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Joseph Tyree Sneed III
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

In office
August 24, 1973 – July 21, 1987
Appointed by Richard Nixon
Preceded by Frederick George Hamley
Succeeded by Stephen S. Trott
12th United States Deputy Attorney General

In office
February 1973 – August 24, 1973
President Richard M. Nixon
Preceded by Ralph E. Erickson
Succeeded by William Ruckelshaus
Personal details
Born Joseph Tyree Sneed, III
(1920-07-21)July 21, 1920
Calvert, Texas, U.S.
Died February 9, 2008(2008-02-09) (aged 87)
San Francisco, California, U.S.
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Madelon Montross Juergens
Children 3 (including Carly)
Military service
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch US Army Air Corps Hap Arnold Wings.svg U.S. Army Air Corps
Years of service 1942–1946
Rank US Army WWII SSGT.png Staff Sergeant

Joseph Tyree Sneed III (July 21, 1920 – February 9, 2008) was a Republican U.S. Deputy Attorney General and then a member of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit for nearly 35 years until his death. He was the father of Carly Fiorina, a former CEO of Hewlett-Packard and 2016 Republican Presidential Primary candidate.[1]

Early life

Joseph Tyree Sneed III was born on July 21, 1920 in Calvert, Texas.[2][3] He was the son of Cara Carlton (Weber) and Harold Marvin Sneed, a rancher and landowner.[2][4][5] He spent his youth working summers as a cowboy on his uncle's ranch in the Texas Panhandle.[3]

Sneed earned his undergraduate degree from Southwestern University in 1941.[2] He served as a Staff Sergeant in the Army Air Corps during World War II.[2] Sneed attended the University of Texas School of Law, where he received his LL.B., Order of the Coif in 1947.[2][3] He was also a visiting student at the London School of Economics and the University of Ghana.[3] He subsequently received a Doctor of Juridical Science degree from Harvard Law School in 1958.[2]



Sneed was an assistant professor of law at the University of Texas School of Law from 1947 to 1951.[2] He became an associate professor in 1951 and was made a full professor in 1954. He taught at the University of Texas until 1957.[2]

Sneed was a professor of law at Cornell Law School from 1957 to 1962, followed by the Stanford Law School from 1962 to 1971.[2] He was professor of law and dean of the Duke University School of Law from 1971 to 1973.[2][3]

Judicial service

Sneed was nominated by President Richard Nixon to a seat vacated by Frederick G. Hamley on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on July 25, 1973.[2][3] He was confirmed by the Senate on August 3, 1973, and received his judicial commission on August 24, 1973. He served as an active judge of the court until taking senior status on July 21, 1987.

Sneed ruled in favor of three-strikes law; LGBT employment discrimination; and the eviction of substance abusers by their landlords.[6] He was part of a three-judge panel that replaced Whitewater special prosecutor Robert B. Fiske with Kenneth Starr in 1994.[3][6]

Personal life

Sneed married Madelon Juergens Sneed in 1944.[2] She was a portrait and abstract artist who died in 1998.[3] Together they had a son and two daughters, including Carly Fiorina.[2] They resided in San Francisco, California.[3]


Sneed died in San Francisco at the age of 87 [2][3]


  1. "Fiorina: 'I Would Appoint Judges That Remind Me of My Father'". Newsmax. 
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 Stewart, Jocelyn Y. (February 15, 2008). "Senior judge on U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, former law school professor". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 9, 2016. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9 Egelko, Bob (February 14, 2008). "Joseph Sneed dies - longtime 9th Circuit judge". The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved February 9, 2016. 
  4. "Descendants of Nicholas Perkins of Virginia". 
  5. "The American Bench".,+1920+to+Harold+Marvin+and+Cara+Weber+Sneed.%22&dq=%22Born+Calvert+Texas+July+21,+1920+to+Harold+Marvin+and+Cara+Weber+Sneed.%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=kiFrVMXoBIeayQTz9YKQDQ&ved=0CBUQ6AEwAA. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Is Carly Fiorina a Chip Off the Old Block?". Bloomberg Politics. May 4, 2015. Retrieved February 9, 2016. 


  • Joseph Tyree Sneed III at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center.

External links

Legal offices
Preceded by
Ralph E. Erickson
U.S. Deputy Attorney General
Served under: Richard Nixon

Succeeded by
William Ruckelshaus
Preceded by
Frederick George Hamley
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
Succeeded by
Stephen S. Trott

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