|Established December 10, 1869|
Active judges 11
|Chief judge Diane Pamela Wood|
Senior judges 3
|Location Dirksen Federal Building
Appeals from Central District of Illinois Northern District of Illinois Southern District of Illinois Northern District of Indiana Southern District of Indiana Eastern District of Wisconsin Western District of Wisconsin
The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (in case citations, 7th Cir.) is a federal court with appellate jurisdiction over the courts in the following districts:
The court is based at the Dirksen Federal Building in Chicago, Illinois. It is one of thirteen United States courts of appeals, composed of eleven judges.
The court offers a relatively unique internet presence that includes wiki and RSS feeds of opinions and oral arguments. It is also notable for having two of the most prominent law and economics scholars, Judge Easterbrook and Judge Posner, on its court.
There are two current vacancies on the Seventh Circuit.
Current composition of the court
As of February 18, 2015, the judges on the court were as follows:
List of former judges
Forty-two judges have served on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, but no longer do:
In order to qualify for the office of Chief Judge, 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 in the office of Chief Judge 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. Unlike the Chief Justice of the United States, a Chief Judge returns to active service after the expiration of his or her term and does not create a vacancy on the bench by the fact of his or her promotion. See 28 U.S.C. § 45.
The above rules have applied since October 1, 1982. The office of Chief Judge was created in 1948 and until August 6, 1959 was filled by 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. From then until 1982 it was filled by the senior such judge who had not turned 70.
The current Chief Judge of the Seventh Circuit is Judge Diane Wood, who succeeded Judge Frank H. Easterbrook in October 2013. Judge Wood is the first female chief judge of the court.
Succession of seats
The court has eleven seats for active judges, numbered in the order in which they were filled. Judges who retire into senior status remain on the bench but leave their seat vacant. That seat is filled by the next circuit judge appointed by the president.