About the 5th Circuit

The 5th Circuit covers Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. It has seventeen seats, two of which are vacant. Twelve judges are male and three are female. Three are Hispanic and one is African American.

Reproductive Rights in the 5th Circuit

Grade: D-

The states in the 5th Circuit receive an average grade of D- regarding reproductive rights. Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas have all enacted laws that severely restrict a woman's reproductive rights. While over the years courts have struck down some of these onerous restrictions as unconstitutional, the vast majority remain on the books. It will be up to the judges who sit on the 5th Circuit Court to uphold or deny a woman's reproductive rights as they deliberate the constitutionality of these restrictive laws.

NCJW thanks the NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation for the use of data contained in the "2005 Report Card on Women’s Reproductive Rights" included in Who Decides? The Status of Women's Reproductive Rights in the United States, 14th edition, 2005 In this publication, NARAL Pro-Choice America assigned each state and the District of Columbia a letter grade based on the nature of reproductive rights laws in 19 categories. These grades were averaged to offer a general overview of the status of reproductive rights in each circuit.
Pending Nominees to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals

Priscilla R. Owen

Judges on the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals

Carolyn Dineen King, Chief Judge,
appointed 7/13/79 by President Jimmy Carter

Patrick E. Higginbotham,
appointed 7/30/82 by President Ronald Reagan

W. Eugene Davis,
appointed 11/16/83 by President Ronald Reagan

Edith H. Jones,
appointed 4/4/85 by President Ronald Reagan

Jerry E. Smith,
appointed 12/21/87 by President Ronald Reagan

Jacques L. Wiener, Jr.,
appointed 3/12/90 by President George Bush

Rhesa H. Barksdale,
appointed 3/12/90 by President George Bush

Emilio M. Garza,
appointed 5/30/91 by President George Bush

Harold R. DeMoss, Jr.,
appointed 12/2/91 by President George Bush

Fortunato P. Benavides,
appointed 5/9/94 by President William Clinton

Carl E. Stewart,
appointed 5/9/94 by President William Clinton

Robert M. Parker,
appointed 6/16/94 by President William Clinton

James L. Dennis,
appointed 10/2/95 by President William Clinton

Edith Brown Clement,
appointed 11/26/01 by President George W. Bush

Edward C. Prado,
appointed 5/5/03 by President George W. Bush