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U.S. Courthouse named for Judge Diana E. Murphy

October 16, 2019

MINNEAPOLIS -- The U.S. General Services Administration and the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota today commemorated the naming of the federal courthouse building in Minneapolis in honor of Judge Diana E. Murphy.

Closeup photo of Administrator Murphy speaking
GSA Administrator Emily Murphy speaks at the Diana E. Murphy U.S. Courthouse Naming Ceremony event in Minneapolis, Minn.

GSA Administrator Emily Murphy, United States District Court District of Minnesota Chief Judge John R. Tunheim, judges of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeal, judges of the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota, and judges from other federal courts and the Minnesota Supreme Court, along with members of Judge Murphy’s family, celebrated the unveiling of the new sign adorning the now-designated Diana E. Murphy United States Courthouse.

“I am proud of GSA’s work with the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota as we recognize the Diana E. Murphy Courthouse," said GSA Administrator Emily Murphy. "Judge Murphy was a trailblazer in the legal profession with a passion for her community and her home state. Given her professional achievements and her support for the design of this courthouse, we are proud to remember Judge Murphy’s legacy by naming it in her honor."

“We are thrilled to partner with the General Services Administration to honor Judge Diana E. Murphy and her pioneering work in the federal courts. From her time as a judge with the District of Minnesota, to her years on the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, she served with tenacity and grace. It is wholly fitting that this courthouse be renamed in her honor, close to the 40th anniversary of her first appointment to the federal bench in 1980,” said Chief Judge Tunheim. “Our courthouse is only the second in the nation to be named solely after a distinguished female judge, after the Sandra Day O’Connor U.S. Courthouse in Phoenix, Arizona, and we thank the numerous elected officials of Minnesota for their efforts in passing this important legislation.”

Sen. Amy Klobuchar said, “Judge Diana Murphy was the first woman to serve on the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and was a tireless advocate for all. She was a mentor and friend to me and so many others. While she is no longer with us, renaming the federal courthouse is a fitting tribute to her legacy as a trailblazer for justice and inclusion in our legal system.”

“Judge Diana Murphy was a true trailblazer and intellectual force,” said Sen. Tina Smith. “She led a distinguished career that broke gender barriers, shattered glass ceilings and improved representation on the court bench. I’m glad that we are honoring Judge Murphy and I know that her legacy will continue to inspire generations.”

Congressman Tom Emmer remarked, “Judge Diana E. Murphy was, through and through, a daughter of Minnesota. The 38 years she spent as a federal judge solidified her as a trailblazer. I hope that everyone who enters the courthouse that bears her name has a moment of reflection on Judge Murphy’s legacy of service to our great state and our justice system. I know her successors on the bench will serve with integrity and honor under the banner of her name.”

Sign Unveiling at the Murphy U.S. Courthouse Naming Event
GSA Administrator Emily Murphy and Chief Judge John R. Tunheim officially unveil the U.S. Courthouse's new sign.

About Judge Diana E. Murphy

Judge Diana E. Murphy served on the United States Court of Appeals from her appointment in 1994 by President Clinton until her death in 2018. She previously served as a United States District Judge for the District of Minnesota from 1980 to 1994 (appointed by President Carter) where she was Chief Judge from 1992 to 1994. She was instrumental in the design of this courthouse.

Judge Murphy was Chair of the United States Sentencing Commission from 1999 to 2004. Before her federal service, she was a state trial judge and a trial lawyer with the Lindquist & Vennum law firm.

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

She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Minnesota where she received her undergraduate and law degrees magna cum laude.

Judge Murphy was married to Joseph Murphy from 1958 until his death in August 2015. They have two wonderful sons, Michael and John, and two lively granddaughters, Laura and Frances.

Last Reviewed: 2019-11-04