March/April 2007 issue
In Memoriam: Judge Bruce Van Sickle
U.S. District Judge Bruce Van
Sickle, of the District of North
Dakota, died on Saturday, April
21st. He was 90 years old.
Bruce Marion Van Sickle was born in Minot,
North Dakota, in 1917. He received his
undergraduate degree from the University of
Minnesota in 1939 and his law degree from the
University of Minnesota Law School in 1941.
From 1941 to 1945 he served as a captain in the
U.S. Marine Corps. In 1946 he served as an
adjudicator for the U.S. Veterans Administration
in Seattle, Washington. From 1946 to 1947 he
worked as a title attorney at Bonneville Power in
Portland, Oregon. He then returned to Minot,
where he practiced until his appointment to the
federal bench in 1971. During this time he also
served as a member of the North Dakota House
of Representatives - from 1957 to 1959.
In his 13 years as U.S. District Judge, he presided
over two landmark cases: a class action suit
which ultimately changed how the state cares for
its mentally disabled citizens; and another
class-action lawsuit involving the rights of
Farmers Home Administration borrowers.
Van Sickle is survived by his wife, Dorothy, and
their four children.