Catherine Eagles

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Catherine Eagles
Judge of the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina
Assumed office
December 22, 2010
Appointed by Barack Obama
Preceded by Norwood Tilley
Personal details
Born 1958 (age 63–64)
Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.
Alma mater Rhodes College
George Washington University

Catherine Caldwell Eagles (born 1958) is a judge of the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina and a former Superior Court judge in Guilford County, North Carolina. She is the first female judge to serve in the Middle District.[1]

Early life and education

Eagles was born Catherine Diane Caldwell in Memphis, Tennessee in 1958.[2] She graduated from Rhodes College (then called Southwestern at Memphis) in 1979 with a bachelor's degree.[2] In 1982, she earned a law degree from George Washington University Law School.[2]

Legal career

After law school, Eagles served as a staff law clerk for the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit and as a clerk to judge J. Smith Henley.[2]

After her clerkship, Eagles worked from 1984 to 1993 as an associate and partner at Smith, Helms, Mullis & Moore in Greensboro, North Carolina. In 1993 she was appointed to a seat as a resident superior court judge based in Greensboro. She was elected to serve the remainder of the term in 1994 and re-elected in 1996 and 2004 to eight-year terms.[3] In 2006 she became the senior resident superior court judge in Guilford County.[3]

Federal judicial service

On March 10, 2010 President Barack Obama nominated Eagles to a seat in the Middle District of North Carolina that came open when N. Carlton Tilley assumed senior status.[2] Eagles had a hearing in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on April 16, 2010 and her nomination was reported to the full Senate on May 6, 2010. The Senate approved her nomination on December 16, 2010, during the lame duck session of the 111th Congress.[4][5] She received her commission on December 22, 2010.

In 2012, she presided over U.S. v. Johnny Reid Edwards, where former presidential candidate and senator John Edwards was charged with campaign finance violations.

In January 2014, she struck down as unconstitutional a North Carolina law, similar to one ruled unconstitutional in Oklahoma, that would have required doctors and other authorized health care providers to perform an ultrasound, with the image placed in the woman's line of sight and describe the image to the woman, even if the woman and doctor both object. The case was brought by doctors, who objected to being forced to deliver what they viewed as partisan messages with which they disagreed.


  1. Making History: President Obama’s Female Judicial Nominees, Alliance for Justice (June 11, 2013).
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 "Biographical Directory of Federal Judges". Federal Judicial Center. Retrieved January 13, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 Superior Court Judges for District 18: Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Catherine C. Eagles, The North Carolina Court System.
  4. Abby Phillip, Senate confirms judicial nominees, Politico (December 16, 2010).
  5. Doug Clark, Eagles finally gets through the Senate, News & Record, "Off the Record" blog (December 16, 2010).

External links

Legal offices
Preceded by
Norwood Tilley
Judge of the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina