William Duane Benton

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William Benton
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
Assumed office
July 2, 2004
Appointed by George W. Bush
Preceded by Theodore McMillian
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Missouri
In office
July 1, 1997 – June 30, 1999
Preceded by John Holstein
Succeeded by William Price
Judge of the Supreme Court of Missouri
In office
August 16, 1991 – July 2, 2004
Appointed by John Ashcroft
Preceded by William Billings
Succeeded by Mary Russell
Personal details
Born September 1950 (age 68)
Springfield, Missouri, U.S.
Alma mater Northwestern University
Yale University
University of Memphis
University of Virginia

William Duane Benton (born 1950 in Springfield, Missouri) is a federal judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.

Eighth Circuit nomination

Benton was nominated by President George W. Bush on February 12, 2004, to a seat vacated by Theodore McMillian and confirmed just over four months later by the United States Senate by a voice vote on June 24, 2004. He received his commission on July 2, 2004.


Benton graduated from Northwestern University with a B.A. in 1972, and took his J.D. from Yale Law School in 1975, where he was Managing Editor of the Yale Law Journal[1] and graduated alongside Justice Samuel Alito. Benton also has an M.B.A. from Memphis State University and an L.L.M. from the University of Virginia School of Law. Subsequently, Benton was selected as a Danforth Fellow at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government, where he completed the Senior Executive's Program.[2]


Prior to joining the federal bench, Benton served on the Supreme Court of Missouri from 1991 to 2004, where he was Chief Justice from 1997 to 1999. Benton was director of the Missouri Department of Revenue in the administration of then-Governor John Ashcroft from 1989 to 1991, and served as an administrative aide to a United States Congressman Wendell Bailey from 1981 to 1982. From 1983 to 1989, Benton practiced law in Jefferson City, Missouri. Benton served as a captain in the U.S. Navy/Naval Reserve from 1972 to 2002, and as judge advocate in the U.S. Navy from 1975 to 1979. Benton has taught at the University of Missouri School of Law, and at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri.

Personal life

Benton currently resides in Kansas City, Missouri, with his wife Sandra and has two children.


  1. "Missouri Society of Attorney CPAs".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Honorable Duane Benton". LegalSpan.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Legal offices
Preceded by
William Billings
Judge of the Supreme Court of Missouri
Succeeded by
Mary Russell
Preceded by
John Holstein
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Missouri
Succeeded by
William Price
Preceded by
Theodore McMillian
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit