Nealon to become longest-serving federal district judge in U.S. history

If he makes it to Tuesday, Senior United States District Judge Joseph William Nealon of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania will become both the longest serving Article III Federal District Judge in the history and the longest serving Federal District Judge on a single court.

He received a recess appointment from President Kennedy on December 13, 1962, was formally nominated on January 15, 1963, was confirmed on March 15, 1963 and received his commission on March 27, 1963. He served as Chief Judge of the Middle District from 1976 to 1989 and took senior status on January 1, 1989. He continued to maintain a full caseload for many years thereafter, though for the last few years, he discontinued active courtroom work, instead working from his desk on Social Security petitions, prisoner habeas petitions and other stuff that did not require courtroom appearances.

On September 30, 2018, he will switch to inactive senior status, meaning that while he remains a federal judge, he will no long participate in the business of the court. I guess at 95, he is entitled to take it easy for a change. :smile:

I have had the pleasure of meeting him on several occasions. He has worked at the Scranton Federal Building since he was appointed and that building is now names the William Joseph Nealon United States Courthouse.

Congratulations on your long service and I hope you enjoy your belated retirement.

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That’s impressive. Kennedy.

Very impressive.

As of Tuesday, he will have served 55 years, 8 months, 16 days or 20,348 days.

An interesting little fact. When he started in 1962, District Judges were paid $22,500 a year. In 2018, they make $208,000 a year.

No relation to Kevin…

Amazing. Dedicated service.

And he went over the top today.

BTW, the previous record holder was a guy name Henry Potter, who served on the District of North Carolina between 1802 and 1857, so that record stood for about 161 years.