President Signs Bill Naming Buffalo Courthouse After Justice Jackson '12

10/8/2012 | Facebook | Twitter | Email

President Barack Obama has signed a bill into law to name the Buffalo Federal Courthouse after Robert H. Jackson, Albany Law School Class of 1912, the distinguished Supreme Court Justice raised in Jamestown, N.Y., famous for his role as chief prosecutor in the international Nuremberg Trials. Jackson began his legal career in a Jamestown firm and went on to serve as Solicitor General, Attorney General, and U.S. Supreme Court Justice, in addition to his role at Nuremberg.

The bill was the work of U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles E. Schumer, and Congressman Brian Higgins introduced the companion bill in the House of Representatives.

“The downtown Buffalo U.S. courthouse will now officially carry the name of Jamestown’s own Justice Robert H. Jackson – honoring his tremendous public service to our community and our entire country,” said Senator Gillibrand. “From serving on America’s highest court, to his role as the architect of the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg, Justice Jackson always served with integrity, and was a true champion for human rights. This is the perfect opportunity for Western New York to celebrate and honor his legacy.” 

“With the stroke of a pen, the Buffalo Federal Courthouse will finally bear Justice Jackson’s name,” said Senator Schumer. “This courthouse symbolizes the rule of law in Western New York, and as the region’s only Supreme Court Justice that had his humble beginnings in Jamestown and famously went on to be chief prosecutor in the Nuremberg trials, this name is a perfect fit. The Buffalo courthouse stands as a new pillar of the Buffalo community, serving justice throughout Western New York, and it honors all that he has accomplished through his long career in public service.” 

Senators Schumer and Gillibrand highlighted Justice Jackson’s impressive legal career. Robert Jackson was raised in Frewsburg and then spent the majority of his young adulthood in Jamestown, after spending a post-graduate year at Jamestown High School. Jackson went on to Albany Law School, and then returned to join a law practice in Jamestown. Jackson went on to become a leading lawyer in New York state, and was elected to the American Law Institute in 1930 among other roles that elevated his national reputation. 

In 1934, Jackson was appointed to federal judgeship by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, which opened the door to a host of federal roles, including his work as the U.S. Solicitor General, U.S. Attorney General, and finally his extensive work as a Supreme Court Justice. In 1945, President Truman appointed Jackson to serve as the Chief Prosecutor in the international Nuremberg Trials, for which he took a leave from the Supreme Court. Jackson is famous for the passion, energy, intellect and great skill that he brought to these trials.