Judge Henry Floyd, Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals

Judge Henry Floyd

Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals

Henry Franklin Floyd was born in November 1947 in Brevard, North Carolina. He earned an undergraduate degree from Wofford College and received his Juris Doctor from the University of South Carolina School of Law.

Floyd served in the South Carolina House of Representatives for six years, before entering into private practice in South Carolina. He served as the Pickens County Attorney for six years. He was a circuit judge in the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Court of South Carolina for 11 years.

Floyd was nominated by President George W. Bush to a seat on the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina. He was confirmed by the Senate and received his commission in September 2003. His service terminated in October 2011 due to elevation to the Fourth Circuit.

President Barack Obama nominated Floyd to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. He was confirmed by the Senate in a 96-0 vote, and received his commission in October 2011.

In the News…

A panel of Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals judges led by Judge Henry Floyd reversed a lower court’s award of qualified immunity to five police officers of a West Virginia police department who shot a homeless black man 22 times as he lay motionless on the ground.

“To award qualified immunity at the summary judgment stage in this case would signal absolute immunity for fear-based use of deadly force, which we cannot accept,” Floyd wrote.

The panel’s ruling comes as the U.S. Supreme Court is considering a raft of petitions asking the justices to revise, restrict or abolish their qualified immunity doctrine. The doctrine involves a two-step inquiry: whether a constitutional violation occurred and whether the right was “clearly established” at the time of the violation.

Qualified immunity in civil cases often shields police officers from liability when, based on “clearly established law,” they “could reasonably believe that their actions were lawful.”

“A jury could reasonably infer that Jones was struggling to breathe,” Floyd wrote. “He lay on his side and stomach on the concrete with five officers on him. And, viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the estate, Jones was not even wielding the knife when the officers shot him; it was pinned under the right side of his body, which was on the ground, and tucked into his sleeve.”

Contact this Leader…

Did you pray for Judge Floyd today? You can let him know at:

The Honorable Henry Floyd
U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals
Lewis F. Powell Jr. Courthouse
1100 East Main Street
Richmond, VA 23219


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