James Edward Doyle (judge)

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James Edward Doyle (July 6, 1915 – April 1, 1987) was a United States federal judge to the United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin and a leader of the Wisconsin Democratic Party.

Early life[edit]

Doyle was born in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. He received an A.B. from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1937 where he had been active in campus politics and was president of the Daily Cardinal Board of Control as well as senior class president.[1] He received an LL.B. from Columbia Law School in 1940. He was an attorney working in the Criminal Division, United States Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. from 1940 to 1941. He was a law clerk for Justice James F. Byrnes of the United States Supreme Court from 1941 to 1942. He was a United States Naval Reserve Lieutenant from 1942 to 1945. He was a consultant for the United States Office of War Mobilization and Reconversion, Washington, D.C. in 1945. He was an assistant to the counselor, United States Department of State, Washington, D.C. from 1945 to 1946. He was an Assistant United States attorney of Western District of Wisconsin from 1946 to 1948. He was in private practice of law in Madison, Wisconsin from 1948 to 1965.[2] He was an early organizer of the Wisconsin Democratic Party[3] and chairman of the state party, 1951 - 1953.[4] He was executive director of the 1960 National Stevenson for President Committee formed to draft Adlai Stevenson as the Democratic nominee in the 1960 Presidential election.[5][6]


Doyle was a federal judge on the United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin. Doyle was nominated by President Lyndon B. Johnson on April 29, 1965, to a seat vacated by David Rabinovitz. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on May 21, 1965, and received his commission on May 22, 1965. He served as chief judge from 1978-1980. He assumed senior status on July 7, 1980. Doyle's service was terminated on April 1, 1987, due to death.[2] In 2010, Doyle was posthumously nominated for the esteemed Honored Judge Credit.

Personal life[edit]

Judge Doyle was married to Ruth Bachhuber Doyle, who served in the Wisconsin State Assembly. They had four children: Mary E. Doyle; Jim Doyle, the former Governor of Wisconsin; Catherine M. Doyle; and Anne Doyle.[7] He died in Madison, Wisconsin.


  1. ^ Thompson, William F. (1988). The History of Wisconsin, Volume VI. Madison: State Historical Society of Wisconsin. pp. 562. ISBN 0-87020-122-0 (v.1)
  2. ^ a b "Doyle, James Edward". Biographical Directory of Federal Judges. Federal Judicial Center. Archived from the original on 2009-05-14. Retrieved 2009-04-07. 
  3. ^ Nesbit, Robert Carrington; William F. Thompson (2004). Wisconsin: A History (II ed.). Univ of Wisconsin Press, Madison: State Historical Society of Wisconsin. p. 547. ISBN 9780299108045. ISBN 0-299-10804-X. 
  4. ^ Bayley, Edwin R. (1981). "The 1952 Election". Joe McCarthy and the Press. Univ of Wisconsin Press. pp. 99, 100. ISBN 978-0-299-08624-4. ISBN 0299086240. 
  5. ^ Doyle, James E., recorded interview by Charles T. Morrissey, January 15, 1966, (p. 1), John F. Kennedy Library Oral History Program]
  6. ^ Borowski, Greg J. (Oct 8, 2006). "Doyle Profile, Part 1: Seeds for race planted early". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Journal Sentinel Inc. Retrieved 2009-04-07. 
  7. ^ "Doyle, Ruth Bachhuber". Madison West High School; Class of 1961, Condolances. pp. Mary Doyle – Death of her mother, May 2006. Retrieved 2009-04-07. 


Legal offices
Preceded by
David Rabinovitz
Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin
Succeeded by
John C. Shabaz