Carl E. Stewart

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Carl Stewart
Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
Assumed office
October 1, 2012
Preceded by Edith Jones
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
Assumed office
May 9, 1994
Appointed by Bill Clinton
Preceded by Seat established
Personal details
Born (1950-01-02) January 2, 1950 (age 72)
Shreveport, Louisiana, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Alma mater Dillard University
Loyola University, New Orleans

Carl E. Stewart (born January 2, 1950) is the Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, based in New Orleans, Louisiana. Appointed by Bill Clinton in 1994, Stewart previously sat on Louisiana Court of Appeal for the Second Circuit in Shreveport. He has been an accomplished judge, attorney, prosecutor, and professor. Honored multiple times for his commitment to community service, Stewart is the first African American to serve on the Fifth Circuit as it is currently constituted.


Stewart was born to Corine and Richard Stewart, a postal worker, in Shreveport.[1] As a teenager in the 1960s, Stewart witnessed the civil rights movement and saw how the legal system could be used to bring about social change. Inspired, Stewart decided to dedicate his life to helping people through the legal system. He graduated from Dillard University in New Orleans magna cum laude in 1971 and earned his Juris Doctor from Loyola University New Orleans College of Law in 1974.


Later in 1974, Stewart entered the U.S. Army in the Judge Advocate General's Corps. As a captain, he served as a defense attorney for soldiers at Fort Sam Houston in Texas. After an honorable discharge, Stewart worked as an associate in a small private law firm. In 1978, he joined a field office of the state Attorney General William J. Guste.

In 1979, Stewart became an assistant U.S. Attorney, and worked on a variety of cases. He prosecuted a loan shark who preyed on the poor, a sheriff who paid for votes during a reelection bid, and an unscrupulous land owner who filed false flood relief claims with the federal government. Stewart received a letter of commendation from the Justice Department for his work on a civil rights case in 1982 and 1983.

Stewart left the Justice Department in 1983 to go into private practice in Shreveport, and work as an adjunct professor at Louisiana State University in Shreveport. In 1984, he won election to a six-year term as a 1st Judicial District judge for Caddo Parish. Near the conclusion of the term in 1990, Stewart was elected to the state Second Circuit Court of Appeal, a position which he held from 1991 to 1994.[2]

In 1989, Stewart was praised for his judicial performance. The defunct Shreveport Journal, which sponsored the survey of judges, declared that Stewart had "nearly swept the ratings." One local attorney described Stewart as "a splendid judge, excellent in every respect." Other attorneys[citation needed] lauded his "fine judicial manner," his fairness and concern for "judicial economy." Stewart, one attorney said, "is careful to treat all parties with the same attitude and concern."

In 1994, President Bill Clinton appointed Stewart to the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Legal & Community Involvement

Throughout his career, Stewart has been active in an array of legal professional organizations. He is a charter member of the Harry V. Booth and Judge Henry A. Politz Chapter of American Inns of Court in Shreveport. He also serves as a Trustee of the American Inns of Court. He is a member of the Black Lawyers Association of Shreveport Bossier; the National, Federal, Louisiana and Shreveport Bar Associations; and the Federal Judges Association. Stewart is also a member of the Louisiana State Bar Association Diversity Committee, the National Bar Association Judicial Council, Louis Westerfield Legal Society and the Just the Beginning Foundation of African-American Federal Judges. Finally, Stewart is the chairman of the Advisory Committee on the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure of the Judicial Conference of the United States.

Stewart has also served his community in many capacities. Stewart serves on the Centenary College of Louisiana Board of Trustees and the Louisiana State University-Shreveport Chancellor’s Advisory Committee. He is a past President of the Community Foundation of Shreveport-Bossier, and past board member of the KDAQ Public Radio Advisory Board. He is a board member of the Norwela Council Boy Scouts of America where he has served as Council President and as Local Council Representative, National Council of Boy Scouts of America. At the national level, he is chairman of the Whitney M. Young, Jr. National Service Award Selection Committee for Boy Scouts of America and is a member of the Boy Scouts of America National Scoutreach Committee. Stewart is also an active member of St. James United Methodist Church.

Honors & Public Speaking

Stewart has received numerous awards for his contributions to charitable and educational endeavors including the Liberty Bell Award presented by the Shreveport Bar Association, Dillard University’s Distinguished Alumnus of the Year; and the Raymond Pace Alexander Award and the Judge William H. Hastie Award presented by the National Bar Association Judicial Council. The Boy Scouts of America honored Stewart with its highest awards for volunteer service to youth on the local, regional and national levels: the Silver Beaver Award, the Silver Antelope Award, and the Silver Buffalo Award. He has received the Clyde E. Fant Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Service, the 2008 A.P. Tureaud Achievement Award from the Loyola University School of Law Black Law Students Association, and the 2008 The Times Leadership Award sponsored by the Shreveport Times and the Alliance for Education. Stewart also was named Louisiana Outstanding Young Man of the Year by the Louisiana Chapter of the Jaycees and won the Black Leader of the Year award from the Southern University Shreveport-Bossier Afro-American Society.

Stewart frequently addresses student and professional groups, emphasizing the importance of educational achievement and community service, and the need for African-American role models in business and public service.


Published writings by Stewart include: "Contemporary Challenges to Judicial Independence", Loyola Law Review, Loyola University School of Law, 1997; "Balancing Professionalism, Ethics Quality of Life and the Successful Practice of Law", Proceedings of the Forty-Fifth Annual Institute of Labor Law Developments, The Southwestern Legal Foundation, 1999; and "Abuse of Power & Judicial Misconduct: A Reflection on Contemporary Ethical Issues Facing Judges", The University of St. Thomas Law Journal, The University of St. Thomas School of Law, 2003.


Stewart has been married since 1972 to the former Jo Ann Southall, a registered nurse. They have three children and three grandchildren. Stewart's two brothers are attorneys: Captain Richard G. Stewart, Jr., is Assistant General Counsel to Verizon Communications in Irving, Texas, and Judge James E. Stewart, Sr., serves on Louisiana's Second Circuit Court of Appeal in Shreveport. James Stewart is a Democratic candidate in the special election scheduled for October 24, 2015 for the position of district attorney of Caddo Parish. The previous Democrat incumbent, Charles Scott, died in the spring of 2015 in the first year of his second term in the position.[3]


  1. Clapp, J.J.; Bliss, M.L. (1999). The American Bench. Reginald Bishop Forster & Associates. ISSN 0160-2578. Retrieved 2015-05-15.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Louisiana: Stewart, Carl E.", Who's Who in American Politics, 2003-2004, 19th ed., Vol. 1 (Alabama-Montana) (Marquis Who's Who: New Providence, New Jersey, 2003), p. 796
  3. Angela Thomas (August 12, 2015). "Another Candidate to Enter the Caddo DA's Race". KEEL (AM). Retrieved August 17, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Legal offices
New seat Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
Preceded by
Edith Jones
Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit