Judge James E. Doyle, IV, of Nebraska, to receive William H. Rehnquist Award for Judicial Excellence

Judge James E. Doyle, IV, of Nebraska, to receive William H. Rehnquist Award for Judicial Excellence

Media release from the National Center for State Courts 


Williamsburg, Va. (Aug. 22, 2023) – District Court Judge James E. Doyle, IV, of Nebraska has been named the recipient of the 28th Annual William H. Rehnquist Award for Judicial Excellence presented by the National Center for State Courts (NCSC). 

One of the highest judicial recognitions in the country, the Rehnquist Award honors a state court judge who demonstrates the outstanding qualities of judicial excellence, including integrity, fairness, open-mindedness, knowledge of the law, professional ethics, creativity, sound judgment, intellectual courage and decisiveness.  

“Judge Doyle has spent his more than two decades of judicial service focused on solving problems for the people of central Nebraska. The solutions he has developed have served as models for other courts across rural America,” said NCSC President Mary C. McQueen. “He has also promoted the use of technology tools to allow people in his rural community to more easily access justice.”  

Judge Doyle will receive the Rehnquist Award from Chief Justice of the United States John G. Roberts, Jr., at a recognition ceremony at the Supreme Court of the United States in November. 

In his nomination letter, Nebraska Supreme Court Chief Justice Michael G. Heavican highlighted Judge Doyle’s many career accomplishments, and also noted that Judge Doyle—who is set to retire from the bench on August 31st—provided leadership in a part of America that seldom gets the spotlight. 

“Judge Doyle’s home court is in Lexington, Dawson County, Nebraska, a town of approximately 10,000 people. The Lexington community is heavily Hispanic, but includes other immigrants of various nationalities. Many of this diverse citizenry work at a large meat packing plant. Judge Doyle also serves in three other very rural counties near Lexington. Those counties are sparsely populated, frequently needing services provided by Zoom or other electronic technology,” wrote Chief Justice Heavican. 

Nebraska Supreme Court Justice Jeffrey J. Funke praised Judge Doyle for his “strong legal acumen, his commitment to the rule of law and his respect for all who appear before him or work with him.” 

In 2008, Judge Doyle was appointed to chair the problem-solving court committee of the Nebraska Supreme Court. Under his direction, Nebraska has established a problem-solving court in every judicial district.  

“Judge Doyle is a state court judge who reflects Chief Justice Rehnquist’s view that ‘a certain humility should characterize the judicial role. Judges and justices are servants of the law, not the other way around,’” added NCSC President McQueen. 

This news release is available on the NCSC website

The National Center for State Courts, headquartered in Williamsburg, Va., is a nonprofit court organization dedicated to improving the administration of justice by providing leadership and service to the state courts. Founded in 1971 by the Conference of Chief Justices and Chief Justice of the United States Warren E. Burger, NCSC provides education, training, technology, management, and research services to the nation’s state courts. 

Jesse Rutledge 
(757) 259-1505