on October 2, 1995. 

Education:
Louisiana Tech University, B.A., 1959
Louisiana State University Law School, J.D., 1962
University of Virginia School of Law, LL.M., 1984

Professional Career:
U.S. Army, 1955-1957
Private practice, Monroe, Louisiana, 1962-1972
State representative, Louisiana, 1968-1972
Judge, Louisiana District Court, Fourth Judicial District, 1972-1974
Judge, Louisiana Court of Appeal, Second Judicial Circuit, 1974-1975
Associate justice, Supreme Court of Louisiana, 1975-1995

Edith Clement – New Orleans, Louisiana

Born 1948 in Birmingham, AL

Federal Judicial Service:
Judge, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana
Nominated by George H.W. Bush on October 1, 1991, to a seat vacated by Charles Schwartz, Jr.. Confirmed by the Senate on November 21, 1991, and received commission on November 25, 1991. Served as chief judge, 2001. Service terminated on November 27, 2001, due to appointment to another judicial position. 

Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
Nominated by George W. Bush on September 4, 2001, to a seat vacated by John M. Duhe, Jr.. Confirmed by the Senate on November 13, 2001, and received commission on November 26, 2001. 

Education:
University of Alabama, B.A., 1969
Tulane University Law School, J.D., 1972

Professional Career:
Law clerk, Hon. Herbert W. Christenberry, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana, 1973-1975
Private practice, New Orleans, Louisiana, 1975-1991

Edward Prado – San Antonio, Texas 

Born 1947 in San Antonio, TX

Federal Judicial Service:
Judge, U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas
Nominated by Ronald Reagan on March 6, 1984, to a seat vacated by C. Frederick Shannon, Jr.. Confirmed by the Senate on March 30, 1984, and received commission on March 30, 1984. Service terminated on May 13, 2003, due to appointment to another judicial position. 

Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
Nominated by George W. Bush on February 6, 2003, to a seat vacated by Robert M. Parker. Confirmed by the Senate on May 1, 2003, and received commission on May 5, 2003. 

Education:
San Antonio College, A.A., 1967
University of Texas, B.A., 1969
University of Texas School of Law, J.D., 1972

Professional Career:
U.S. Army Reserve, 1972-1987
Assistant district attorney, Bexar County, Texas, 1972-1976
Assistant federal public defender, Western District of Texas, 1976-1980
Judge, Bexar County [Texas] One Hundred and Eighty-Seventh District Court, 1980
U.S. attorney for the Western District of Texas, 1981-1984

Priscilla Owen – Austin, Texas

Born 1954 in Palacios, TX

Federal Judicial Service:
Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
Nominated by George W. Bush on February 14, 2005, to a seat vacated by William L. Garwood. Confirmed by the Senate on May 25, 2005, and received commission on June 3, 2005. 

Education:
Baylor University, B.A., 1975
Baylor University School of Law, J.D., 1977

Professional Career:
Private practice, Houston, Texas, 1978-1994
Justice, Supreme Court of Texas, 1995-2005

Jennifer Elrod – Houston, Texas

Born 1966 in Port Arthur, TX

Federal Judicial Service:
Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
Nominated by George W. Bush on March 29, 2007, to a seat vacated by Patrick E. Higginbotham. Confirmed by the Senate on October 4, 2007, and received commission on October 19, 2007. 

Education:
Baylor University, B.A., 1988
Harvard Law School, J.D., 1992

Professional Career:
Law clerk, Hon. Sim Lake, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas, 1992-1994
Private practice, Houston, Texas, 1994-2002
Adjunct faculty, University of Houston Law Center, 1995
Judge, Harris County [Texas] One Hundred and Ninetieth District Court, 2002-2007

Leslie Southwick – Jackson, Mississippi

Born 1950 in Edinburg, TX

Federal Judicial Service:
Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
Nominated by George W. Bush on January 9, 2007, to a seat vacated by Charles W. Pickering, Sr. Confirmed by the Senate on October 24, 2007, and received commission on October 29, 2007. 

Education:
Rice University, B.A., 1972
University of Texas School of Law, J.D., 1975

Professional Career:
U.S. Army Reserve, 1993-1997
Mississippi National Guard, 1997-2008
Briefing attorney, Hon. John F. Onion, Jr., Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, 1975-1976
Law clerk, Hon. Charles Clark, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, 1976-1977
Private practice, Jackson, Mississippi, 1977-1989
Adjunct professor, Mississippi College School of Law, 1985-1989, 1998-
Visiting professor, Mississippi College School of Law, 2007
Deputy assistant attorney general, Civil Division, U.S. Department of Justice, 1989-1993
Judge, Mississippi Court of Appeals, 1995-2006
Candidate for Mississippi Supreme Court, 1996
U.S. Army staff judge advocate, 2005

Catharina Haynes – Dallas, Texas

Born 1963 in Melbourne, FL

Federal Judicial Service:
Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
Nominated by George W. Bush on July 17, 2007, to a seat vacated by Harold R. DeMoss, Jr.. Confirmed by the Senate on April 10, 2008, and received commission on April 18, 2008. 

Education:
Florida Institute of Technology, B.S., 1983
Emory University School of Law, J.D., 1986

Professional Career:
Private practice, Dallas, Texas, 1986-1998, 2007-2008
Judge, Dallas County [Texas] One Hundred and Ninety-First District Court, 1999-2006

James Graves, Jr. – Jackson, Mississippi

Born 1953 in Hinds County, MS

Federal Judicial Service:
Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
Nominated by Barack Obama on January 5, 2011, to a seat vacated by Rhesa H. Barksdale. Confirmed by the Senate on February 14, 2011, and received commission on February 15, 2011. 

Education:
Millsaps College, B.A., 1975
Syracuse University College of Law, J.D., 1980
Syracuse University, M.P.A., 1981

Professional Career:
Staff attorney, Central Mississippi Legal Services, Jackson, Mississippi, 1980-1983
Adjunct professor, Jackson State University, 1980-1997
Private practice, Jackson, Mississippi, 1983-1986
Special assistant attorney general, State of Mississippi, 1986-1990
Director, Division of Child Support Enforcement, Mississippi Department of Human Services, 1990-1991
Judge, Mississippi Circuit Court, Seventh Judicial District, 1991-2001
Justice, Mississippi Supreme Court, 2001-2011; presiding justice, 2009-2011

Stephen Higginson – New Orleans, Louisiana

Born 1961 in Boston, MA

Federal Judicial Service:
Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
Nominated by Barack Obama on May 9, 2011, to a seat vacated by Jacques L. Wiener, Jr.. Confirmed by the Senate on October 31, 2011, and received commission on November 2, 2011. 

Education:
Harvard College, A.B., 1983
Yale Law School, J.D., 1987
University of Cambridge, M.Phil., 1992

Professional Career:
Law clerk, Hon. Patricia Wald, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, 1987-1988
Law clerk, Hon. Byron White, Supreme Court of the United States, 1988-1989
Assistant U.S. attorney, District of Massachusetts, 1989-1993
Assistant U.S. attorney, Eastern District of Louisiana, 1993-2011
Associate professor, Loyola University New Orleans College of Law, 2004-2011

Gregg Costa – Galveston, Texas

Born 1972 in Baltimore, MD

Federal Judicial Service:
Judge, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas
Nominated by Barack Obama on September 8, 2011, to a seat vacated by John David Rainey. Confirmed by the Senate on April 26, 2012, and received commission on April 26, 2012. Service terminated on June 2, 2014, due to appointment to another judicial position. 

Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
Nominated by Barack Obama on January 6, 2014, to a seat vacated by Fortunado Pedro Benavides. Confirmed by the Senate on May 20, 2014, and received commission on June 2, 2014. 

Education:
Dartmouth College, B.A., 1994
University of Texas School of Law, J.D., 1999

Professional Career:
Law clerk, Hon. A. Raymond Randolph, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, 1999-2000
Bristow fellow, Office of the Solicitor General, U.S. Department of Justice, 2000-2001
Law clerk, Hon. William H. Rehnquist, Supreme Court of the United States, 2001-2002
Private practice, Houston, Texas, 2002-2005
Assistant U.S. attorney, Southern District of Texas, 2005-2012

Senior Judges

Rhesa Barksdale – Jackson, Mississippi

Born 1944 in Jackson, MS

Federal Judicial Service:
Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
Nominated by George H.W. Bush on November 17, 1989, to a seat vacated by Alvin B. Rubin. Confirmed by the Senate on March 9, 1990, and received commission on March 12, 1990. Assumed senior status on August 8, 2009. 

Education:
U.S. Military Academy, B.S., 1966
University of Mississippi School of Law, J.D., 1972

Professional Career:
U.S. Army, 1966-1970
Law clerk, Hon. Byron White, Supreme Court of the United States, 1972-1973
Private practice, Jackson, Mississippi, 1973-1990
Instructor in constitutional law, University of Mississippi Law School Paralegal Course, 1975-1976
Instructor, Mississippi College School of Law, 1976
Chairman, Mississippi Vietnam Veterans Leadership Program, 1982-1985

Fortunato Benavides – Austin, Texas

Born 1947 in Mission, TX

Federal Judicial Service:
Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
Nominated by William J. Clinton on January 27, 1994, to a seat vacated by Thomas Gibbs Gee. Confirmed by the Senate on May 6, 1994, and received commission on May 9, 1994. Assumed senior status on February 3, 2012. 

Education:
University of Houston, B.B.A., 1968
University of Houston Law Center, J.D., 1972

Professional Career:
Private practice, McAllen, Texas, 1972-1977, 1980-1981, 1993-1994
Judge, Hidalgo County [Texas] Court-at-Law Number Two, 1977-1979
Judge, Hidalgo County [Texas] Ninety-Second District Court, 1981-1984
Justice, Thirteenth Court of Appeals of Texas, 1984-1991
Judge, Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, 1991-1992
Visiting judge, Supreme Court of Texas, 1993

Harold DeMoss – Houston, Texas

Born 1930 in Houston, TX

Federal Judicial Service:
Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
Nominated by George H.W. Bush on June 27, 1991, to a seat vacated by Jerre Stockton Williams. Confirmed by the Senate on November 27, 1991, and received commission on December 2, 1991. Assumed senior status on July 1, 2007. 

Education:
Rice Institute (now Rice University), B.A., 1952
University of Texas School of Law, LL.B., 1955

Professional Career:
U.S. Army, 1955-1957
Private practice, Houston, Texas, 1957-1991

Emilio Garza – San Antonio, Texas

Born 1947 in San Antonio, TX

Federal Judicial Service:
Judge, U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas
Nominated by Ronald Reagan on February 2, 1988, to a seat vacated by William S. Sessions. Confirmed by the Senate on April 19, 1988, and received commission on April 20, 1988. Service terminated on June 7, 1991, due to appointment to another judicial position. 

Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
Nominated by George H.W. Bush on April 11, 1991, to a seat vacated by Thomas Morrow Reavley. Confirmed by the Senate on May 24, 1991, and received commission on May 30, 1991. Assumed senior status on August 1, 2012. 

Education:
University of Notre Dame, B.A., 1969
University of Notre Dame, M.A., 1970
University of Texas School of Law, J.D., 1976

Professional Career:
U.S. Marine Corps captain, 1970-1973
Private practice, San Antonio, Texas, 1976-1987
Judge, Bexar County [Texas] Two Hundred and Twenty-Fifth District Court, 1987-1988
 

Patrick Higginbotham – Austin, Texas

Born 1938 in McCalla, AL

Federal Judicial Service:
Judge, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas
Nominated by Gerald Ford on December 2, 1975, to a seat vacated by Sarah T. Hughes. Confirmed by the Senate on December 12, 1975, and received commission on December 12, 1975. Service terminated on August 3, 1982, due to appointment to another judicial position. 

Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
Nominated by Ronald Reagan on July 1, 1982, to a seat vacated by Reynaldo Guerra Garza. Confirmed by the Senate on July 27, 1982, and received commission on July 30, 1982. Assumed senior status on August 28, 2006. 

Education:
University of Alabama, B.A., 1960
University of Alabama School of Law, LL.B., 1961

Professional Career:
U.S. Air Force, JAG Corps, 1961-1964
Private practice, Dallas, Texas, 1964-1975
Adjunct professor of constitutional law, Southern Methodist University Law School, 1976

Carolyn King – Houston, Texas

Born 1938 in Syracuse, NY

Federal Judicial Service:
Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
Nominated by Jimmy Carter on April 30, 1979, to a new seat authorized by 92 Stat. 1629. Confirmed by the Senate on July 12, 1979, and received commission on July 13, 1979. Served as chief judge, 1999-2006. Assumed senior status on December 31, 2013. 

Education:
Smith College, B.A., 1959
Yale Law School, LL.B., 1962

Professional Career:
Private practice, Houston, Texas, 1962-1979

Nominated and served until January 1, 1988, under the name Carolyn Dineen Randall.

Thomas Reavley – Houston, Texas 

Born 1921 in Quitman, TX

Federal Judicial Service:
Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
Nominated by Jimmy Carter on May 17, 1979, to a new seat authorized by 92 Stat.1629. Confirmed by the Senate on July 12, 1979, and received commission on July 13, 1979. Assumed senior status on August 1, 1990. 

Education:
University of Texas, B.A., 1942
Harvard Law School, J.D., 1948
University of Virginia School of Law, LL.M., 1983

Professional Career:
U.S. Navy, 1942-1946
Assistant district attorney, Dallas, Texas, 1948-1949
Private practice, Nacogdoches, Texas, 1949-1951
County attorney, Nacogdoches County, Texas, 1951
Private practice, Lufkin, Texas, 1951-1952
Private practice, Jasper, Texas, 1952-1955
Secretary of state, State of Texas, 1955-1957
Private practice, Austin, Texas, 1957-1964, 1977-1979
Judge, Travis County [Texas] One Hundred and Sixty-Seventh District Court, 1964-1968
Justice, Supreme Court of Texas, 1968-1977
Special judge, Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, 1978

Jacques Wiener – New Orleans, Louisiana

Born June 27, 1922, in Philadelphia, PA
Died November 9, 2005, in Doylestown, PA

Federal Judicial Service:
Judge, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania
Nominated by Lyndon B. Johnson on May 24, 1967, to a new seat authorized by 80 Stat. 75. Confirmed by the Senate on June 12, 1967, and received commission on June 14, 1967. Assumed senior status on December 31, 1988. Service terminated on November 9, 2005, due to death.

Education:
University of Pennsylvania, A.B., 1947
Temple University School of Law, LL.B., 1949
University of Pennsylvania, M.A., 1967
University of Pennsylvania Law School, Ph.D., 1976

Professional Career:
U.S. Navy, 1941-1945
Assistant district attorney, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, 1952-1953
State senator, Pennsylvania, 1953-1967; minority floor leader, 1959-1960, 1963-1964; majority floor leader, 1961-1962
Private practice, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, -1967