Press Release

Schumer, Gillibrand Reveal Plan to Name Buffalo Federal Courthouse After Robert H. Jackson, Supreme Court Justice From WNY, Famous for Role in Nuremberg Trials

Apr 19, 2012

Today, U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand reveal their plan to name the Buffalo Federal Courthouse after Robert H. Jackson, the distinguished Supreme Court Justice raised in Jamestown, famous for his role as chief prosecutor in the international Nuremberg Trials. Ahead of the official May 3rd dedication ceremony, Schumer and Gillibrand will introduce Senate legislation for the Courthouse to be named after Robert Jackson who began his legal career in a Jamestown firm and went on to serve the as Solicitor General, Attorney General, and U.S. Supreme Court Justice, in addition to his role at Nuremberg. Schumer and Gillibrand plan to introduce their legislation as a companion bill to one introduced by Congressman Higgins in the House of Representatives. Once the bill clears the Senate and the House, it would need to be signed by the President before the building name is officially approved.

“Justice Jackson was one of the truly great Americans Chautauqua County gave us, and the Buffalo Federal Courthouse should bear his name,” said 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 would be a perfect fit. The Buffalo courthouse stands as a new pillar of the Buffalo community, serving justice throughout Western New York, and it should honor all that he has accomplished through his long career in public service.” 

“Naming downtown Buffalo’s U.S. courthouse in the honor of Justice Robert H. Jackson is the right choice, and the right way to tribute his tremendous public service to our community and our entire country,” said Senator Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. “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.” 

Schumer and Gillibrand highlighted Justice Jackson’s impressive legal career, which got its start in Western New York. 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. Schumer and Gillibrand highlighted his long career of public service in the legal field, and stated that Jackson is the perfect candidate for the naming of the Buffalo courthouse. 

In November of last year, Schumer toured the new federal courthouse in Buffalo before its official opening. Schumer has championed the project for nearly a decade, helping to secure Congress’ support for the project. After successfully gaining Congress’ support, Schumer helped to deliver $83 million in federal funding for the project, which began in 2007. Schumer was also instrumental in pushing the Office of Management and Budget to release nearly $10 million to the General Services Administration to help move site selection and the design process forward. Since the groundbreaking, Schumer has fought to keep costs down and ensure that the costs of construction mistakes were not passed along to taxpayers.