These 13 Oldest Federal Judges — All In Their 90s — Are Still Hearing Cases

Judge Jack WeinsteinJudge Jack Weinstein in March 2011

Photo: AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews

Most people plan to retire by the time they’re in their 90s, if they’re lucky enough to make it that long.Not these guys.

We used federal records to find the oldest federal judges still sitting on the bench.

These judges are considered senior judges, which means they usually only work part-time.

Senior judges handle roughly 15 per cent of the federal courts‘ workload annually, according to uscourts.gov.

We repeatedly contacted these judges’ clerks for pictures of the judges. Unfortunately, in some cases, the clerks never responded or refused to release pictures.

Judge John William Ditter Jr. is 90 years old.

Birth date: Oct. 19, 1921

Ditter serves as a judge for the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. President Richard Nixon nominated him for the spot in 1970.

During World War II, Ditter served as a captain in the U.S. Naval Reserve.

He assumed senior status in October 1986. Judge Ditter decided a case as recently as last month, when he refused to dismiss a $100 million oil contract dispute, according to Law360.

Judge John Thomas Curtin is 90 years old and will turn 91 in less than a month.

Birth date: August 24, 1921

Thomas serves as a judge for the U.S. District Court in the Western District of New York. He nabbed his spot on the bench in 1967 after being nominated by President Lyndon B. Johnson.

Before becoming a judge, Curtin served in the United States Marine Corps during WWII.

Curtin achieved senior status in July 1989. He issued a ruling as late as last month, in a Niagara Falls Superfund cleanup case, according to Law360.

Judge Solomon Blatt Jr. is 90 years old. But he too will be 91 in less than a month.

Birth date: August 20, 1921

Solomon sits on the bench of the U.S. District Court in the District of South Carolina. He received his spot in 1971 after it was vacated by former judge Donald Stuart Russell.

Blatt served on a destroyer that participated in anti-submarine warfare during World War II.

In 1981, Blatt presided over a desegretation suit filed against public schools in Charleston, S.C. brought by the federal government, according to The New York Times.

He assumed senior status in May 1990.

Judge Jack Weinstein will turn 91 on Aug. 10 and still has a full caseload.

Birth date: August 10, 1921

Lyndon B. Johnson nominated Jack Weinstein to the Eastern District of New York in Brooklyn, N.Y. in 1967.

While he assumed senior status in 1993, one of his staff members confirmed just Friday that Weinstein actually still has a full caseload.

Weinstein has overseen high-profile matters, including litigation involving the antipsychotic drug Zyprexa, according to Law360.

'You sometimes lose names,' Weinstein acknowledged in an interview with the AP in February. 'You don't lose the capacity for decision making and the capacity for analysis.'

Thomas Morrow Reavley turned 91 this summer.

Birth date: June 21, 1921

President Jimmy Carter nominated Thomas Morrow Reavley to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in 1979 and he assumed senior status in 1990.

He has held an array of jobs, including Secretary of State for Texas and lieutenant in the U.S. Navy, according to the University of Texas' law library.

The 91-year-old still has at least one clerk of his own at the Fifth Circuit, and he weighed in on this trade secrets case in June.

Judge Truman McGill Hobbs is 91 years old.

Birth date: Feb. 8, 1921

Hobbs serves as U.S. District Court judge for the Middle District of Alabama.

Before nabbing his current spot, Hobbs served as a law clerk to United States Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black.

He just assumed senior status in February 2011. Hobbs was involved with a case involving the city of Birmingham as recently as May of this year, according to Law360.

Judge Leonard I. Garth is 91 years old.

Birth date: April 7, 1921

Garth serves as a judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

Before being nominated to the appellate court by President Richard Nixon, Garth served on the bench for the District of New Jersey court.

Garth assumed senior status in June 1986. He ruled on a case as recently as June, when he weighed in on a Fair labour Dispute Act case involving the company formerly known as Enterprise Rent-A-Car, according to Law360.

Judge S. Arthur Spiegel is 91 years old.

Birth date: Oct. 24, 1920

Spiegel sat on the bench for the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Ohio. President Jimmy Carter nominated him for the seat in April 1980.

Before assuming the judgeship, Spiegel worked for a number of private law firms, including Kasfir & Charlie and Gould & Spiegel.

Spiegel assumed senior status in June 1995.

The 91-year-old ruled on a case as recently as April, when he ruled that an unmarried Catholic schoolteacher fired for becoming pregnant could proceed with her discrimination suit, according to Law360.

Judge Phyllis A. Kravitch is 91 years old but will soon be 92.

Birth date: Aug. 23, 1920

Kravitch serves as a judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Before joining the Eleventh Circuit, she held a spot on the bench of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Kravitch assumed senior status in December 1996. The almost-92-year-old weighed in on a case as recently as July, according to court records.

Judge Edward Joseph McManus is 92 years old.

Birth date: Feb. 9, 1920

McManus serves on the bench of the U.S. District Court Northern District of Iowa.

He was the chief judge from 1962 through 1985 and assumed senior status in February 1985.

McManus has also served as Iowa's 30-sixth lieutenant governor. As a senior judge, he oversaw an employment discrimination case as recently as July, according to Law360.

Judge Ruggero John Aldisert is 92 years old.

Birth date: Nov. 10, 1919

Aldisert is a U.S. Court of Appeals judge for the Third Circuit.

Fun fact: Aldisert served as the national president of Italian Sons and Daughters of America from 1954 through 1968.

He assumed senior status in December 1986.

Judge Otto Richard Skopil is 93 years old.

Birth date: June 3, 1919

Skopil is a U.S. Court of Appeals judge for the Ninth Circuit. Before joining the oft-publicized Ninth Circuit, he served on the bench of the U.S. District Court in the District of Oregon.

A native of Oregon, his chambers are currently in Portland, Ore.

He assumed senior status in June 1986.

Judge Myron H. Bright is 93 years old.

Birth date: March 5, 1919

Bright is a U.S. Court of Appeals judge for the Eighth Circuit. President Lyndon B. Johnson nominated him for the position in April 1968.

He assumed senior status in June 1985.

The 93-year-old weighed in on a case as recently as April, ruling on a suit involving the Airline Pilots Association, according to court records.

Now let's move to a different aspect of the judicial system.

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