Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Wednesday, November 24, 2004


Page 1


Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Building To Be Named for Senior Judge James R. Browning


By a MetNews Staff Writer


The historic San Francisco building that houses the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will be officially named for Senior Judge James R. Browning, the longest-serving member of the current court, when President Bush signs the omnibus appropriations bill, a court spokesman said yesterday.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, who first proposed the tribute to Browning several years ago, was able to add the matter to the massive spending bill before Congress passed it on Saturday. The president is expected to sign the bill into law by Dec. 3, when the continuing resolution under which much of the government is operating will expire.

“It is fitting that Judge Browning’s achievements will be acknowledged by naming the historic federal building at Seventh and Mission Streets in his honor,” Pelosi said in a statement “I am pleased that Judge Browning can witness this much-deserved tribute to his lifetime of public service.”

Browning, 86, has chambers in the building. He took senior status in September 2001 after 40 years of full-time service to the court.

The Montana native graduated from Montana State University Law School in 1941, then joined the Department of Justice as a special attorney in the Antitrust Division. He left in 1943 to join the Army, winning the Bronze Star.

He returned to the Justice Department at the end of World War II, rising through the ranks of the antitrust and civil divisions before being named the first chief of the Executive Office of United States Attorneys in 1953.

He practiced with a Washington, D.C. firm from 1953 to 1958, when he was named clerk of the U.S. Supreme Court. He also taught at New York University and Georgetown University law schools during that time.

President John F. Kennedy named him to the Ninth Circuit in 1961. He served as chief judge from 1976 to 1988.

The current chief judge, Mary M. Schroeder, praised him in a statement.

“Judge Browning’s contributions to the law and to judicial governance have been immense,” Schroeder said. “As chief, he was a visionary and innovator who made inclusiveness and communication key principles in the functioning of the circuit.”

He has received a number of honors during his tenure on the bench, including the federal judiciary’s Edward J. Devitt Award for Distinguished Service to Justice, which he received in 1991.


Copyright 2004, Metropolitan News Company