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Ninth Circuit Judge Sidney Thomas to Take Senior Status

March 29, 2022, 5:39 PM

Sidney Thomas, who stepped down in December as chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, plans to take senior status.

President Joe Biden now has three vacancies to fill on the California-based circuit court.

Thomas, an appointee of Bill Clinton, plans to assume senior status, a form of semi-retirement, upon the appointment of his successor, the court said in a statement on Tuesday.

Thomas is a native of Bozeman, Montana, who was an attorney in private practice in Billings prior to joining the Ninth Circuit in 1996. He served as chief judge from 2014 to December 2021.

—With Madison Alder

To contact the reporter on this story: Seth Stern in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Crawley at