Judge Sloviter Will Go on Inactive Status

Chief Judge McKee announced today that Judge Sloviter will assume inactive status as a judge of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.  She made that decision due to “a serious medical condition with her eyes.”

The Chief Judge’s announcement contains a lengthy tribute to Judge Sloviter and a recapitulation of her career.  A lifelong Philadelphia resident, she graduated from Temple University and the University of Pennsylvania School of Law, where she was a member of the Law Review.  After working in private practice for sixteeen years, she joined the faculty of the Temple University School of Law in 1972, becoming a professor in 1974.  Her next stop was at the Third Circuit, to which President Carter appointed her in 1979.

Judge Sloviter served a full seven-year term as Chief Judge of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, from 1991 to 1998.  She was the first, and remains the only, woman to hold that position.  Judge Sloviter took senior status in 2013, exactly 34 years to the day after she began her judicial service.

Judge Sloviter is small of physical stature.  But Chief Judge McKee concluded his announcement by calling her “a legal giant.”  He expressed the hope that she would “continue to play an active role in the life of the Court through participation on court committees and other duties.”  For litigants, however, this announcement marks the end of an era.