On March 18, 1966, Congress passed Public Law 89-372, authorizing the division of California into four
judicial districts: Northern, Eastern, Central, and Southern. The law creating the new California judicial districts became effective six months later, on September 18, 1966. San Diego and Imperial Counties became the new Southern District of California with its headquarters in San Diego. Judge Carter presided as the first Chief Judge of the new Southern District of California. In 1966, when the Southern District of California was established in San Diego, the Court had two judges, Chief Judge Carter and Judge Kunzel.