|Current Court Information:|
|United States District Court for the District of Wyoming|
|Appointed by:||Bill Clinton|
|Active:||6/16/1994 - 7/24/2011|
|Chief:||1999 - 2011|
|Preceded by:||104 Stat. 5089|
|Succeeded by:||Scott W. Skavdahl|
|Born:||July 24, 1946|
|Undergraduate:||University of North Texas, B.A., 1968|
|Law School:||University of Houston Law, J.D., 1974|
|Military service:||U.S. Marine Corps 1968-1971|
Following his retirement from the court, Judge Downes worked with Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services, Inc.
Early life and education
From 1968 to 1971, Downes served in the US Marines as a Captain.
Downes was admitted to the bar in May 1975. At that time, he served as Assistant City Attorney for Green River, Wyoming and worked in private practice. In 1978, Downes joined the firm of Brown and Drew, where he worked until joining the court in 1994.
District of Wyoming
Downes was nominated to the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming by President Bill Clinton on May 5, 1994 to a new judgeship created by 104 Stat. 5089, which was approved by Congress. Downes was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on June 15, 1994, and received commission on June 16, 1994. Downes served as the Chief Judge from 1999 until 2011. Downes retired from the court on July 24, 2011. Downes was succeeded in this position by Scott W. Skavdahl.
Judge allows Bill Ayers to speak on campus (2010)[[United States District Court for the District of Wyoming]] (William Ayers v. University of Wyoming, No. 10-CV-079)
Judge Downes presided over a case where the University of Wyoming banned political activist William Ayers from speaking on campus. On April 26, 2010, the judge heard over five hours of arguments from University of Wyoming officials and from attorneys representing Ayers. The issue was whether or not the political activist should be allowed to speak at a lecture sponsored by the University of Wyoming Social Justice Research Center. According to the university, Ayers was barred to speak over safety and security concerns relating to a planned protest of his appearance. The judge ruled that William Ayers must be allowed to speak at the University of Wyoming on April 27, 2010. Downes found that the University of Wyoming did not had enough justification to ban Ayers's speech.
- Judge William Downes FJC Bio
- Information submitted to Judgepedia via email on January 28, 2012
- "THOMAS" William Downes USDC, WY confirmation: PN1355-103
- trib.com, "Federal judge plans to step down," August 12, 2010
- ABA Journal "U of Wyo. Must Let Controversial 1960s Radical Bill Ayers Speak, Federal Judge Rules," April 28, 2010
|Federal judicial offices|
|District of Wyoming
Scott W. Skavdahl
Kelly H. Rankin • Mark L. Carman •
|Former Article III judges|
|Former Chief judges|