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Norman Redlich

New York, N.Y. (VLS Trustee Since 2003)

Of Counsel
Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz
Former dean and Judge Edward Weinfeld Professor of Law Emeritus,  New York University Law School

Norman Redlich was born in 1925. He attended Yale Law School before joining the New York University School of Law faculty in 1960. He was promoted to full professor in 1962, and served as the director of the Law School's Project on Urban and Poverty Law. He was also a member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

In 1963 J. Lee Rankin appointed Redlich as his special assistant on the Warren Commission in the investigation of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Gerald Ford provided J. Edgar Hoover with information about the activities of staff members of the commission. Hoover ordered that Redlich's past should be investigated. He discovered that Redlich was on the Emergency Civil Liberties Committee, an organization considered by Hoover to have been set-up to "defend the cases of Communist lawbreakers". Redlich had also been critical of the activities of the House Committee on Un-American Activities.

This information was leaked to a group of right-wing politicians. On 5th May, 1964, Ralph F. Beermann, a Republican Party congressman, made a speech claiming that Redlich was associated with the Fair Play for Cuba Committee. Beermann called for Redlich to be removed as a staff member of the Warren Commission. He was supported by Karl E. Mundt who said: "We want a report from the Commission which Americans will accept as factual, which will put to rest all the ugly rumors now in circulation and which the world will believe. Who but the most gullible would believe any report if it were written in part by persons with Communist connections?"

Gerald Ford joined in the attack and at one closed-door session of the Warren Commission he called for Redlich to be dismissed. However, Earl Warren and J. Lee Rankin both supported him and he retained his job.

In 1975 Redlich became Dean of New York University School of Law. He also served as Chair of the American Bar Association's Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar (1989 to 1990). Redlich is presently a member of the House of Delegates of the American Bar Association.