MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson of Montgomery is taking senior status, allowing President Barack Obama a chance to name a replacement.
Reports say that Thompson moved to senior status on Thursday, a change that reduces his caseload.
Thompson was 33 when President Jimmy Carter nominated him to the bench in 1980. He became the state's second black federal judge.
Thompson is perhaps best known for ordering Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the state's judicial building in 2002.
A judicial panel removed Moore from office for refusing to abide by the court order. But voters re-elected Moore to the position last year.
Whomever Obama nominates to replace Thompson will have to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.