Judge, U. S. Court of Appeals for District of Columbia Circuit. Nominated by Jimmy Carter on May 29, 1979, to a new seat authorized by 92 Stat. 1629; Confirmed by the Senate on September 25, 1979, and received commission on September 26, 1979. Served as chief judge, 1991-1994. Service terminated on September 19, 1994, due to retirement.
Abner J. Mikva served as White House Counsel from October 1, 1994 until November 1, 1995. Prior to his appointment, he served as Chief Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He was appointed to the bench on September 27, 1979, and became Chief Judge on January 21, 1991.
Before coming to the bench, he was elected to Congress for five terms, representing portions of Chicago and its suburbs. Judge Mikva served on both the Ways and Means Committee and the Judiciary Committee while in Congress.
He started his political career in 1956 in the Illinois House of Representatives, where he served five consecutive terms. While in the legislature, he was Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and helped enact a new criminal code for Illinois, as well as a new mental health code.
Judge Mikva received his law degree from the University of Chicago in 1951, graduating cum laude. He was editor-in-chief of the Law Review and a member of the Order of the Coif, the national legal honor society. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and was a law clerk to United States Supreme Court Justice Sherman Minton.
After his clerkship, he returned to Illinois, where he entered the practice of law, becoming a partner of the late Justice Arthur Goldberg. His practice included extensive litigation and appellate work. He presented several constitutional cases to the U.S. Supreme Court.
He has taught courses in “The Legislative Process” at Northwestern University, Georgetown University, the University of Pennsylvania, American University, the University of Chicago, the University of Illinois, and a course in “Legal Ethics” at Duke University. Judge Mikva is the co-author of apolitical science textbook on the Congress entitled :The American Congress: The First Branch” and has co-authored law school textbooks on the legislative process.
He is the recipient of numerous honorary degrees. He was given the Paul H. Douglas Ethics in Government Award through the University of Illinois and the Alumni Medal of the University of Chicago. He was recently elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Judge Mikva currently is a Visiting Professor at the University of Chicago. He co-chairs a task force on Political Representation in Illinois with former Governor James Edgar, and serves on the Executive Board of the Central and Eastern European Law Initiatives, an affiliate of the American Bar Association. Judge Mika also engages in arbitration and mediation work with JAMS, a national dispute resolution firm.
Judge Mikva’s wife, Zoe, recently retired as Director of Development for a Washington think-tank and does extensive volunteer work for the Chicago public schools. They have three daughters– two layers and a rabbi- and seven grandchildren.
Peter Stevens (1920 – 2002) Trained in art under Sir Walter Russell at the Royal Academy Schools of London, Peter Stevens pursued a career in art and theater before he joined the U.S. Army Air Force during World War II, at which time he painted a portrait of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
His career as a portraitist began in earnest following the war when he painted portraits which are today in such public collections as the New York Court of Appeals, Yale and New York Universities, and in private collections. Mr. Stevens was commissioned to paint a portrait of Justice William Brennan as well as the portraits of a number of federal judges. His portrait of Judge Patricia M. Wald was completed shortly before his death in 2002.
U.S. Army Air Corps, 1944-1945
Law clerk, Justice Sherman Minton, Supreme Court of the United States, 1951-1952
Private practice, Chicago, Illinois, 1952-1968
Illinois state representative, 1956-1966
U.S. Representative from Illinois, 1969-1973
Private practice, Chicago, Illinois, 1973-1974
Professor, Northwestern University School of Law, 1973-1975
U.S. Representative from Illinois, 1975-1979
White House counsel, 1994-1995
Visiting professor, University of Chicago, 1996-present