Seat for federal judge opening in Chattanooga

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) – A decision by a federal judge in Chattanooga to take senior status later this year means his seat will be open.

Curtis L. Collier sent a letter to President Barack Obama to say he will move into semi-retirement in October on his 65th birthday. Under senior status, judges work part-time, usually taking on about 20 percent of a normal caseload.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press ( reports Collier’s decision opens a position that is prestigious and highly sought after.

Collier was appointed to the judgeship by President Bill Clinton in 1995. The newspaper reports he was the first and remains the only black U.S. District judge in eastern Tennessee.

The district encompasses areas from Winchester to Greeneville.