Nebraska District Court Judge James E. Doyle, IV, receives William H. Rehnquist Award for Judicial Excellence

Nebraska District Court Judge James E. Doyle, IV, receives William H. Rehnquist Award for Judicial Excellence

Friday, November 17, 2023

Nebraska District Court Judge James E. Doyle, IV, was honored with the 28th Annual William H. Rehnquist Award for Judicial Excellence during an event at the Supreme Court of the United States Thursday.

Chief Justice of the United States John G. Roberts, Jr., presented the award to the retired Dawson County jurist in front of about 200 honored guests and dignitaries. In his remarks, Chief Justice Roberts spoke of Chief Justice Rehnquist's devotion to his family and shared examples of his humility, characteristics shared by Judge Doyle.

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.

While introducing Judge Doyle, Nebraska Supreme Court Chief Justice Michael Heavican highlighted the judge's contributions to the citizens of Nebraska, especially those in rural communities, which included improving interpreter services, establishing problem-solving courts, and increasing public and media access to live court proceedings.

"Judge Doyle responded to challenges by utilizing technology and implementing new ideas to find better ways to provide justice to court users," said Chief Justice Heavican. "He was always mindful of the need to provide judicial resources where most needed."

In his remarks, Judge Doyle, who retired in August, spoke about his commitment to increasing resources for people living in rural Nebraska. He shared stories about two participants who inspired him to improve probation services and expand drug treatment and mental health courts to all populations across Nebraska.

Judge Doyle established the first rural drug court in 2006 and served as chair of the Nebraska Supreme Court's Committee on Problem-Solving Courts. Under his guidance, problem-solving courts were established in every judicial district in Nebraska.

"The problem-solving court programs not only restore individuals to purposeful and meaningful lives, the programs build and strengthen communities where the programs are operated," he said.

View the media release.