Tracking Louisiana´s Legal Heritage:
 Celebrating 200 Years of the Federal Courts in Louisiana
 
 

Legislative History

March 26, 1804
2 Stat. 283
This act organized the Territory of Orleans as a judicial district and authorized one judgeship for the U.S. district court.  This was the only time Congress provided a territory with a district court equal in its authority and jurisdiction to the district courts in the states. The district court in Orleans, not being assigned to a judicial circuit, was granted the same jurisdiction as U.S. circuit courts, except in appeals and writs of error, which were the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.
April 8, 1812
2 Stat. 701

 
This act organized the State of Louisiana as a judicial district and authorized one judgeship for the U.S. district court.  It provided that the judge of the court would have the same jurisdiction and powers that had been granted to the judge of the Orleans district court. The district court in Louisiana, not being assigned to a judicial circuit, was granted the same jurisdiction as U.S. circuit courts, except in appeals and writs of error, which were the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.
March 3, 1823
3 Stat. 774
Louisiana divided into two judicial districts, the Eastern and the Western, with one judgeship authorized to serve both districts.
March 3, 1837
5 Stat. 176
Congress reorganized the circuits and assigned the Eastern District of Louisiana to the Ninth Circuit. The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana was not assigned to a circuit and continued to exercise the jurisdiction of a U.S. circuit court.
August 16, 1842
5 Stat. 507
Congress reorganized the circuits and assigned Louisiana to the Fifth Circuit. 
February 13, 1845
5 Stat. 722
This act reorganized Louisiana as a single judicial district with one judgeship for the district court.
March 3, 1849
9 Stat. 401
Louisiana again divided into the Eastern and the Western Districts.  Congress authorized one additional judgeship for the Western District and granted the district court therein the jurisdiction of the U.S. circuit courts, except in appeals and writs of error, which were the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.
August 16, 1862
12 Stat. 576
Congress reorganized the circuits and assigned Louisiana to the Sixth Circuit.
July 23, 1866
14 Stat. 209
Congress reorganized the circuits and assigned the Eastern District of Louisiana to the Fifth Circuit.
July 27, 1866
14 Stat. 300
 
This act abolished the Western District of Louisiana and reorganized Louisiana as a single judicial district with one judgeship for the district court.
March 3, 1881
21 Stat. 507
Louisiana again divided into two judicial districts, the Eastern and the Western, with one judgeship authorized for each district.
March 18, 1938
52 Stat. 110
One additional judgeship authorized for the Eastern District.
May 31, 1938
52 Stat. 584
One additional judgeship authorized for the Western District.
May 19, 1961
75 Stat. 80
Two additional judgeships authorized for the Eastern District and one additional for the Western District.
March 18, 1966
80 Stat. 75
Four additional judgeships authorized for the Eastern District.
June 2, 1970
84 Stat. 294
Two additional judgeships authorized for the Eastern District and one for the Western District.
December 18, 1971
85 Stat. 741
The act established the Middle District of Louisiana and authorized the transfer to the Middle District of one judgeship from the Eastern District.
October 20, 1978
92 Stat. 1629
Four additional judgeships authorized for the Eastern District, one for the Middle District, and one for the Western District.
July 10, 1984
98 Stat. 333
One additional judgeship authorized for the Western District.
December 1, 1990
104 Stat. 5089
One additional judgeship authorized for the Western District.
 
October 6, 1997
111 Stat. 1173
The act authorized the transfer to the Middle District of one judgeship from the Eastern District.

 
Authorized Judgeships
 

 

Territory
of
Orleans
District

 
 
Louisiana
District

 
 
Eastern
District

 
 
Western
District

 
 
Middle
District

 
 
Total
Judgeships

1804

1

 

 

 

 

1

1812

 

1

 

 

 

1

1823

 

 

1

1

 

1

1845

 

1

 

 

 

1

1849

 

 

1

1

 

2

1866

 

1

 

 

 

1

1881

 

 

1

1

 

2

1938

 

 

2

1

 

3

1938

 

 

2

2

 

4

1961

 

 

4

3

 

7

1966

 

 

8

3

 

11

1970

 

 

10

4

 

14

1971

 

 

9

4

1

14

1978

 

 

13

5

2

20

1984

 

 

13

6

2

21

1990

 

 

13

7

2

22

1997

 

 

12

7

3

22