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Wiley Mayne

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Iowa's 6th district
In office
1967 – 1975
Preceded by Stanley L. Greigg
Succeeded by Berkley Bedell

Born January 19, 1917
Sanborn, Iowa, United States
Died May 27, 2007 (aged 90)
Sioux City, Iowa, United States
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Betty Mayne
Profession Lawyer

Wiley Mayne (January 19, 1917 – May 27, 2007) was a four-term Republican United States Congressman from Iowa's 6th congressional district. He was one of several Republican members of the House Judiciary Committee who were defeated in the fall of 1974 after voting against resolutions to impeach President Richard M. Nixon in the summer of 1974.


Personal life

Mayne was born in Sanborn, Iowa in 1917.[1] After attending public school in Iowa, Mayne studied at Harvard College, where he received his B.S. and then continued on to Harvard Law School. In 1939, he received his J.D. from the University of Iowa College of Law. He joined the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1941, the same year that he was admitted to practice law. After a three-year tour of duty with the United States Naval Reserve as a Lieutenant Junior Grade from 1941 - 1943, Mayne returned to private practice, joining a Sioux City, Iowa law firm. In 1963, he served a one-year term as president of the Iowa Bar Association. Afterwards, he chaired the Grievance Commission of the Iowa Supreme Court until 1966. [2]

On January 5, 1942, Mayne married Betty Dodson. The couple had three children; sons Wiley Mayne II and John Mayne, both of whom followed in their father's footsteps and became lawyers, and daughter Martha Mayne Smith.[3]

Congressional Terms

In 1966, Mayne ran for Congress in the now-obsolete Sixth Cogressional District in Northwest Iowa, and defeated Democratic freshman incumbent Stanley L. Greigg. [4] Mayne was elected four times to the House, where he served on the House Agriculture Committee and the House Judiciary Committee. While serving on the House Agriculture Committee, a major issue of the era was a sudden and swift decline in the United States cattle market. [3] In 1973, he was made a delegate to the Food and Agricultural Organization in Rome. [2]

As a member of the House Judiciary Committee, Mayne played an influential role in amendments to the Federal Rules of Evidence, especially those involving the admissibility of opinion testimony. His political downfall, however, came in his fourth term during his service on the that Committee, when Mayne was one of ten Republican Committee members to vote against Articles of impeachment of President Richard Nixon arising from the Watergate scandal. At the time of his Committee votes, Mayne believed that the proof was not sufficient to necessitate a call for impeachment. In Nixon's final days in office, however, Mayne's opinion quickly changed, after evidence implicating Nixon in a subsequent cover-up was made public. [4] The damage, however, had been done, and Mayne narrowly lost the 1974 election to his 1972 opponent, Democrat Berkley Bedell.[5]

One of Mayne's Congressional aides was future actor and congressman Fred Grandy.[6]

Later life

After leaving Congress, Mayne returned to Sioux City, Iowa to resume his law practice.[3]

His wife, Betty, died in 2001, yet Mayne continued to practice law until 2005.[3] Mayne died in May 2007, after suffering a cardiopulmonary incident.[4]


United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Stanley L. Greigg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Iowa's 6th congressional district

1967 – 1975
(obsolete district)
Succeeded by
Berkley Bedell


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