Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks On The Life And Legacy Of Robert Katzmann, Former Chief Judge Of The Second Circuit Court Of Appeals

June 10, 2021

Washington, D.C.   Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding the passing of Judge Robert Katzmann who served as Chief Judge of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

Late last night, a giant of the legal world, Judge Robert Katzmann, passed away at the age of 68. He was the former Chief Judge of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York, one of the nation’s foremost jurists, and a kind, humble, compassionate human being who was deeply admired by everyone who knew him.

The son of immigrants—his father was a refugee from Nazi Germany—Robert Katzmann was an amazing intellect, attending our nation’s top schools. He went on to work for his professor, and eventual mentor, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, whetting his chops working on the confirmation of Ruth Bader Ginsburg to the Supreme Court. For the rest of his life, he was maybe the most important writer on the topic of legislative-judicial relations.

Later in his life, even when he had attained one of the highest judgeships in the country, Judge Katzmann never lost his passion for helping those who were just starting their careers. He taught at NYU and Georgetown and ran an acclaimed civic education course even while he was the Chief Judge on the Court of Appeals.

He also lectured widely for the cause of proper legal representation for the poor, especially the immigrant poor. It just so happens that yesterday morning, I was able to introduce a nominee to the Second Circuit, Judge Katzmann’s circuit, who dedicated her career to providing top-notch legal counsel to those who couldn’t afford it: Ms. Eunice Lee, a former Federal defender. It is a fitting reminder that Judge Katzmann’s legacy lives on through the principles he advanced.

We send our deepest condolences to his wife, his brothers and sister, and the innumerable number of students and colleagues who Judge Katzmann inspired over the course of his life.