Paul B. Higginbotham

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Paul B. Higginbotham is a former Judge of the Wisconsin Court of Appeals. He was the first and only African American to serve on the court.[1]


Higginbotham was born on October 14, 1954 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.[2] His father was a civil rights activist and marched with Martin Luther King, Jr. during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin–Madison and the University of Wisconsin Law School and is a resident of Fitchburg, Wisconsin. Though the public office he holds is officially non-partisan, he is a Democrat.


From 1985 to 1986, Higginbotham was an attorney with the Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He was later a member of the faculty of the University of Wisconsin Law School. From 1992 to 1993, he served as City of Madison, Wisconsin Municipal Judge. He was the a Wisconsin Circuit Court Judge from 1994 until joining the Court of Appeals in 2003. That year he was also an unsuccessful candidate for the Wisconsin Supreme Court, with the election eventually going to Patience D. Roggensack. In May 2016, Higginbotham announced that he will not seek re-election to the Wisconsin Court of Appeals in the 2017 Wisconsin Spring Election.[3]


  1. ^ "Higginbotham, Paul B". Our Retrieved 2011-11-22. 
  2. ^ "Judge Paul B. Higginbotham". Wisconsin Court System. Retrieved 2011-11-22. 
  3. ^ 'State appeals court judge Paul Higginbotham wouldn't seek re-election,' Wisconsin State Journal, Ed Trevelen, May 18, 2016