Edward R. Korman

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Edward R. Korman (born October 25, 1942) is a United States district judge serving on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, in Brooklyn, NY. He was nominated by President Ronald Reagan on October 2, 1985, confirmed by the United States Senate on November 1, 1985, commissioned on November 4, 1985, and entered service on December 16, 1985, to fill a new seat. Korman served as Chief Judge of the Eastern District of New York from 2000–2007 and took senior status in 2007. In addition to continuing his caseload in Brooklyn, Korman has also sat by designation on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in California from 2008[1] through present .[2]


Korman graduated from Brooklyn College in 1963, received his LL.B from Brooklyn Law School in 1966 and his LL.M from New York University in 1971.


Before being appointed to the federal bench, Korman clerked for Kenneth B. Keating of the New York Court of Appeals from 1966 to 1968.

Korman was associate with the law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison from 1968-1970. Subsequently, he served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York from 1970–1972 and as an Assistant to the Solicitor General of the United States from 1972-1974. Korman then returned to the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York and served as Chief Assistant United States Attorney from 1974–1978 and as United States Attorney from 1978-1982.

After leaving public service, Korman was a partner with the law firm of Stroock & Stroock & Lavan from 1982–1984 and a Professor of Law at Brooklyn Law School from 1984-1985. He was also a member of the Temporary Commission of Investigation of the State of New York and Chairman of the Mayor's Committee on New York City Marshals from 1983 until his appointment as a United States District Judge.

Korman has overseen many high-profile cases during his time on the bench, including lawsuits against Swiss banks by Holocaust victims, litigation arising from the 2003 Staten Island Ferry crash, an action relating to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's denial of full over-the-counter status to the Plan B emergency contraceptive, and the Irv Gotti money-laundering trial.

Ruling on nationwide over the counter access to the morning after pill for minors[edit]

On April 4, 2013, Judge Korman ordered the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to make the morning after pill available without a prescription (over the counter) to all girls and women of reproductive age, criticizing certain top Obama administration officials who he believed had interfered in the process. The morning after pill, considered a chemical contraceptive by the scientific community because it inhibits ovulation, is considered by opponents of abortion to be an abortifacient; pharmacists and medical practitioners who hold the latter pro-life belief sometimes object for reasons of conscience to prescribing or dispensing these drugs. Making them over the counter would largely bypass their role, but some, particularly those who are pro-life, consider even older minors too young to adequately manage taking the drug and have even questioned its effects on them. The Administration and some opponents, even after the Obama health care plan became law, had sought to find an acceptable middle ground on this issue, but amid legislative crackdowns in certain states regarding access to abortion and related matters, there was also increasing pressure to remove state and federal barriers to access to the pill. Judge Korman called FDA rejections of requests to remove such restrictions "arbitrary, capricious, and unreasonable."[3]


Korman, the son of Jewish immigrants from Ukraine and Poland, is married and has two children. His severely autistic adult daughter lives in a group home in Staten Island.[4]


  1. ^ "United States v. Jeffrey Brett Goodin: Memorandum opinion" (PDF). United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Dec 17, 2008. Retrieved May 19, 2013. Argued and Submitted November 18, 2008…The Honorable Edward R. Korman, Senior United States District Judge for the Eastern District of New York, sitting by designation 
  2. ^ "Calendar For San Francisco, California: May 13 - 17, 2013" (PDF). United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. May 3, 2013. pp. 1, 2, 4. Retrieved May 19, 2013. Judges Sitting by Designation:…Hon. Edward R. Korman, Senior US District Judge for the Eastern District of New York 
  3. ^ Dye, Jessica (April 5, 2013). "U.S. judge strikes age rules for "morning-after" pill". Chicago Tribune. Reuters. 
  4. ^ Pam Belluck, "Behind Scolding of the F.D.A., a Complex and Gentle Judge". New York Times, 14 June 2013. Judge Korman describes the personal influences on his stance as a "compassionate conservative."

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