A Global Lawyer: Celebrating the Contributions of Herman Schwartz to the Rule of Law

By Ginsburg, Ruth Bader | American University Law Review, January 1, 2019 | Go to article overview

A Global Lawyer: Celebrating the Contributions of Herman Schwartz to the Rule of Law


Ginsburg, Ruth Bader, American University Law Review


SEPTEMBER 27, 2019

AMERICAN UNIVERSITY WASHINGTON COLLEGE OF LAW

It is impossible to recount, in tolerable length for pre-dinner remarks, the huge contributions Herman Schwartz has made in his lifetime devotion to the advancement of human rights. He has been rightly called a preeminent global champion of justice.

I am among legions who applauded his efforts, during his tenure at the State University of New York at Buffalo Law School, to deal with the 1971 Attica prison uprising. In 1969, Herman founded the ACLU Prisoner's Rights Project and was thus one of the few trusted by the inmates to give an honest count of what had occurred. Nominated by Governor Carey to head the New York State Commission of Correction, Herman might have made New York jails and prisons a model for the nation. But he was stopped at the launching stage by political forces opposed to reform.

A personal note. Herman was on leave from academia in 1980, when President Carter nominated me to fill a vacancy on the D.C. Circuit. He was Senator Metzenbaum's principal aid on, among other things, judicial nominations. With Herman in my corner, and Senator Metzenbaum chairing the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, my nomination was confirmed in record time.

Herman was foremost among law teachers to appreciate the value of a comparative study of constitutional law. …

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