Nathan Heffernan

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Nathan Heffernan
Chief Justice of the
Wisconsin Supreme Court
In office
Preceded by Bruce F. Beilfuss
Succeeded by Roland B. Day
Associate Justice of the
Wisconsin Supreme Court
In office
Appointed by John W. Reynolds
Personal details
Born Nathan Stewart Heffernan
(1920-08-06)August 6, 1920
Frederic, Wisconsin, U.S
Died April 13, 2007 (aged 86)
Madison, Wisconsin, U.S.
Alma mater University of Wisconsin
Harvard Business School
Wisconsin Law School

Nathan Stewart Heffernan (August 6, 1920 – April 13, 2007) was an American judge who served as a justice on the Wisconsin Supreme Court from 1964 to 1995, and as Chief Justice of that court from 1983 to 1995.


Heffernan was born in Frederic, Wisconsin. He attended school in Sheboygan, and in 1942 he graduated from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Heffernan served in the Navy during World War II, and attended the Harvard Graduate School of Business. He then graduated Order of the Coif from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1948.

Heffernan worked in a private law practice in Sheboygan at the firm of Buchen & Heffernan from 1948 to 1959. During this time he served as the Assistant District Attorney for Sheboygan County from 1951 to 1953, and as the City Attorney of Sheboygan from 1953 to 1959. At that time, Heffernan resigned his duties from his law firm and became Deputy Attorney General of Wisconsin, and remained in that position until 1962 when he was appointed as a United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin by President John F. Kennedy. In 1964, Wisconsin Governor John W. Reynolds appointed Heffernan to the Wisconsin Supreme Court. He became Chief Justice of that court in 1983, and retired in 1995. The 31 years that Heffernan spent on the Supreme Court make him the third longest-serving judge in Wisconsin history.[1][2]


Preceded by
Bruce F. Beilfuss
Chief Justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court
Succeeded by
Roland B. Day