Robert A. Katzmann, a former chief choose of the Second Circuit U.S. Courtroom of Appeals and a tireless, impassioned advocate of civics schooling, died June 9. He was 68.
In a statement, Chief Decide Debra A. Livingston praised Katzmann’s “certain and regular management” of the Second Circuit. She added, “Decide Katzmann, along with his dedication to civic schooling, additionally had a imaginative and prescient for the Circuit – that the judiciary may lend a steadying hand to our democracy by serving to to coach the citizenry in regards to the rule of legislation and the position of judges.”
Katzmann envisioned and co-created a dynamic studying heart within the Thurgood Marshall U.S. Courthouse in New York Metropolis. The versatile design is adaptable to many makes use of and features a podcasting studio.
Katzmann initiated Justice for All: Courts and the Community within the Second Circuit, which encompasses district courts in New York, Connecticut, and Vermont. The circuit-wide committee, which Katzmann co-chaired with U.S. District Decide Victor Marrero, brings judges, court docket workers, legal professionals, and civics schooling leaders collectively to develop and implement a cohesive outreach technique. It’s supported by an interactive instructional web site.
In 2019, Katzmann initiated and hosted the primary nationwide civics convention for the federal Judiciary as a catalyst for judges and workers to take instructional outreach to the subsequent degree. The Justice for All program and the 2019 convention each had been praised by Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., in his 2019 Year-End Report on the Federal Judiciary.
Katzmann was born in New York, the son of a father who fled from Nazi persecution and a mom who was a toddler of Russian immigrants. As he recalled in a 2014 New York Daily News commentary, this heritage helped encourage his dedication to civics schooling.
In a 2017 article, Katzmann stated that educating younger individuals about civics was important to the nation’s future.
“College students who find out about and admire the Structure and courts develop as much as be adults who respect and help them,” he stated. “Understanding our system of constitutional liberty retains our democracy robust and safeguards the rights of all People.”
In line with his Judiciary biography, Katzmann obtained levels from Columbia, Harvard, and Yale universities earlier than working from 1981 to 1999 on the Brookings Establishment. As one of many nation’s main students on judicial-legislative relations, Katzmann wrote “Courts and Congress,” amongst a number of books he authored in his lifetime.
President Invoice Clinton appointed Katzmann to the Second Circuit in 1999. He served quite a few roles within the Judicial Convention of the USA and its committees, most notably as chair of the Judicial Department Committee, the place he harassed the significance of the Judiciary’s position in civics schooling.
In 1993, Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, of New York, requested Katzmann to shepherd the U.S. Supreme Courtroom nomination of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by means of the Senate. Katzmann and Ginsburg turned shut pals, and Ginsburg administered the oath of workplace when Katzmann turned an appellate choose. The justice described her buddy as possessing the “private qualities vital to sound judging: an inquiring thoughts, extraordinary diligence, endurance, and a readiness to be taught and pay attention.”
On the bench, Katzmann witnessed what he believed to be a profound lack of high quality authorized illustration for the immigrant poor. He organized an interdisciplinary group of representatives from advocacy organizations, the bar, and authorities, which ultimately led to creation of the New York Immigrant Household Unity Challenge. It supplies illustration to non-citizens who’re detained, indigent, and going through deportation.
Throughout his tenure, Katzmann obtained a number of awards and honors, together with the Thurgood Marshall Award of the American Bar Affiliation.
Katzmann was the chief choose of the Second Circuit from 2013 to 2020. Livingston, who succeeded him in that position final September, famous his skill to navigate main crises.
“Decide Katzmann led our Courtroom by means of historic challenges, from price range sequester and governmental shutdowns, in the beginning of his tenure as Chief, to the pandemic which upended our Courtroom’s operations solely final spring,” Livingston stated. “His quiet confidence, willpower, distinctive management, and powerful sense of justice impressed us all. We’ll miss him profoundly.”
Decide Katzmann is survived by his spouse, Jennifer, a filmmaker, author, and editor. His brother, Gary S. Katzmann, is a choose on the U.S. Courtroom of Worldwide Commerce.
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