Chief Judge Carl E. Stewart to Receive 2019 Devitt Award
Chief Judge Carl E. Stewart of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit is the recipient of the 2019 Edward J. Devitt Distinguished Service to Justice Award. Stewart will formally receive the award on Oct. 17 in a ceremony at the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Devitt Award honors an Article III judge who has achieved a distinguished career and made significant contributions to the administration of justice, the advancement of the rule of law, and the improvement of society as a whole.
Recipients are chosen by a committee of federal judges, which this year was chaired by retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, and included Judge Raymond Kethledge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh of the Northern District of California.
In a statement, the committee said, “This year's recipient, Chief Judge Stewart, has throughout his career demonstrated his commitment to decency, civility, fairness, and justice. The committee is confident that members of the federal judiciary will join us in thanking Chief Judge Stewart for his many years of distinguished service.”
"I am deeply honored and humbled to accept this year's Devitt Award,” Stewart said. “I am very grateful to have been nominated and supported for this very special award in this my 25th year on the federal bench. It has been my joy and privilege to serve with dedicated colleagues and to have been afforded a wide array of opportunities to collaborate locally, nationally and internationally with lawyers and judges who are committed to preserving and honoring the rule of law.”
Stewart was appointed to the Court of Appeals in 1994. A graduate of Dillard University and Loyola University School of Law, Stewart served as a captain in the United States Army Judge Advocate General's Corps. He was a local, state and federal prosecutor before entering private practice and later serving as a local and state appellate judge in Louisiana. In addition to numerous other civic and community honors, he received the Boy Scouts of America’s highest commendation for his service to that organization.
Stewart has served on the Judicial Conference of the United States since 2012, when he became chief judge of the Fifth Circuit, and he was appointed to the Conference’s Executive Committee by Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., in March 2017. Stewart previously served on the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Appellate Rules as a member from 2001 to 2005 before becoming chair from 2005 to 2009.
The Devitt Award is named for the late Edward J. Devitt, longtime chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota. The award was established in 1982.