William Joseph Bauer

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William Bauer
Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
In office
September 1986 – July 31, 1993
Preceded by Walter Cummings
Succeeded by Richard Posner
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
In office
December 20, 1974 – October 31, 1994
Appointed by Gerald Ford
Preceded by Otto Kerner
Succeeded by Diane Wood
Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
In office
September 14, 1971 – December 20, 1974
Appointed by Richard Nixon
Preceded by Joseph Perry
Succeeded by Alfred Kirkland
Personal details
Born (1926-09-15) September 15, 1926 (age 87)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Alma mater Elmhurst College
DePaul University

William J. Bauer (born September 15, 1926) is a Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago.

Judge Bauer was born in Chicago, Illinois before moving with his family to Elmhurst. After serving in the U.S. Army (1945–1947), he received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Elmhurst College (1949), and a J.D. degree from DePaul University College of Law (1952).

Early in his career, he served as an Assistant State's Attorney in DuPage County, Illinois, eventually becoming First Assistant State's Attorney, and then State's Attorney in 1959. He began his judicial career in 1964, on the Circuit Court for the 18th Judicial Circuit in DuPage County, from 1964 to 1970.

After serving for a year as the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, he was nominated by President Richard Nixon on 14 September 1971 to a seat on the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois which was being vacated by Joseph Samuel Perry. Bauer was confirmed by the United States Senate on 8 November 1971, and received his commission two days later.

On 11 December 1974, Gerald Ford nominated Bauer to a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit vacated by Otto Kerner, Jr.. Bauer was confirmed by the Senate on 19 December 1974, receiving his commission the following day. He served as chief judge from 1986 to 1993, and assumed senior status on 31 October 1994.

Bauer married Mary Nicol (Mike to all who knew her) in 1950, and they had two daughters, Pat and Linda, and granddaughter Sidonie.

Bauer is noted for his colorful language when writing court opinions. For example, in Sea-Land Services, Inc. v Pepper Source, Judge Bauer starts the opinion with: "This spicy case finds its origin in several shipments of Jamaican sweet peppers." 941 F.2d 519 (7th Cir. 1991). In United States v. Fluker, the case begins, "This case proves the old adage, 'If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.'" 698 F.3d 988 (7th Cir. 2012). And in a recent concurrence in the case Jackson v. Pollion, No. 12-2682, which involved the application of medical knowledge to the legal community, he wrote, “As Judge Posner points out, many lawyers decided against medical school because of lack of interest in the clinical aspects of medicine or a deeper interest in the less scientific aspects of law. I was one of those who chose law as opposed to medicine.”

References[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Joseph Perry
Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
1971–1974
Succeeded by
Alfred Kirkland
Preceded by
Otto Kerner
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
1974–1994
Succeeded by
Diane Wood
Preceded by
Walter Cummings
Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
1986–1993
Succeeded by
Richard Posner