Robert Katzmann, a senior judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit who was a prolific legal scholar and advocate for civics education on the courts, died Wednesday after a long illness. He was 68.
Katzmann was appointed to the Manhattan-based district circuit by Bill Clinton in 1999, while a professor of law and public policy at Georgetown University. He later served as chief judge from 2013 to 2020.
In January, Katzmann announced he was taking senior status, a form of semi-retirement allowing for a lighter caseload, soon after President Joe Biden took office and was joining the faculty of New York University School of Law.
“Throughout it all, Judge Katzmann provided sure and steady leadership,” said Chief Judge Debra A. Livingston, who succeeded him in September of 2020, in a statement. “And more than this, Katzmann, with his commitment to civic education, also had a vision for the Circuit—that the judiciary might lend a steadying hand to democracy by helping to educate the citizenry about the rule of law and the role of judges.”