Citing Family Issues, 5th Circuit Chief Steps Down Early

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Come Monday and three months earlier than planned, the chief judge of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will step out of her administrative role.

In a letter to Chief Justice John Roberts Jr., Edith Jones cited “various family problems” as the reason for the early departure as chief.

Based on seniority, Circuit Judge Carl Stewart is in line to replace Jones, Texas Lawyer’s Tex Parte Blog reports.

When asked about the decision, Judge Jones told Tex Parte, “I don’t really have much to say. I’ve tried to do what the job of chief judge requires. And I’m very happy to remain a regular active judge on the court.”

Jones, nominated by President Ronald Reagan, has served on the 5th Circuit since 1985.

Stewart, nominated to the 5th Circuit by President Bill Clinton, is from Louisiana and would become the first African-American chief of the court, according to the Houston Chronicle and Law360.

Last updated 9:40 a.m. Friday to include a comment from Judge Jones and make clear she is only stepping away from her administrative role.

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