Congressman Higgins Introduces Bill Naming U.S. Courthouse in Buffalo for Robert H. Jackson
Dec 3, 2011
In the magnificent new home for federal legal matters in the Western District of New York, Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) announced his introduction of legislation to name the award-winning, recently opened U.S. courthouse for Robert H. Jackson, a former U.S. Supreme Court Justice, renowned national legal leader and Western New Yorker. The bill is cosponsored by the full, 29-member, bipartisan New York Delegation in the House of Representatives.
Standing among dozens of prominent community leaders supporting the effort, Higgins noted the inscription on Jackson’s headstone which reads, “He kept the ancient landmarks and built the new” as a foreshadowing statement, “Robert Jackson’s impressive lifetime body of work stands as a lasting legacy contributing to the freedoms and justice system we enjoy today. Like Jackson’s striking American and Western New York profile, this new courthouse, sitting on the spoke of historic Niagara Square, a path Jackson crossed on his walks from his home on Johnson Park to the firm in the Ellicott Square building where he practiced law, stands as a fitting reminder that Buffalo’s promising future is connected to our grand and unique past.”
“Justice Jackson was a monumental figure who was one of Western New York’s greatest legal minds,” said Congresswoman Kathy Hochul. “Not only was he a brilliant jurist, but truly fulfilled his civic duty as U.S. Solicitor General, U.S. Attorney General, and as a United States Supreme Court Justice. After climbing all the way to the highest legal stage in the country, Justice Jackson took a leave of absence to serve as the Chief U.S. War Crimes Prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials. He was a man of great integrity and passion, and we are proud to honor him today.”
“The Jackson family is honored and moved by Congressman Higgins' proposal to name the USDC/WDNY in honor of our grandfather, said Hon. Melissa Jackson, a granddaughter of Robert H. Jackson, who serves as Acting Supreme Court Justice of the State of New York and Supervising Judge of Manhattan Criminal Court. “As noted by the Congressman, Robert H. Jackson is the only U.S. Supreme Court Justice to have been born and raised in Western New York where he practiced law for many years before he moved to Washington, D.C. at the request of FDR. This beautiful courthouse personifies the majesty of the law and bears eloquent witness to the enduring legacy of Robert H. Jackson.”
Robert H. Jackson was raised in Western New York and practiced law in Buffalo and Jamestown. He was a U.S. Attorney General, a distinguished member of the U.S. Supreme Court who presided over some of the most important cases of his time, and was appointed by President Truman to prosecute Nazi war criminals in the Nuremburg Trials.
Chief U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny added, "In my personal view, Justice Jackson is the most distinguished jurist and most acclaimed legal mind to come out of the Western District, and he has very deep roots in our history."
Congressman Higgins fought for the federal funding needed to construct the new courthouse in Buffalo, testifying before the House Budget Committee in February 2007 and later pushing for passage of the resolution that gave the final green light on the $137 million project. Construction at the site began later that year and the building opened to the public on November 28, 2011. The building is home to the U.S. District Court, Court of Appeals, U.S. Probation, U.S. Marshals, U.S. Attorney and GSA.