Judge Jerry E. Smith, Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals

Judge Jerry E. Smith

Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals

Jerry Edwin Smith was born in November 1946 in Del Rio, Texas. He earned an undergraduate degree from Yale University and received his Juris Doctor from Yale Law School. He clerked at the North Texas U.S. District Court, then entered private practice in Houston, Texas. 

He served as director of the Harris County Housing Authority and was a special assistant attorney general of Texas. He Chaired the Houston Civil Service Commission before becoming a city attorney in Houston. 

Smith was nominated by President Ronald Reagan to a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. He was confirmed by the Senate and received his commission in December 1987. 

In the News…

The Fifth Circuit determined that a rule by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) that reclassifies braced pistols as short rifles, is likely unlawful. 

In the court’s opinion, Judge Jerry E. Smith wrote, “The Final Rule affects individual rights, speaks with the force of law, and significantly implicates private interests. Thus, it is legislative in character.” 

The rule, he wrote, makes it “nigh impossible for a regular citizen to determine what constitutes a braced pistol” and whether “a specified brace pistol requires NFA registration.” 

The case was sent back to the North Texas U.S. District Court to consider an order that would block enforcement of the rule while the case proceeds. 

Contact this Leader…

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

The Honorable Jerry E. Smith 
Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals 
600 Camp Street 
New Orleans, LA 70730  


Back to top