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Edith Hollan Jones

Assumed office 
Nominated by Automatic succession
Preceded by Carolyn Dineen King

Judge on Fifth Circuit
Assumed office 
Nominated by Ronald Reagan
Preceded by (Seat established)

Born 1949
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Spouse(s) Woody

Edith Hollan Jones (born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, April 7, 1949) is the Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Jones graduated from Cornell University in 1971. She received her J.D. from The University of Texas School of Law in 1974. She was in private practice in Houston, Texas from 1974 until 1985, working for the firm of Andrews, Kurth, Campbell & Jones, where she became the firm's first female partner. She specialized in bankruptcy law. She also served as General Counsel for the Republican Party of Texas from 1982-83.

She was nominated to the Fifth Circuit by President Ronald Reagan on February 27, 1985, and confirmed by the United States Senate on April 3, 1985. She received her commission on April 4, 1985, at the age of 36. She became Chief Judge of the Fifth Circuit on January 16, 2006 upon the expiration of the term of Carolyn Dineen King.[1]

She sits on the board of directors of the Boy Scouts of America, the Garland Walker American Inns of Court.

Jones has been mentioned frequently as being on the list of potential nominees to the Supreme Court of the United States. A 1990 report from The New York Times cited her as George H.W. Bush's second choice for the Supreme Court vacancy filled by Justice David Souter.[2] The Chicago Sun-Times and several other newspapers reported on July 1, 2005 that she had also been considered for nomination to the Supreme Court during the presidency of George W. Bush.


Legal philosophy

Critics view Jones as an outspoken conservative. In her opinions, she has questioned the legal reasoning which legalized abortion, advocated streamlining death penalty cases, invalidated a federal ban on possession of machine guns and advocated toughening bankruptcy laws.


McCorvey v. Hill

Jones attracted attention for her opinion in the case of McCorvey v. Hill, which was a request by the original plaintiff of Roe v. Wade to vacate the finding of that case. Jones joined the Fifth Circuit in rejecting the petition on procedural grounds, but took the unusual step of handing down a six-page concurrence to the judgment of the court.

The concurrence credited the evidence presented by McCorvey and sharply criticized the Supreme Court's rulings in Roe and in the less famous (decided simultaneously) case of Doe v. Bolton. She quoted Justice Byron White's dissent in the latter, describing the Supreme Court's decision as an "exercise of raw judicial power".[3] She concluded: "That the court's constitutional decision making leaves our nation in a position of willful blindness to evolving knowledge should trouble any dispassionate observer not only about the abortion decisions, but about a number of other areas in which the court unhesitatingly steps into the realm of social policy under the guise of constitutional adjudication".[4]

See also


External links


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