Mourning the Loss of Hon. Robert A. Katzmann, 1953-2021

From the event Charles Evans Hughes: Chief Justice of the United States on November 15, 2015 at NYU School of Law, sponsored by the Supreme Court Historical Society and the Historical Society of the New York Courts. (L-R): Hon. Judith S. Kaye, Hon. John G. Roberts, Hon. Robert A. Katzmann, Hon. Jonathan Lippman. Photo Credit: New York Law Journal & Rick Kopstein.

We at the Historical Society of the New York Courts are deeply saddened about the tragic news this morning that Judge Robert A. Katzmann, former Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, has passed away after a long illness. Judge Katzmann was 68 years old.

Speaking on behalf of the Second Circuit, Chief Judge Livingston said:

“Judge Katzmann led our Court through historic challenges, from budget sequester and governmental shutdowns, at the beginning of his tenure as Chief, to the pandemic which upended our Court’s operations only last spring. Throughout it all, Judge Katzmann provided sure and steady leadership. And more than this, Judge Katzmann, with his commitment to civic education, also had a vision for the Circuit – that the judiciary might lend a steadying hand to our democracy by helping to educate the citizenry about the rule of law and the role of judges. His quiet confidence, determination, exceptional leadership, and strong sense of justice inspired us all. We will miss him profoundly.”

Click here to read the full Second Circuit announcement.

Judge Katzmann was a dear friend of the Society, who collaborated with us on many occasions, and who attended many of our programs. Most recently, through our relationship with the Supreme Court Historical Society, we were able to host the lecture with U.S. Supreme Court Chief Judge John G. Roberts on Charles Evans Hughes, followed by a conversation with Chief Judge Roberts and then-Chief Judge Katzmann.

We extend our condolences to his family, friends and colleagues as we remember the life of this incredible jurist.

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