The Court System
Judiciary Act of 1789
Who are some of the nation’s leading federal appeals court judges?
Without a doubt one of the country’s most respected federal appeals court judges is Richard Posner of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Widely recognized as a genius, Posner has authored numerous books and articles on a wide variety of legal subjects. After graduating from Harvard Law School, Posner clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice William Brennan in 1962 and later ascended to the 7th Circuit in 1981. He also teaches as a “Senior Lecturer in Law” at the University of Chicago Law School. Bruce Selya is the senior judge on the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Known for his distinctive writing style and impressive vocabulary, Selya has been on the 1st Circuit since President Ronald Reagan appointed him in 1986. Like Posner, Selya earned his law degree from Harvard.
Frank Easterbrook, the current chief judge of the 7th Circuit, is another highly respected federal appeals court jurist. Easterbrook used to work in the Solicitor General’s Office in the 1970s where he argued more than 20 cases before the United States Supreme Court. President Reagan nominated him to the 7th Circuit in 1984. Like Posner, Easterbrook teaches at the University of Chicago Law School.
Another star at the federal appellate level is 1st Circuit Judge Sandra L. Lynch of the First Circuit, who made history as the first female judge on the 1st Circuit in 1995. Lynch’s opinions have been cited by many other courts.