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  Siegel, Norman
NameNorman Siegel
Address115 Central Park West 8L
New York, New York , United States
Born November 21, 1943 (79 years)
Last ModifedRBH
Apr 16, 2016 03:44am
Tags Jewish - Married - ACLU - Judaism - Straight -
InfoIn 1968, Norman Siegel, a recent graduate of New York University Law School, accepted a position with the American Civil Liberties Union’s Southern Justice & Voting Law Project. His charge: use the courts to end the systemic exclusion of African Americans and women from jury pools in counties throughout South Carolina, Florida, Virginia and Alabama. It was this emersion in civil rights and civil liberties that helped forge Norman’s abiding commitment to insure the rights guaranteed in the United States Constitution extend to all Americans, regardless of race, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or gender.

During this period, Norman became involved in two high-profile voting rights cases, Hadnott v Amos, a U.S. Supreme Court allowing ballot access to 89 predominately African Americans candidates, and In Re: Herndon that resulted in the conviction of a Greene County (Alabama) Probate Judge for violating the 1965 Voting Act. In addition, Norman served as co-counsel in Levy v. Parker, a case that challenged the constitutionality of a high-profile court martial.

Joining the Youth Citizenship Fund, Inc. as Executive Director in 1972, Norman led the effort to register thousands of young, newly eligible voters. In 1973-74, as the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) Field Director, he spearheaded the historic New York campaigns for both the impeachment of President Richard M. Nixon and passage of the New York State Equal Rights Amendment. He served as co-counsel in the historic Holtzman v. Schlessinger United States Supreme Court case, an attempt to halt the bombing of Cambodia. In 1978, Norman was named Project Director for MFY Legal Services, Inc., a community organization that assists Manhattan residents who live below the poverty line.

In 1985, the New York Civil Liberties Union named Norman Siegel Executive Director. For the next 15 years Norman was on the frontline in some of New York City's most critical civil rights and civil liberties struggles: the creation of an independent Civilian Complaint Review Board; the successful defense of the Brooklyn Museum’s right to exhibit controversial art; the fight for citizens' access to the steps of City Hall; the battle against involuntary hospitalization of people with mental illness; the struggle for improved community-police relations and greater accountability on the part of the NYPD.

In private practice since 2002, Norman’s work in civil rights and civil liberties law continues. He has represented the Williamsburg 7, Brooklyn activists arrested when protesting the closing of their local firehouse, and the Nyack 10, filing a suit for the right to obtain marriage licenses for same sex couples. He is counsel to the West Harlem Business Group in their fight against the use of eminent domain in Columbia University’s expansion plan, and was counsel for Develop - Don’t Destroy Brooklyn, the group of community residents fighting the use of eminent domain to condemn private property in the Atlantic Yards project. Norman has also advocated for and represented:

* Skyscraper Safety Campaign and Firefighters Families, advocates for enhanced safety programs and tested, reliable, state-of-the-art communications equipment for firefighters;

* Families who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001, in their successful quest to obtain the public record of materials, including 911 emergency tapes and transcripts*, arguing the case in the New York Court of Appeals in February 2005;

* Republican National Convention arrestees held for more than 24 hours – filed habeas corpus petition*;

* The World Trade Center Families for A Proper Burial*,

* The bicycle riders of Critical Mass.

Born in New York City and raised in Brooklyn, Norman graduated from NYC public schools and is committed to restoring excellence in pubic education. From 1989 to 2002, he co-taught “Civil Rights & Race Relations” at his alma mater, New Utrecht High School. Norman is a frequent contributor to many of the City’s major newspapers and appears often in broadcast media, contributing to and enriching the debate on civil rights, race relations and civil liberties. A board member of the Jackie Robinson Foundation for over 30 years, he is also a founding board member and treasurer of the Amadou Diallo Foundation. Each July 4th Norman reads the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Norman and his wife live on Manhattan’s Upper West Side and he is a proud grandfather.

*Denotes co-counsel.


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