Writer's Guide to Government Information

Resources to inject real life detail into your fiction

Biographical Dictionary of Federal Judges

Biographical Dictionary of Federal Judges – http://www.fjc.gov/public/home.nsf/hisj

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • Who was a woman judge appointed by FDR?
  • When was the first African American federal judge appointed?
  • What are some examples of federal judges who were convicted and impeached?


From the Federal Judicial Center website, “The directory includes the biographies of judges who have served since 1789 on the U.S. District Courts, the U.S. Courts of Appeals, the Supreme Court, the former U.S. Circuit Courts, and of the presidentially-appointed judges who have served on the federal judiciary courts of special jurisdiction.” The database is searchable and browsable by name of judge. Records contain birth year, federal judicial service, education, and professional career.
One can create custom lists of judges by the following “Research Categories”:

  • Chief Judges
  • Court
  • Court Type
  • Nominating President
  • Party of Nominating President
  • Nomination Date
  • Confirmation Date
  • Commission Date
  • Senior Status Start Date
  • Termination Date
  • Termination Reason
  • Gender
  • Race or Ethnicity
  • Limit Query to Sitting Judges

In addition to limiting a search to sitting judges, one can also limit the query to judges who have a research collection, bibliography, or oral history available.

The entire database can be downloaded.


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