Charles Proctor Siftoncharles proctor sifton, charles sifton gallery
Charles Proctor Sifton March 18, 1935 – November 9, 2009 was a United States federal judge
Born in New York, New York, Sifton received a BA from Harvard College in 1957 and an LLB from Columbia Law School in 1961 He was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Göttingen in Göttingen, Germany from 1957 to 1958 Sifton worked as an attorney in private practice in New York City in 1961-62 and as staff counsel to the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations from 1962 to 1964 He returned to private practice from 1964 to 1966, and again from 1969 to 1977 From 1966 to 1969, Sifton served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York
On August 16, 1977, President Jimmy Carter nominated Sifton to a seat on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York that had been vacated by John F Dooling, Jr Sifton was confirmed by the United States Senate on October 12, 1977 and took office the same day
During his more than 30 years on the bench, he issued thousands of decisions in both civil and criminal cases A few of his most publicized cases are listed below:
- In a 1982 opinion, Sifton held that the New York City firefighter eligibility test discriminated against female applicants See Brenda Berkman, et al v The City of New York, CV-79-1813, 536 F Supp 177 EDNY 1982, aff’d Berkman v City of New York, 705 F2d 584 2d Cir 1983 The case resulted in the first female firefighters being permitted to join the NYFD
- In an 1987 case, Judge Sifton found for the Lubavitch congregation in their suit against the grandson of the late Rebbe Joseph I Schneersohn to recover a collection of books from the Rebbe's library See Agudas Chasidei Chabad v Gourary, CV-85-2909, 650 F Supp 1463 EDNY 1987, aff’d 833 F2d 431 2d Cir 1987 The Lubavitch community continue to celebrate the favorable decision in an annual holiday named "Hey Teves," meaning the fifth day of the Hebrew month of Teves, the Hebrew date on which the opinion was issued corresponding to Jan 6, 1987
- In another well known case, in 1992, Sifton found illegal the United States' seizure of RU-486 abortion pills that a pregnant woman had bought in France The Supreme Court reversed his decision, but the publicity helped build support for the drug’s US approval in 2000 See Leona Benten v David Kessler, Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, CV-92-3161, 799 F Supp 281 EDNY 1992, order stayed by USCA No 92-6170, aff’d, 505 US 1084, 112 SCt 2929 1992
- In 2009, Sifton rejected an attempt to overturn the legislation that cleared the way for Mayor Michael R Bloomberg and most other city elected officials to seek a third term
Sifton served as Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York from 1995 to 2000, assuming senior status on March 18, 2000
Sifton died from sarcoidosis on the morning of November 9, 2009
Judge Sifton’s first marriage was to Elisabeth Sifton, a prominent book editor and author who is the daughter of theologian Reinhold Niebuhr He is survived by his son Sam Sifton, the national news editor of The New York Times, by his wife, the artist Susan Rowland; two other sons, Toby and John; and three grandchildren
- ^ "The Story of Hey Teves" PDF Wikispacescom Archived from the original PDF on April 2, 2012
- ^ Santos, Fernanda January 14, 2009 "Judge Rejects Suit Over Term Limits" The New York Times
- Charles Proctor Sifton at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center
- Sarcoidosis United
John Francis Dooling Jr
|Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York
Thomas Collier Platt Jr
|Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York
Edward R Korman
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