Ben C. Duniway

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Benjamin Cushing Duniway (November 21, 1907 – August 23, 1986) was a United States federal judge.

Born in Stanford, California, Duniway received a B.A. from Carleton College in 1928, an LL.B. from Stanford Law School in 1931, and a B.A. from Oxford University in 1933, as a Rhodes scholar. He was in private practice in San Francisco, California from 1933 to 1942. He was a regional attorney of the U.S. Office of Price Administration, in San Francisco, California and in Washington, D.C. from 1945 to 1947 before returning to private practice in San Francisco until 1959. He was considered for a federal judgeship during the Truman administration. In 1959, Governor Pat Brown named Duniway to the California First District Court of Appeals of California in San Francisco, where he served from 1959 to 1961.

On September 14, 1961, Duniway was nominated by President John F. Kennedy to a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit vacated by Albert Lee Stephens Sr.. Duniway was confirmed by the United States Senate on September 21, 1961, and received his commission the following day. While serving on the court, he received a M.A. from Oxford University in 1964. He assumed senior status on October 5, 1976, and served in that capacity until his death in Stanford, California. Procter Hug was appointed to the vacant seat. As a senior judge, Duniway authored the circuit court's majority opinion for Oliphant v. Suquamish Indian Tribe, upholding an American Indian tribal court's criminal jurisdiction over non-Indians on tribal land. That decision was eventually reversed by the Rehnquist Court.

Duniway was the grandson of Abigail Scott Duniway, an Oregon pioneer and noted women's rights advocate.



Legal offices
Preceded by
Albert Lee Stephens Sr.
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
Succeeded by
Procter Ralph Hug Jr.