Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, or called simply the DC Circuit Court, is the federal appellate court for the U.S. district court in Washington, DC. Appeals from the DC Circuit, as with all the US Courts of Appeals, are heard by the Supreme Court. It should not be confused with the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, which is roughly equivalent to a state supreme court in D.C.
While it has the smallest geographic jurisdiction of any of the US Courts of Appeals, the DC Circuit Court is nonetheless one of the most important. The court is given the responsibility of directly reviewing the decisions and rulemaking of many federal agencies, without prior hearing by a district court. Aside from the agencies whose statutes explicitly direct review by this court, the DC Circuit Court typically hears cases from other agencies under the more general jurisdiction granted to the Courts of Appeals under the Administrative Procedures Act. Given the broad areas over which federal agencies have power, this often gives the judges of the DC Circuit a central role in affecting national U.S. policy and law.
The DC Circuit Court meets at the E. Barrett Prettyman Courthouse, near Judiciary Square in downtown Washington.
A judgeship in the DC Circuit is often thought of as a stepping stone for appointment to the Supreme Court. Current Supreme Court justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Antonin Scalia, and Clarence Thomas all previously served in the DC Circuit, as did hopeful appointee Judge Robert Bork, who was, however, rejected by the Senate in 1987. Current DC Circuit Chief Judge Douglas H. Ginsburg was also nominated, but withdrew after it became known that he had used marijuana.
The judges currently on the court are:
- Chief Judge Douglas H. Ginsburg
- Judge Harry T. Edwards
- Judge Merrick B. Garland
- Judge Karen L. Henderson
- Judge A. Raymond Randolph
- Judge John G. Roberts
- Judge Judith W. Rogers
- Judge David B. Sentelle
- Judge David S. Tatel
- Senior Judge James L. Buckley
- Senior Judge Laurence H. Silberman
- Senior Judge Stephen F. Williams
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