John C. Shabaz – Wikipedia

American federal judge, United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin

The Honorable

John C. Shabaz

In office
January 20, 2009 – August 31, 2012
In office
Preceded by Barbara Brandriff Crabb
Succeeded by Barbara Brandriff Crabb
In office
December 10, 1981 – January 20, 2009
Appointed by Ronald Reagan
Preceded by James Edward Doyle
Succeeded by James D. Peterson
In office
January 1, 1973 – December 17, 1981
Preceded by Harold Vernon Froehlich
Succeeded by Tommy Thompson
In office
January 1, 1973 – December 17, 1981
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by John C. Schober
Constituency 83rd district
In office
January 1, 1965 – January 1, 1973
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Position abolished
Constituency Waukesha 4th district
Born (1931-06-25)June 25, 1931
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Died August 31, 2012(2012-08-31) (aged 81)
Waunakee, Wisconsin
Resting place Saint Joan of Arc Cemetery, Oconomowoc, Wisconsin
Political party Republican
Profession lawyer, judge
Allegiance  United States
Branch/service  United States Army
Rank US-O3 insignia.svg Captain

John C. Shabaz (June 25, 1931 – August 31, 2012) was an American lawyer, politician, and judge. He served 30 years as a United States district judge for the Western District of Wisconsin, and was Chief Judge between 1996 and 2001. Earlier in his career, he represented Waukesha County in the Wisconsin State Assembly for 16 years as a Republican, serving as minority leader from 1973 to 1981.[1]

Education and early career[edit]

Shabaz was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He attended the University of Wisconsin–Madison as an undergraduate. He received a Bachelor of Laws from Marquette University Law School in 1957. He served in the United States Army from 1954 to 1956. He was in private practice in West Allis, Wisconsin from 1957 to 1981.[2][3]

Legislative career[edit]

From 1964 to 1981, Shabaz served as a Republican state representative in the Wisconsin State Assembly, from the 83rd Assembly District, representing the Waukesha and New Berlin areas. He was the minority leader from 1973 to 1979 and served as Assistant Majority Leader in 1969.[4][3]

Federal judicial service[edit]

On November 4, 1981, Shabaz was nominated by President Ronald Reagan to a seat on the United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin vacated by Judge James Edward Doyle. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on December 9, 1981, and received his commission on December 10, 1981. He served as Chief Judge from 1996 to 2001. He took senior status on January 20, 2009,[5] serving in that status until his death on August 31, 2012.[3][6][7] As of 2020, Shabaz is the last judge appointed by a Republican president to the Western District of Wisconsin.


  1. ^ Associated Press (December 18, 1981). “Shabaz leaves Assembly”. Green Bay Press-Gazette. Madison, Wisconsin. p. 6. Retrieved February 4, 2021 – via
  2. ^ Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau (ed.). The State of Wisconsin 1979-1980 Blue Book. Madison, Wisconsin: Author. p. 77.
  3. ^ a b c “Shabaz, John C. – Federal Judicial Center”.
  4. ^ Wisconsin Historical Society, Dictionary of Wisconsin History, “John Shabaz.”
  5. ^ Marquette University Law School, Judge Shabaz Retires Archived 2011-03-03 at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ “Former US District Judge John Shabaz Dies At 81”. Wisconsin State Journal. August 31, 2012.
  7. ^ Inc., Midwest Communications. “Judge John Shabaz Dies”. 1440 WNFL.