MILWAUKEE, WI (WSAU) - U.S. District Judge John Shabaz has died. Shabaz was appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1981, and served as chief judge in the U.S. Court's Western District of Wisconsin from 1996 to 2001. He became a senior judge with his semi-retirement in 2009.
Prior to serving on the bench, Shabaz served as a Republican in the Wisconsin Assembly from 1964 to 1981.
Chief Judge William M. Conley issued a statement on the court's website saying, “The entire court family is saddened by the news of Judge Shabaz's passing. He left an indelible mark on this Court by his unwavering commitment to securing 'the just, speedy and inexpensive determination of every action and proceeding' that came before him, which was both his 'Rule 1' and Rule 1 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure." Conley's statement added, "No one worked harder than Judge Shabaz to regularly meet that standard, and his presence and example will be missed, as will the Judge himself by his many friends and admirers. Our sincere condolences go out to Patty and their children at this difficult time."
Chief Justice Shirley S. Abrahamson also issued a statement. “John Shabaz was Minority Leader in the Wisconsin Assembly when I became a justice of the Supreme Court in the 1970s. He impressed me as a skilled legislator who ably represented his Waukesha-area district for nearly two decades before his appointment to the U.S. District Court. As a federal judge, John Shabaz was a dedicated public servant whose contributions to the State will not soon be forgotten. My thoughts and deepest condolences are with his family at this difficult time.”
Shabaz was born in Milwaukee and attended the University of Wisconsin Madison before seeking his law degree from Marquette University, which he achieved in 1957 after serving in the Army. He passed away Friday, August 31st at the age of 81.