WASHINGTON, Aug. 7, 2017 — The American Bar Association Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice will honor Robert A. Katzmann, chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York, with its Thurgood Marshall Award. The award, which recognizes members of the legal profession for their long-term contributions to the advancement of civil rights, civil liberties and human rights in the United States, will be presented at the Thurgood Marshall Award Dinner on Saturday, Aug. 12 at 8 p.m. at the New York Hilton Midtown Hotel during the ABA Meeting in New York.
Katzmann, a lawyer and political scientist by training, has been an outspoken advocate in support of enhancing the quality of legal services provided to immigrants. He launched the Study Group on Immigrant Representation from which resulted the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project, the first government-funded program providing counsel for detained noncitizens. In addition, he spearheaded 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.
As chief judge, Katzmann launched a wide-ranging civic education initiative of the federal courts of the Second Circuit: “Justice For All: Courts and the Community” to increase public understanding of the federal judiciary and to bring courts closer to the communities they service.
Katzmann, was appointed to the federal bench in 1999 and became chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in 2013. Prior to becoming a federal judge, he was a 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. After clerking on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, he joined the Brookings Institution, where he was a research associate, senior fellow, visiting fellow, and acting program director.
Katzmann’s recognitions include the Learned Hand Medal of the Federal Bar Council, the Edward Weinfeld Award of the New York County Lawyers Association, the Fuld Award of the New York State Bar Association, the Green Bag Award for legal writing, the Charles E. Merriam Award of the American Political Science Association and membership as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Katzmann, a graduate of Columbia College and Harvard University, earned his J.D. from Yale Law School.
Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the University of California Irvine School of Law, will deliver the keynote remarks at the award presentation ceremony.
The ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice provides leadership within the legal profession in protecting and advancing human rights, civil liberties and social justice. Representing nearly 10,000 members with a wide range of professional interests, the section keeps its members abreast of complex civil rights and civil liberties issues and ensures that the protection of individual rights remain a focus of legal and policy discussion.
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