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The Court


The United States District Court for the District of Illinois was established by a statute passed by Congress on March 3, 1819. The act established a single office for a judge to preside over the court. On February 13, 1855, Illinois was divided into two judicial districts, Northern and Southern, with one judgeship authorized for each district. As the population of Illinois grew and the activities of the court increased, Congress authorized additional sites for holding court.

The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Illinois is a former federal district court for the state of Illinois. The court was established March 3, 1905, by 33 Stat. 992. On October 2, 1978, Illinois was reorganized into the Northern, Central, and Southern Districts, with thirteen judgeships authorized for the Northern District, two for the Central District, and two for the Southern District.

Today, the state of Illinois is comprised of three judicial districts, Northern, Central, and Southern Illinois. Chief Judge David R. Herndon, four additional district judges, and four magistrate judges preside over the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois. Additional history of the court is outlined below.


Additional Historical Highlights


Date   Event
July 2, 2014   Formal investiture ceremony of the Honorable Nancy J. Rosenstengel as U.S. District Judge
May 19, 2014   Justine Flanagan is designated Acting Clerk of Court
May 19, 2014   Investiture of the Honorable Nancy J. Rosenstengel as U.S. District Judge
March 15, 2014   The Honorable J. Phil Gilbert assumes duties as Senior District Judge
January 31, 2014   The Honorable William D. Stiehl assumes inactive status
December 1, 2013   Retirement of the Honorable G. Patrick Murphy as U.S. District Judge
June 3, 2012   The passing of the Honorable James L. Foreman, U.S. Senior District Judge. Born 1927. Nominated by President Nixon and received commission on March 7, 1972.
January 2, 2011   Investiture of the Honorable Stephen C. Williams as U.S. Magistrate Judge
October 30, 2009   East St. Louis Courthouse Centennial Celebration
October 1, 2009   Nancy J. Rosenstengel is sworn in as Clerk of Court
March 13, 2009   Justine Flanagan is designated Acting Clerk of Court
January 20, 2009   Keenan G. Casady sworn in as Clerk of Court
October 1, 2007   The Honorable David R. Herndon designated as Chief Judge
May 12, 2007   Retirement of the Honorable James L. Foreman as U.S. District Judge
January 4, 2005   Investiture of the Honorable Donald G. Wilkerson as U.S. Magistrate Judge
January 3, 2005   Retirement of Magistrate Judge Gerald B. Cohn as U.S. Magistrate Judge
October 1, 2001   The passing of the Honorable Paul E. Riley, U.S. District Judge. Born 4/24/42. Nominated by President Clinton and received commission on October 7, 1994.
July 22, 2001   The passing of the Honorable William L. Beatty, U.S. Senior District Judge. Born 9/4/25. Nominated by President Carter and received commission on October 5, 1979.
October 23, 2000   Investiture of the Honorable Michael J. Reagan as U.S. District Judge
October 1, 2000   The Honorable G. Patrick Murphy designated as Chief Judge
December 10, 1999   Retirement of the Honorable Paul E. Riley as U.S. District Judge
November 16, 1998   Investiture of the Honorable David R. Herndon as U.S. District Judge
May 4, 1998   Investiture of the Honorable G. Patrick Murphy as U.S. District Judge
May 13, 1997   Norbert G. Jaworski sworn in as Clerk of Court
November 30, 1996   The Honorable William D. Stiehl assumes duties as Senior District Judge
October 7, 1994   Investiture of the Honorable Paul E. Riley as U.S. District Judge
April 7, 1994   Investiture of the Honorable Clifford J. Proud as U.S. Magistrate Judge
October 1, 1993   The Honorable J. Phil Gilbert designated as Chief Judge
November 19, 1992   The Honorable William L. Beatty assumes duties as Senior District Judge
October 19, 1992   Investiture of the Honorable J. Phil Gilbert as U.S. District Judge
June 1, 1992   The Honorable James L. Foreman assumes duties as Senior District Judge. The Honorable William D. Stiehl designated as Chief Judge.
November 13, 1991   Groundbreaking Ceremony, Federal Office Building, 302 West Main Street, Benton, Illinois.
May 21, 1991   Judge William L. Beatty, his staff and Clerk's Office personnel move from the Alton, IL court facility to East St. Louis.
October 26, 1990   Dedication and Open House for the Melvin Price Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse
May 25, 1990   Investiture of the Honorable John Marshall Ferguson as part-time U.S. Magistrate Judge
April 3, 1989   Stuart J. O'Hare is sworn in as Clerk of the Court
1988-1994   Judge Foreman serves on the U.S. Judicial Conference Committee on Judicial Resources
December 7, 1988   The passing of the Honorable William G. Juergens, U.S. District Judge. Born September 1904, nominated by President Eisenhower and received commission on June 22, 1956.
May 8, 1987   Investiture of the Honorable Philip M. Frazier as U.S. Magistrate Judge
August 29, 1986   Investiture of the Honorable William D. Stiehl U.S. District Judge
March 7, 1986   Groundbreaking and Open House Ceremony for new U.S. Courthouse, East St. Louis, Illinois.
January 3, 1982   A. Marvin Helart is sworn in as Clerk of Court
May 1, 1981   Investiture of the Honorable Gerald B. Cohn as U.S. Magistrate Judge
October 19, 1979   Investiture of the Honorable William L. Beatty as U.S. District Judge
April 1, 1979   Redistricting is official. The new Southern District of Illinois is created.
March 31, 1979   The Honorable James L. Foreman designated as Chief Judge of the Southern District of Illinois, duty station of East St. Louis, Illinois.
March 22, 1979   Order carrying out the creation of the new Southern and Central districts of Illinois.
March 16, 1979   Investiture of the Honorable Robert W. Schmieder as part-time Magistrate Judge for the new Southern District of Illinois.
November, 1978   B. D. Hudgens is sworn in as Clerk of Court
October 2, 1978   Federal District Court Organization Act of 1978 signed by President Carter, effective March 31, 1979.
April 5, 1978   Bill introduced by Senator Percy to change judicial districts in the State of Illinois.
March 31, 1978   The Honorable James L. Foreman designated as Chief Judge of the Eastern District of Illinois, duty station of East St. Louis, Illinois.
July 14, 1976   Congress appropriates $5.4 million for East St. Louis Courthouse and Federal Building.
March 7, 1972   Investiture of the Honorable James L. Foreman as U.S. District Judge.
October 23, 1958   Cornerstone laid at the Benton U.S. Post Office and Court House.
July 23, 1908   Cornerstone laid at the East St. Louis U.S. Post Office and Court House.
301 West Main Street
Benton, IL 62812
750 Missouri Avenue
East St. Louis, IL 62201
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