J. Ronnie Greer

Judge J. Ronnie Greer

Senior U.S. District Judge J. Ronnie Greer has presided over thousands of criminal and civil cases since being appointed to the federal bench in 2003.

Greer announced Tuesday he intends to retire June 30 to senior status, but will continue to serve as a senior judge with a reduced caseload, according to a news release from the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Tennessee.

That means that while vacating an active position on the bench, Greer will still preside over a lesser volume of cases.

Greer, 65, was originally nominated as a district judge in April 2003 by President George W. Bush and was confirmed in June 2003 by the U.S. Senate. He filled the position vacated by Judge Thomas Gray Hull and began his service as a district judge on June 12, 2003.

Thomas A. Varlan, chief U.S. district judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee, began his federal judgeship the same year as Greer.

“Judge Greer has served the public with great distinction as a U.S. district judge, and during his tenure he has handled a myriad number of complex civil and criminal cases. He will be greatly missed as an active district judge, but the court is very appreciative of his willingness to continue to hear cases as a senior judge of the district,” Varlan said in a statement released Tuesday.

Greer has presided over the majority of his cases as a federal judge in the James H. Quillen U.S. Courthouse in Greeneville, hearing cases from the 10 counties of the Northeastern District of Tennessee: Greene, Carter, Cocke, Hamblen, Hancock, Hawkins, Johnson, Sullivan, Unicoi and Washington.

Greer was a 1st District state senator from 1986 to 1994.

He represented Greene, Hamblen, Cocke and Unicoi counties and served for eight years as chairman of the Senate Environment, Conservation and Tourism Committee.

A native of Mountain City, Greer moved to Greeneville to practice law in the early 1980s.

He was special assistant to then-Gov. Lamar Alexander in 1980-81 and county attorney for Greene County in 1985-86.

He is a past chairman of the Greene County Republican Party.

Greer earned a Bachelor of Science degree from East Tennessee State University and a law degree from the University of Tennessee.

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