As head of the Second Circuit in New York City, he has championed immigrant rights, judicial transparency and training from the public to the law. In 2019, he dealt Trump a blow.
Robert A. Katzmann, who, as chief justice of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York City, helped secure representationLegal ion to immigrants, champion of civic education and demystification of legal proceedings for the public, died Wednesday in a Manhattan hospital. He was 68 years old.
The cause was pancreatic cancer, said his wife, Jennifer Callahan. He had recently assumed the status of Senior Federal Judicial Officer at the end of his seven-year tenure as Chief Justice.
As a son and the grandson of Jewishrefugees who fled Germany and Russia, Judge Katzmann was instrumental in establishing the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project, the first government-funded legal aid program for non-nationals detained by authorities under one federal law or another.
"There is some kind of myth in the matter. 'look that we will have a reform and the problem will go away,' he said.d at Hfrance.fr in 2013. “Implementation tends to be an afterthought. ”
With the support of the Robin Hood Foundation anti-poverty group, the New Yor ka evolved in 2014 to Immigrant Justice Corps , the nation's premier scholarship program dedicated to providing competent counseling to immigrants.
"Almost single-handedly convinced the organized bar to provide quality free representation to thousands of needy immigrants," said Jed S. Rakoff, Senior District Court Judge, United States. "No judge has ever had a broader view of the role of a judge.n the promotion of justice in our society, or failed to transform these opinions into practical realization. "
The judge of the Supreme Court of United States Sonia Sotomayor, quoted last year in the Federal Bar Council Quarterly, hailed Judge Katzmann as having "an innate sense of justice, morality and integrity" and a described as "visionary who brings out the best in people. Image Judge Katzmann presiding over the largest naturalization ceremony ever held on Ellis Island, in 2016." Almost single - by hand he convinced the organized bar to provide a free quality resentment representative for thousands of needy immigrants, "said another judge. Credit ... John Moore / Images
In his book" Judging Statutes "(2014), an introduction to how courts should interpret congressional legislation, Judge Katzmann rejected strict textualism, which relies solely and literally on the letter of the law, in favor of what he called finalism - determining the intention of the drafters by reviewing memos, committee reports and other documents that led to the drafting of a law .
"Ignoring this advice increases the likelihood that a judge will interpret a law at odds with legislative meaning, and potentially more in accordance with the government's own political intuitions and preferences. judge ”, he wrote in the Harvard Law Review in 2016, in response to a review of his book by Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, who sits now in the Supreme Court.
"The work of a judge takes place not on the high plane of one great unified theory, but on the common sense investigation, "he said.
In 2018, Judge Katzmann wrote the majority opinion of the courtyard of the second circuit in Zarda v. Altitude Express as the 1964 Civil Rights Act prohibited discrimination in employment on the basis of sexual orientation.
The following year, writing for a panel of three unanimous judges, he stood in Trump v. Vance that the President of the United States was not at safe from a subpoena to a state grand jury that orders a third party to produce unprivileged material in its investigation of potential crimes.
The case involved a subpoena to Mr. Trump 's accounting firm, Mazars USA, from the Manhattan District Attorney's Office, Cyrus R. Vance Jr. The Court of Appeal rejected Mr. Trump's request to block the subpoena, which claimed eight years of his personal and corporate income tax returns.
Both Zarda and Trump's decisions were upheld by the United States Supreme Court.
In 2017, Judge Katz Mann, a consensus builder, issued a rare dissent when the Second Circuit court, overturning a district court judge, said in Watson v. United States that an American citizen who had been wrongfully detained for 1,273 days had no right to sue the government for damages because he had not filed his claim on time .
Even as a child, he sought to get involved in civic affairs. At the age of 9, he wrote to President John F. Kennedy on behalf of members of the Seneca tribe who had lost their territory to a flood control project. As a second grader, in a letter to Mayor Robert F. Wagner Jr., he complained about a problematic traffic light in his neighborhood in Queens.
Widely recognized as the first federal judge to hold a doctorate in the should be confessedgle, the distribution process should be transparent. Image Judge Katzmann showing students around the Second Circuit courtroom in Lower Manhattan in 2016. Credit ... Sam Hodgson for Hfrance.fr figcaption > To that end, in 2014, he and US District Judge Victor Marrero launched the Committee on Civic Education, which resulted in Justice For All: Courts and the Community , an educational initiative to make the justice system more accessible. During the pandemic, the audio of the sessionsthese hearing was broadcast live for the first time.
"What I really wanted to do was bring our courts and communities closer together . "Justice Katzmann told the New York Law Journal last year. “If I had to say what my flagship initiative is, if we can ever talk about it that way, that would be it.
Robert Allen Katzmann was born in April born December 22, 1953 in Manhattan, eight minutes ahead of his identical twin brother, Gary. Judge Gary Katzmann was appointed to the United Stat es Court of International Trade in 2016 after serving as an associate judge of the Massachusetts Court of Appeals.
In addition to his wife, who is an artist, and his twin brother, his survivors include two other siblings, Susan Horner and Martin Katzmann. Judge Katzmann lived in Manhattan.
His paternal grandfather is deceasedin Nazi Germany in 1938 during the Kristallnacht pogrom. Her father, John, an electrical engineer, and grandmother arrived in the United States in March 1941. Her mother, Sylvia (Butner) Katzmann, born in Brooklyn, was a housewife.
His parents instilled in the Katzmann children the "centrality of treating people with dignity and kindness," Judge Sotomayor said.
After graduating from Forest Hills High School in Queens, Robert received a BA from Columbia University in 1973 and a Masters and Doctorate in Government from Harvard, where he was a teaching assistant to Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who would soon become a US Senator from New York and would later recommend him for the federal bench. He received a law degree from Yale Law School in 1980.
After working for Justice Hugh H. Bownes of the COur appeal to the United States for the first circuit in Boston, he was a member of the Brookings Institution in Washington from 1981 to 1999 and professor of law at Georgetown University.
Prior to being appointed to District Court by President Bill Clinton in 1999, Judge Katzmann's only previous federal job was working in a post office one summer. He had never practiced law regularly. He served as Chief Justice of the Second Circuit Court from 2013 until August of this year.
Chief Justice John Robert was appointed chair of the conference committee United States Judiciary on the Judiciary, and he was a professor at New York University School of Law. Image Judge Katzmann in his office in 2016 at the Thurgo courthouseod Marshall in Manhattan. He had recently assumed the status of Senior Federal Judicial Officer at the end of his seven-year tenure as Chief Justice of the Second Circuit. Credit ... Sam Hodgson for Hfrance.fr
As a descendant of immigrants, Judge Katzmann presided over the largest naturalization ceremony ever held at Ellis Island and the first naturalization ceremony to be held at the reconstructed site of the World Trade Center in Manhattan.
In a interview on C-SPAN in 2014 Judge Katzmann provided some insight into how he decided a case.
" I don't really think about being overthrown by the Supreme Court "he said. " I think about trying to follow the law where precedents tell me to go to a certain point. direction and where the precedents do not. , he was asked how long he hoped to stay on the bench.
"I would love to stay as long as my brain is working," he said. he answered.