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Press Release

Chief Judge Diane P. Wood Receives the Justice Department's 2015 John S. Sherman Award

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

Judge Wood Recognized for Her Lifetime Contributions to the Development of Antitrust Law and Policy

Assistant Attorney General Bill Baer presented the 2015 John S. Sherman Award – the department’s highest antitrust honor – to Chief Judge Diane P. Wood of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.  Judge Wood is a leading antitrust scholar and served as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the department’s Antitrust Division between 1993 and 1995. 

The John Sherman Award is named after Senator John Sherman, who authored our nation’s first antitrust law – the Sherman Act – in 1890.  Established in 1994, the Sherman Award recognizes individuals whose commitment to sound antitrust enforcement and policy have made “substantial contributions to the protection of American consumers and the preservation of economic liberty.”

The award was presented to Judge Wood during a ceremony in the Great Hall of the Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice building.  “I cannot think of a more deserving recipient of the department’s highest antitrust honor,” said Deputy Attorney General Sally Quillian Yates. “Chief Judge Wood has consistently demonstrated her commitment to the legal profession and she has been a trailblazer throughout her career for those who aspire to protect economic freedom and opportunity by promoting free and fair competition in the marketplace.”

In presenting the award, Assistant Attorney General Baer said:  “Judge Wood has deepened our understanding of antitrust law and competition policy – from the bench, from the halls of academia and here, as part of the Antitrust Division.”  He also said that Judge Wood “is the author of a number of influential antitrust opinions,” a “noted scholar” who co-authors “one of the seminal casebooks in antitrust,” and, while at the Antitrust Division, “was the predominate force” behind the revised Enforcement Guidelines for International Operations that to this day “serve as a central tool for [the Division’s] international enforcement efforts.”

Judge Wood is the eleventh person to receive the Sherman Award and the first female recipient.  Judge Wood was also one of the first women to clerk on the U.S. Supreme Court when she clerked for Justice Harry Blackman in 1976, and in 1990 she was the first woman to be honored with an endowed chair at the University of Chicago Law School.

This year’s ceremony marked the 125th anniversary of the passage of the Sherman Act, which, as the Supreme Court has observed, is the “Magna Carta of free enterprise” and “as important to the preservation of economic freedom and our free-enterprise system as the Bill of Rights is to the protection of our fundamental personal freedom.”

Previous recipients of the Sherman Award include James F. Rill (2012), Robert Pitofsky (2010), Herbert Hovenkamp (2008), Robert H. Bork (2005), Richard A. Posner (2003), Milton Handler (1998), Thomas Kauper and William Baxter (1996), Phillip Areeda (1995), and Howard Metzenbaum (1994).

Updated February 4, 2016

Press Release Number: 15-1404