In 1983, Judith S. Kaye (1938–2016) became the first woman appointed to the Court of Appeals, New York’s highest court. Ten years later, she became the first woman to be appointed chief judge of the court, and by the time she retired, in 2008, she was the longest-serving chief judge in the court’s history. During her long career, she distinguished herself as a lawyer, jurist, reformer, mentor, and colleague, as well as a wife and mother. Bringing together Kaye’s own autobiography, completed shortly before her death, as well as selected judicial opinions, articles, and speeches, Judith S. Kaye in Her Own Words makes clear why she left such an enduring mark upon the court, the nation, and all who knew her.
The first section of the book, Kaye’s memoir, focuses primarily on her years on the Court of Appeals, the inner workings of the court, and the challenges she faced, as chief judge, in managing a court system populated by hundreds of judges and thousands of employees.
The second section, a carefully chosen selection of her written opinions (and occasional dissents), reveals how she guided the law in New York State for almost a quarter century with uncommon vision and humanity. Her decisions cover every facet of New York and federal law and have often been quoted and followed nationally.
The final section of the book includes selections from her numerous articles and speeches, which cover the field, from common law jurisprudence to commercial law to constitutional analysis, all with an eye to the future and, above all, how the law can best affect the everyday lives of people who come to court—willingly or unwillingly—including, not least, those most in need of the law.
“Judith Kaye was one of the most admired judges in the nation— and a wonderful, real, often funny person as well. This collection captures the full range of the judge and the woman, and it serves as a great reminder of her enduring legacy.” — Jeffrey Toobin
“An extraordinary woman, jurist, and leader who had a striking impact on the law and the administration of justice in New York State and beyond. This collection is more than a simple record of a remarkable life. It is a treasure—not only for those of us who knew and admired Judith but for all who may seek to understand and appreciate the profound impact she had on the law, the legal profession, and the administration of justice.” — from the Foreword by Honorable Janet DiFiore
Henry M. Greenberg is President of the New York State Bar Association and a shareholder with Greenberg Traurig LLP, in Albany, New York. Luisa M. Kaye is Judge Kaye’s daughter. After practicing as a commercial litigator in New York for over twenty years, she started a new career, making pastry and baking bread, with plans to open a bakery in Denver, Colorado. Marilyn Marcus is an attorney and the executive director of the Historical Society of the New York Courts since 2004. As executive director, she developed a treasured working and personal relationship with Judge Kaye, who founded the organization in 2002 and remained closely involved with it for the rest of her life. The mission of the Society is to preserve, protect, and promote New York legal history. Albert M. Rosenblatt served with Judge Kaye on the New York State Court of Appeals from 1999 through 2006. His previous books include Opening Statements: Law, Jurisprudence, and the Legacy of Dutch New York (coedited with Julia C. Rosenblatt), also published by SUNY Press.
Henry M. Greenberg is President of the New York State Bar Association and a shareholder with Greenberg Traurig LLP, in Albany, New York.
Luisa M. Kaye is Judge Kaye’s daughter. After practicing as a commercial litigator in New York for over twenty years, she started a new career, making pastry and baking bread, with plans to open a bakery in Denver, Colorado.
Marilyn Marcus is an attorney and the executive director of the Historical Society of the New York Courts since 2004. As executive director, she developed a treasured working and personal relationship with Judge Kaye, who founded the organization in 2002 and remained closely involved with it for the rest of her life. The mission of the Society is to preserve, protect, and promote New York legal history.
Albert M. Rosenblatt served with Judge Kaye on the New York State Court of Appeals from 1999 through 2006. His previous books include Opening Statements: Law, Jurisprudence, and the Legacy of Dutch New York (coedited with Julia C. Rosenblatt), also published by SUNY Press.
“Bill Norris tells his American story—growing up in Turtle Creek, Pennsylvania, then rising to legal, judicial and political heights in post-war California. His zest for life comes off every page as he fights discrimination, renders justice and inspires a host of brilliant attorneys. His prose is crisp and fast-paced. His America: uncommonly decent.”
— Edmund Gerald “Jerry” Brown Jr., Governor of California
“A truly compelling story of an amazing man. Bill Norris’ memoir is a beautifully written account of a man who rose to the top of the legal world and was an integral part of some of the most important issues of the last half century. Most of all, it is an inspiring book that is a powerful reminder of how much one person can accomplish.”
— Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean and Raymond Pryke Professor of First Amendment Law
University of California, Irvine School of Law
“Recounted in this remarkable book is a conversation Bill Norris had with Justice White following his opinion for the Supreme Court in Bowers v. Hardwick, upholding Georgia’s sodomy law. Shortly after, Justice White visited the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference and Bill confronted him about the injustice of the decision. I witnessed the interaction. No one else was bold enough to challenge the Justice, though others harbored the same doubts. Justice White shrugged off Bill’s concerns as trivial, but Bill stood firm and I could see from his tone and look that he would have none of it. Soon, Bill set about undermining Bowers with his brilliant opinion in the Perry Watkins case. The theory in Watkins resulted, a decade and a half later, in the overruling of Bowers and, eventually, to marriage equality. This story, among many others, makes this personal history a gripping and fulfilling read.”
— Alex Kozinski, Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
“Liberal Opinions traces William Norris’ journey from a small Pennsylvania town to influential Los Angeles civic leader and co-founder of the Museum of Contemporary Art to the Ninth Circuit Court bench. With candor and deep reflection, Norris shares the personal stories and principles that helped propel him from humble beginnings to becoming a leading liberal voice for our country.”
— Eli Broad, philanthropist and founding chairman of MOCA
“When it comes to MOCA, this is a story at the edge of Hollywood drama and true philanthropy, and civic engagement and true commitment to the art. MOCA’s conception is the living proof that art, contemporary art, risk taking, and commitment to aesthetic experimentations are a key component of civic, courageous urban development. And because we are in Los Angeles, it had to be a good story fueled with drama!”
— Philippe Vergne, Director, The Museum of Contemporary Art
New in the Journeys & Memoirs Series from Quid Pro Books.
Featured in the forthcoming documentary, RBG
“The authors make this unassuming, most studious woman come pulsing to life. . . . Notorious RBG may be a playful project, but it asks to be read seriously. . . . That I responded so personally to it is a testimony to [its] storytelling and panache.”— Jennifer Senior, New York Times
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg never asked for fame—she has only tried to make the world a little better and a little freer.
But nearly a half-century into her career, something funny happened to the octogenarian: she won the internet. Across America, people who weren’t even born when Ginsburg first made her name as a feminist pioneer are tattooing themselves with her face, setting her famously searing dissents to music, and making viral videos in tribute.
Notorious RBG, inspired by the Tumblr that amused the Justice herself and brought to you by its founder and an award-winning feminist journalist, is more than just a love letter. It draws on intimate access to Ginsburg's family members, close friends, colleagues, and clerks, as well an interview with the Justice herself. An original hybrid of reported narrative, annotated dissents, rare archival photos and documents, and illustrations, the book tells a never-before-told story of an unusual and transformative woman who transcends generational divides. As the country struggles with the unfinished business of gender equality and civil rights, Ginsburg stands as a testament to how far we can come with a little chutzpah.