Terry J. Hatter Appointed Chief Judge in Federal Court District

U.S. District Court Judge Terry J. Hatter was appointed chief judge of the federal court's Central District this week, the first African American to lead the country's largest judicial district.

Hatter, who was appointed to the federal bench in 1979 by President Jimmy Carter, automatically became chief judge when his predecessor, Judge William Matthew Byrne, stepped down after four years in the position.

As chief judge, Hatter will be responsible for overseeing the administration of the district, which serves more than 17 million people from Santa Barbara to San Bernardino. One immediate issue before him is the district's need for more courthouses and judges, Hatter said.

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