BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., Nov. 14, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Dwight D. Opperman Foundation will present the 32nd annual "Edward J. Devitt Distinguished Service to Justice Award" to Senior Judge Jon O. Newman of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit at the Supreme Court of the United States on December 8, 2016.
The Devitt Award is the American judiciary's longest running and its highest honor that is bestowed upon an Article III federal judge. It was created 34 years ago by the late Dwight D. Opperman, when he served as president and chairman of the West Publishing Company. Mr. Opperman joined forces with then Chief Justice Warren Burger and chose to name the award after his esteemed friend Judge Edward J. Devitt, whom he believed epitomized the highest standard of the federal bench. Supreme Court Associate Justice, Elena Kagan was appointed by Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., to chair this year's committee. She was joined by Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and by Judge Gary Feinerman of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Justice Kagan has followed in the footsteps of every sitting justice since the Devitt Award's inception. Judge Newman said, "It is an overwhelming honor to have been selected to receive the Devitt Award. I am grateful to Justice Kagan, the selection committee, and to the late Dwight Opperman, an iconic figure in the American legal community who, through his foundation, continues to honor excellence in the federal judiciary." This year, Justice Kagan and her committee could not make the call among two exceptional nominees who found themselves up for the award. Thus, all joined forces and made the unprecedented decision to next year award the 2017 Devitt Award to Senior Judge Ralph K. Winter, also of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Justice Kagan said that, "We recognize two richly and equally deserving judges who, for nearly 35 years, have served together as twin pillars of the Second Circuit. Judge Newman and Judge Winter are both widely recognized as brilliant jurists and thoughtful scholars." Justice Kagan added, "During their service together, they have each made extraordinary contributions to the administration of justice and the training of younger judges. In senior status, they remain deeply engaged in the work of the courts. Their sequential selection reflects their many accomplishments and the deep respect and admiration of their colleagues and all who know them. I congratulate them both on receiving this prestigious award." Julie C. Opperman, chairman of the Dwight D. Opperman Foundation, said, "I remain dedicated to continuing Dwight's legacy in his judicial passions and other philanthropic endeavors." She added, "I am grateful indeed and deeply appreciative to Chief Justice Roberts and to so many on the Supreme Court who have encouraged and supported me with the Devitt Award and numerous other privileges." Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20161113/438946