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Diana E. Murphy Edit Profile

Diana E. Murphy, American Federal judge. Bar: Minnesota 1974, Supreme Court of the United States Court 1980. Fulbright scholar; recipient Amicus Founders' award, 1980, Outstanding Achievement award University Minnesota, 1983, Outstanding Achievement award Young Women’s Christian Association, 1981, Distinguished Citizen award Alpha Gamma Delta, 1985.


Murphy, Diana E. was born on January 4, 1934 in Faribault, Minnesota, United States. Daughter of Albert W. and Adleyne (Heiker) Kuske.


Bachelor magna cum laude, University Minnesota, 1954. Juris Doctor magna cum laude, University Minnesota, 1974. Postgraduate, Johannes Gutenberg University, 1954—1955.

Postgraduate, University Minnesota, 1955—1958. Doctor of Laws, St. Johns University, 2000. Doctor of Laws, University St. Thomas, 2003.


Murphy was nominated to that post by President Bill Clinton in 1994 and confirmed by the Senate. Prior to being elevated to the Court of Appeals she was a federal district judge for the District of Minnesota from 1979 to 1994, serving as chief judge from 1992 to 1994. While on the Court of Appeals she also served as Chair of the United States Sentencing Commission from 1999 to 2004.

Murphy is the first woman to serve on the Eighth Circuit. In 1993 she was reportedly considered for the post of Attorney General of the United States, which later went to Janet Reno.


Board directors National Association Public Interest Law Fellowships for Equal Justice, 1992—1995, Minneapolis United Way, 1985—2001, treasurer, 1990—1994, vice-chairman, 1996—1997, chairman board directors, 1997—1998. Board directors Bush Foundation, 1982—2006, chairman board directors, 1986—1991. Organizer, 1st chairman advisory council Amicus, board directors, 1976—1980.

Chair Minneapolis Charter Commission, 1973—1976. Board directors Operations De Novo, 1971—1976, chairman board directors, 1974—1975. Member, chairman bill of rights committee Minnesota Constitutional Study Commission, 1971—1973.

Regent St. Johns University, 1978—1987, 1988—1998, chairman board, 1995—1998, board overseers school theology, 1998—2001. Member Minnesota Bicentennial Commission, 1987—1988. Trustee Twin Cities Public television, 1985—1994, chairman board, 1990—1992.

Trustee University Minnesota Foundation, since 1990, chairman of board, 2003—2005. Board directors Science Museum Minnesota, 1988—1994, vice-chairman, 1991—1994. Trustee University St. Thomas, since 1991, chair executive committee, since 2006.

Vice chair board governors University St. Thomas Law School, 2001—2004, chair, 2004—2006. Board directors Spring Hill Conference Center, 1978—1984. Board governors Hill Museum and Manuscript Library., since 2005.

Board directors Minnesota Opera, 1998—2004, since 2005. Fellow: American Bar Foundation. Member: American Bar Association (ethics and professional responsibility judges advisory committee 1981-1988, standing committee on judicial selection, tenure and compensation 1991-1994, standing committee on federal judicial improvements 1994-1997, Appellate Judges conference executive committee 1996-1999, chairman ethics and professional responsibility judges advisory committee 1997—2000), Federal Judicial Center (board directors 1990-1994, 8th circuit judicial council 1992-1994, 1992-1994, convener gender fairness task force 1993, United States judicial conference committee on court administration and case management 1994-1999, chair gender fairness implementation committee 1997-1998), History Society for 8th Circuit (board directors 1988-1991), Federal Judges Association 1982—2003, (vice president 1984-1989, president 1989-1991), University Minnesota Alumni Association (board directors 1975-1983, national president 1981-1982), Minnesota Women Lawyers (Myra Bradwell award 1996), National Association Women Judges (Leadership Judges Judicial Administration award 1998, Honoree of Year 2002), National Association Governing Boards Universities Colleges (director since 1998, vice chair since 2006), American Judicature Society (board directors 1982-1993, vice president 1985-1988, treasurer 1988-1989, chairman board 1989-1991), American Law Institute, Hennepin County Bar Association (governor council 1976-1981), Minnesota Bar Association (board governors 1977-1981), Order of Coif, Phi Beta Kappa.


Married Joseph Murphy, July 24, 1958. Children: Michael, John E.