Robert Katzmann

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Robert Katzmann
File:Robert Katzmann.jpg
Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
Assumed office
September 1, 2013
Preceded by Dennis Jacobs
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
Assumed office
July 14, 1999
Appointed by Bill Clinton
Preceded by Jon Newman
Personal details
Born (1953-04-22) April 22, 1953 (age 69)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Alma mater Columbia University
Harvard University
Yale Law School

Robert Allen Katzmann (born April 22, 1953 in New York, New York) is Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He became Chief Judge on September 1, 2013.


A lawyer and a political scientist by training, Judge Katzmann received his A.B. summa cum laude in 1973 from Columbia University, A.M. and Ph.D degrees in government in 1976 and 1978 from Harvard University, and a J.D. in 1980 from the Yale Law School, where he was an Article and Book Review Editor of the Yale Law Journal. After clerking on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit for Judge Hugh H. Bownes, he joined the Brookings Institution Governmental Studies Program, where from 1981–99, he was a research associate, senior fellow, visiting fellow, and acting program director. He has a twin brother Gary who is a judge on the Massachusetts Appeals Court.


Katzmann was nominated by President Bill Clinton to his appeals court judgeship on March 8, 1999 and was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in a voice vote on July 14, 1999 to a seat vacated by Jon O. Newman. At the time of his appointment as a Judge on the Second Circuit, he was Walsh Professor of Government, Professor of Law and Professor of Public Policy at Georgetown University; a Fellow of the Governmental Studies Program of the Brookings Institution; and president of the Governance Institute (a nonprofit organization concerned with the nexus between law, institutions, and policy).

He has written articles on a variety of subjects, including regulation, judicial-congressional relations, disability, the administrative process, court reform, and the war powers resolution. He has offered courses on administrative law, constitutional law, and the judiciary. Apart from Georgetown, he has taught at N.Y.U. School of Law, U.C.L.A. (Washington D.C. program), and in the fall of 1992 was the Wayne Morse Professor of Law and Politics at the University of Oregon.

His work on interbranch relations began at the invitation of the U.S. Judicial Conference Committee on the Judicial Branch, then chaired by Judge Frank M. Coffin. Judge Katzmann also directed a project on the legal profession and public service at The Brookings Institution, which considered the law firm and the public good.

Judge Katzmann has been a board director of the American Judicature Society, a public member of the Administrative Conference of the United States, and a vice-chair of the Committee on Government Organization and Separation of Powers of the ABA Section on Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice. He has also been a consultant to the Federal Courts Study Committee. He served as co-chair of the FTC transition team, and as special counsel to Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan on the confirmation of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. He has also been chair of the Section on Legislation of the Association of American Law Schools. Judge Katzmann is a member of the Board of Visitors of Georgetown University Law Center, the board of directors of the Institute of Judicial Administration of NYU, and a member of the National Board of Academic Advisors of the Rehnquist Center located in the James E. Rogers College of Law at the University of Arizona.[1] He chaired the U.S. Judicial Conference Committee on the Judicial Branch, by appointment of Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr.

He is recipient of the American Political Science Association's Charles E. Merriam Award (2001), "given to a person whose published work and career represents a significant contribution to the art of government through the application of social science research." [2] Since 2003, Judge Katzmann has been a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

For his judicial writing, Judge Katzmann was recognized as an "Exemplary Legal Writing 2008" honoree by the Green Bag, a journal dedicated to good legal writing.[3] Judge Katzmann has also been awarded: the Learned Hand Medal for Excellence in Federal Jurisprudence of the Federal Bar Council;[4] the Chesterfield Smith Award of the Pro Bono Institute, presented by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg;[5] the Stanley H. Fuld Award of the New York State Bar Association;[6] an Honorary Doctor of Laws from Pace University;[7] the Michael Maggio Memorial Pro Bono Award of the American Immigration Lawyers Association;[8] and the Public Interest Scholarship Organization Lifetime Achievement Award.[9] His lectures include: the James Madison Lecture of New York University School of Law;[10] the Orison Marden Lecture of the NYC Bar Association;[11] and the Robert L. Levine Distinguished Lecture of Fordham University School of Law.[12]

The New York Times has reported on Judge Katzmann’s efforts to foster effective pro bono representation of the immigrant poor with worthy claims, and the study group he launched to that end.[13][14][15][16] He conceived of and sparked the creation of the Immigrant Justice Corps, the country's first fellowship program dedicated to meeting the need for high-quality legal assistance for immigrants, described in a New York Times editorial as "a groundbreaking effort."[17][18][19][20][21][22]

In September 2014, Oxford University Press published Judge Katzmann's book, Judging Statutes.[23] Praised by Justice John Paul Stevens (retired), "as illuminating and convincing" and "required reading for all lawyers confronting questions of statutory construction," the book has been the subject of several commentaries,[24][25][26][27][28][29][30] and programs.[31][32][33] Critiquing textualism, Katzmann argues that when interpreting the laws of Congress, courts should respect the legislative materials Congress thinks are important, so as to better understand legislative meaning and purposes.[34]

Selected publications

  • Regulatory Bureaucracy: The Federal Trade Commission and Antitrust Policy (MIT Press 1980; paperback with new afterword, 198l) ISBN 978-0-262-61034-6
  • Institutional Disability: The Saga of Transportation Policy for the Disabled (Brookings Inst Pr August 1986) ISBN 978-0-8157-4833-5
  • Managing Appeals in Federal Court, co-editor (Federal Judicial Center, 1988) ASIN B000IKDJBE
  • Daniel Patrick Moynihan: The Intellectual in Public Life, editor and contributing author (Johns Hopkins, 1998) ISBN 978-0-8018-7967-8
  • Judges and Legislators: Toward Institutional Comity, editor and contributing author, (Brookings Inst Pr, 1988) ISBN 978-0-8157-4862-5
  • The Law Firm and the Public Good (Brookings Inst Pr, May 1995) ISBN 978-0-8157-4863-2
  • Courts and Congress (Brookings Inst Pr, May 1997) ISBN 978-0-8157-4865-6
  • The Marden Lecture: The Legal Profession and the Unmet Needs of the Immigrant Poor, 21 Geo. J. of Legal Ethics 3 (2008)
  • Madison Lecture: Statutes, 87 NYU L. Rev. 637 (2012)
  • When Legal Representation is Deficient: The Challenge of Immigration Cases for the Courts, 143 Daedalus (summer 2014) 37
  • Judging Statutes (Oxford University Press, 2014) ISBN 978-0-19-936213-4

See also


  1. National Board of Academic Advisors, Rehnquist Center.
  2. Charles E. Merriam Award Recipients
  3. Exemplary Legal Writing 2008, Ex Ante.
  4. The Learned Hand Medal List of Recipients .
  5. PBI Honors Judge Robert A. Katzmann for His Outstanding Commitment to Pro Bono March 4, 2011; Words Of Wisdom, The ProBono Wire, April 2011
  6. Stanley H. Fuld Award of the NYS Bar Association
  7. Pace University Honorary Degree Recipients May 2014
  8. The Michael Maggio Memorial Pro Bono Award of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.
  9. The Public Interest Scholarship Organization Lifetime Achievement Award.
  10. The James Madison Lecture of New York University School of Law.
  11. The Orison S. Marden Memorial Lectures of the NYC Bar Association.
  12. The Robert L. Levine Distinguished Lecture of Fordham University School of Law .
  13. In City of Lawyers, Many Immigrants Fighting Deportation Go It Alone. (New York Times, March 12, 2009)
  14. As Barriers to Lawyers Persist, Immigrant Advocates Ponder Solutions (New York Times, May 4, 2011).
  15. In a Study, Judges Express Bleak View of Lawyers Representing Immigrants. (New York Times, December 19, 2011)
  16. See also Poor Immigrants in Court Get Free Legal Defense in New York City Program (June 25, 2014.)
  17. Immigrant Justice Corps
  18. All-American Legal Eagles. (The Daily News, September 24, 2014)
  19. Seeking Better Legal Help for Immigrants. (The New York Times, January 28, 2014)
  20. On Immigration, A Huge Job Ahead.(New York Times, December 3, 2014)
  21. Editorial.(New York Times, November 22, 2014)
  22. A Lawyer Corps For City Immigrants.(WNYC, September 23, 2014)
  23. Oxford University Press 2014.(Oxford Press).
  24. Ronald K. L. Collins, CJ Katzmann Weighs in with New Book on Statutory Interpretation.Concurring Opinions (November 3, 2014)
  25. John Paul Stevens, Law Without History The New York Review of Books (October 23, 2014)
  26. Jeffrey Toobin, Will Textualism Kill Obamacare?. The New Yorker (September 3, 2014)
  27. Norman Ornstein, How Activist Judges Undermine the Constitution The Atlantic (September 18, 2014)
  28. Tony Mauro, Countering Scalia on Interpreting Laws, Katzmann’s Book Packs Punch The National Law Journal (September 24, 2014)
  29. Edward L. Rubin, Judicial Review and the Therapy of the Obvious 68 Vanderbilt L. Rev. 159 (2015)
  30. Simon Lazarus, The Letter of the Law Democracy, issue 36, (Spring 2015)
  31. Brian Lamb C-Span Interview with Robert A. Katzmann (August 24, 2014)
  32. Katzmann Book Talk at Georgetown Law Center Draws Legal Luminaries. (September 25, 2014)
  33. Robert Katzmann in Conversation with Michael Waldman at Roosevelt House of Hunter College Roosevelt House. (October 6, 2014)
  34. SCOTUSBLOG Ask the Author: Chief Judge Katzmann on Statutory Construction (October 27, 2014)

External links

Legal offices
Preceded by
Jon Newman
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
Preceded by
Dennis Jacobs
Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit