Creation and Constitutional Authority

Washington State moved from territorial status to statehood in 1889. Until that time, territorial Supreme Court Justices "rode the circuit" and met only once or twice a year in Olympia to hear appeals from their district court decisions.

The Eastern District of Washington was formed by the March 2, 1905 "Act to Divide Washington into Two Judicial Districts" (Chapter 1305, Session III, 58th Congress). At that time, the state was then divided into two federal districts and a separate judge, Judge Edward Whitson, was appointed to the Eastern District.