HELENA (AP) — Gov. Brian Schweitzer has ordered all flags on state property to be flown at half-staff Friday in honor of James Browning, a Montana native who served for more than 50 years on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Browning served as chief judge of the San Francisco-based court from 1976 to 1988 and helped turn away pressure to split the 9th Circuit into smaller courts by persuading lawmakers to add more judges. He also is credited with modernizing the court's technology.
Browning served as a clerk of the U.S. Supreme Court and held the Bible when President John F. Kennedy took the oath of office.
He was raised in Belt and received his law degree at the University of Montana. He died May 5 at the age of 93.