Eighth Circuit Historical Society

The Historical Society of the United States Courts in the Eighth Circuit

Judge Diana E. Murphy The Honorable Diana E. Murphy
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
1934 - 2018

Biographical Brochure
Biographical Display
Oral History: ABA Women Trailblazers Project
Portrait | Portrait Ceremony
Memorial Session

Judge Diana E. Murphy holds these historic distinctions:

  • First woman to be Chief Judge of a district court in the Eighth Circuit
  • First woman to be a U.S. District Judge in Minnesota
  • First woman to be Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota
  • First woman appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
  • First woman to chair the U.S. Sentencing Commission

  • Judge Diana E. Murphy served on the United States Court of Appeals from her appointment in 1994 by President Bill Clinton until 2018. Previously she had served as United States District Judge for the District of Minnesota from 1980 to 1994 (appointed by President Jimmy Carter) where she was Chief Judge from 1992 to 1994.

    Judge Murphy was Chair of the United States Sentencing Commission from 1999 to 2004. Before moving to the federal court, she was a state trial judge, and earlier, a trial lawyer with Lindquist & Vennum. In November 2016, Judge Murphy assumed senior status on the Eighth Circuit.

    Judge Murphy was active in many judicial, legal, and civic organizations, including as President of the Federal Judges Association, Chair of the American Judicature Society, board member of the Federal Judicial Center, and Chair of the Judges Advisory Committee to the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility.

    She was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Minnesota where she received her undergraduate and law degrees magna cum laude. For more on Judge Murphy, see her biographical brochure.

    Judge Diana E. Murphy     Judge Diana E. Murphy
    Judge Murphy's portrait, painted by portrait artist Jason Bouldin. Click for larger image.
    Portrait images above courtesy of Jason Bouldin.

    Panel 1 of Judge Murphy's display     Panel 2 of Judge Murphy's display     Panel 3 of Judge Murphy's display
    The three panels of Judge Murphy's exhibit, above, made by the U.S. Courts Library 8th Circuit, were on display at her portrait ceremony and memorial session. Click on a panel to view larger image.

    Judge Murphy's biographical booklet
    Click on image to access Judge Murphy's biographical booklet.

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