Robert A. Katzmann in conversation with Michael Waldman: “Judging Statutes”


Georges Benjamin, Theodore M. Brown, Clay Bennett on “The Quest for Health Reform: A Satirical History”

With: Georges C. Benjamin Executive Director, American Public Health Association; Joan H. Tisch Distinguished Fellow in Public Health 2010-2011Georges C. Benjamin, MD, FACP, FACEP(E), FNAPA, Hon FRSPH, is the executive director of the American Public Health Association, the nation's oldest and largest organization of public health professionals. He previously was the secretary of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, from 1999 - 2002 following four years as its deputy secretary for public health services. For the last 20 years he has been actively practicing public health at the local, state, and national level with expertise in the areas of emergency preparedness, administration and infectious diseases. Dr. Benjamin serves as publisher of the field's premier journal, the American Journal of Public Health, The Nation's Health Newspaper and the APHA's timeless publication on infectious diseases, the Control of Communicable Diseases Manual.Theodore Brown Professor, Department of Health Sciences University of Rochester Medical CenterTheodore Brown is a historian of medicine, public health, and health policy. He has conducted research on the history of the biopsychosocial approach and on translational medicine; the history of twentieth and early twenty-first century U.S. health policy; the influence of organized philanthropy on medical research, health policy, and medical education, and the history of American and global public health. He is a Contributing Editor for History of the American Journal of Public Health.Clay Bennett Editorial Cartoonist, Chattanooga Times Free PressClay Bennett is an American editorial cartoonist. Currently drawing for the Chattanooga Times Free Press, Bennett is the winner of the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning.

Robert A. Katzmann in conversation with Michael Waldman: “Judging Statutes”

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In an ideal world, the laws of Congress – known as federal statutes – would always be clearly worded and easily understood by the judges who must interpret them. But the wording of many laws is ambiguous or even contradictory. What are the principles, then, by which judges should interpret their meaning? Stick only to the text? Consult aids beyond the statutes themselves – and to what degree? Are the purposes of lawmakers in writing law relevant?

Chief Judge Robert A. Katzmann of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and author of the new book Judging Statutes, respectfully disagrees with those, including Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who believes courts should look to the language of the statute and virtually nothing else. Join us at Roosevelt House as Judge Katzmann discusses his book, in which he argues that our constitutional system charges Congress with enacting laws; therefore, how Congress makes its purposes known through both the laws and reliable accompanying materials should be respected. Judge Katzmann will be in conversation with Michael Waldman, author of The Second Amendment: A Biography and President of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law.