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
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.