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John Shabaz

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John Shabaz
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Current Court Information:
United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin
Title:   Former federal judge
Position:   Seat #1
Appointed by:   Ronald Reagan
Active:   12/10/1981-1/20/2009
Chief:   1996-2001
Senior:   1/20/2009-8/31/2012
Preceded by:   James Edward Doyle
Succeeded by:   James D. Peterson
Personal History
Born:   6/26/1931
Hometown:   Milwaukee, WI
Deceased:   8/31/2012
Party:   Republican
Undergraduate:   University of Wisconsin-Madison
Law School:   Marquette Univeristy Law School, 1957
Military service:   U.S. Army, 1954-1956

John C. Shabaz was a federal judge for the United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin. He joined the court in 1981, after being nominated by President Ronald Reagan. Shabaz assumed senior status on January 20, 2009. He passed away on August 31, 2012.[1]


Shabaz earned his LL.B. from Marquette University in 1957. Shabaz graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with his undergraduate degree before entering law school.

Military service

Shabaz served in the U.S. Army from 1954 to 1956 before graduating from Marquette.

Professional career

Shabaz was a Republican Representative in Assembly District 83 Representing the Waukesha and New Berlin areas. Shabaz was first elected in 1964 until his appointment by President Ronald Reagan in 1981. Shabaz was the minority leader from 1973 to 1979 and served as Assistant Majority Leader in 1969. Shabaz served on organizational committees in the Wisconsin State Assembly.[2]

Shabaz served as a private practice attorney in West Allis, Wisconsin from 1957 to 1981. From 1964 to the time of his appointment in 1981, Shabaz served as a state representative in Wisconsin's 83rd Assembly District.[3]

Judicial career

Western District of Wisconsin

Shabaz was nominated by President Ronald Reagan on November 4, 1981, to a seat vacated by Judge James E. Doyle, Sr.. Shabaz was confirmed by the Senate on December 9, 1981, and received commission on December 10, 1981.

Shabaz served as the court's Chief Judge from 1996 to 2001.[4]


Citing the political climate of judicial nominations in 2007, Shabaz sent a letter of resignation to President George W. Bush announcing his intention to retire. Shabaz said he would continue to serve until a successor was named.[5]

In September of 2008, Bush announced the nomination of Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge Mac Davis, a former Republican legislator, to succeed Shabaz, but his confirmation never came to a full vote before the Senate before it adjourned.[5]

On January 6, 2009, the Wisconsin State Journal reported that Shabaz would seek senior status on January 20, 2009, and that he would leave without a replacement to the bench.[5]

Notable cases

Wisconsin law diploma privilege

Judge Shabaz threw out a lawsuit in 2007 involving the diploma-privilege clause granted to graduates of Marquette Law and Wisconsin Law.[6]

On July 9, 2009, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Judge Shabaz acted prematurely in throwing out the lawsuit and ordered the Western District of Wisconsin to re-hear the case. Appeals judges Richard Posner, Ken Ripple, and Diane Wood ruled unanimously to send the case back to district court.[6]

See also

External links


Federal judicial offices
Preceded by:
James Edward Doyle
Western District of Wisconsin
Seat #1
Succeeded by:

WisconsinWisconsin Supreme CourtWisconsin Court of AppealsWisconsin Circuit CourtsWisconsin Municipal CourtsUnited States District Court for the Eastern District of WisconsinUnited States District Court for the Western District of WisconsinUnited States bankruptcy court, Eastern District of WisconsinUnited States bankruptcy court, Western District of WisconsinUnited States Court of Appeals for the Seventh CircuitWisconsin countiesWisconsin judicial newsWisconsin judicial electionsJudicial selection in WisconsinWisconsinTemplate.jpg