The Volokh Conspiracy

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Remembering Judge Robert Katzmann

The nation loses an important jurist and legal thinker.


The Honorable Robert A. Katzmann, former chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, passed away this past week. He was noted for his illustrious judicial career, as well as his commitment to civics and legal education. He was 68.

The U.S. Courts posted an obituary here. Other remembrances were offered by NYT editorial writer Jesse Wegman and Cornell law professor Michael Dorf. Attorney General Merrick Garland offered this statement.

Judge Katzmann was the author of multiple books, most recently the influential and highly regarded Judging Statutes, in which he sought to offer an alternative to textualist approaches to statutory interpretation. Then-judge Brett Kavanaugh reviewed Judging Statutes in the Harvard Law Review, and Judge Katzmann offered this response. The book, and the exchange, are worthwhile for those with an interest in statutory interpretation.