Chairman Jerrold Nadler
“Jerry Nadler not only represents New York well, but he has represented the United States very well.”
-- President Bill Clinton, 42nd President of the United States
Congressman Jerrold “Jerry” Nadler represents New York’s 10th Congressional District, one of the most dynamic and diverse districts in the country. The district includes Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Morningside Heights, Hell’s Kitchen, Chelsea, Greenwich Village, Soho, Wall Street, and Battery Park City, as well as the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Borough Park, Kensington, and parts of Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst, Dyker Heights, Red Hook, Sunset Park and Midwood.
Rep. Nadler began his career in public service in 1976 in the New York State Assembly. Representing the Upper West Side, he served as a Democratic Assemblyman for 16 years and played a significant role in shaping New York State law concerning child support enforcement and domestic abuse, as well as making major contributions to housing, transportation and consumer protection policy in the state. In 1992, Rep. Nadler was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in a special election and has served in Congress ever since. He was re-elected to his fourteenth full term in 2018.
The Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Congressman Nadler served as Chairman or Ranking Member of its Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties for 13 years and also served as the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet.
Rep. Nadler is a graduate of Crown Heights Yeshiva, Stuyvesant High School, Columbia University and Fordham Law School. He lives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with his wife, Joyce Miller.
Fighting for Civil Rights, LGBT Rights, Women’s Rights
“Jerry Nadler is a staunch defender of civil rights and civil liberties in America, and a passionate advocate for these issues in Congress.”
-- Representative John Lewis (D-GA), Civil Rights leader
For over 30 years, in both the House and in the New York State Assembly, Congressman Nadler has proudly been on the front lines in the fight for civil rights, and has been a relentless defender of our country’s fundamental promise of equality for all. Central among his concerns has been the ongoing civil rights struggle for people of color. Rep. Nadler has been a leader in the fight to protect voting rights and reduce voter disenfranchisement. He served as a key House leader behind the reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act, continuing to serve on the small House working group directing its advancement, and held oversight hearings on Department of Justice efforts to combat voter suppression. He also has worked vigorously to call attention and seek remedies to past and present racial injustices. Rep. Nadler was an original co-sponsor of the Pigford Claims Remedy Act of 2007 (H.R. 3073), and held a landmark Judiciary subcommittee hearing on the Pigford case, which involved thousands of African-American farmers who suffered discrimination at the hands of the Department of Agriculture for most of the 20th century. He also championed the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act, which he ushered through to a decisive House victory.
Congressman Nadler has also taken an active role in working against discriminatory racial profiling by law enforcement, co-sponsoring the End Racial Profiling Act among other actions, and has devoted considerable time as a senior Member of the House Judiciary Committee to monitoring and reinforcing voting rights for African-Americans and other groups that have been systematically disenfranchised. He was one of the first to call for a Justice Department investigation in 2000 of Mayor Giuliani and then-NYPD Commissioner Howard Safir after three separate fatal shootings involving three unarmed New Yorkers—Patrick Dorismond, Amadou Diallo, and Gideon Busch—and was an outspoken advocate for justice in the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner in 2014. In his district, Rep. Nadler successfully worked to create the African Burial Ground National Historic Site in Lower Manhattan, recognizing the landmark 17th and 18th century African burial ground discovered there.
“Congressman Jerrold Nadler is one of the nation’s fiercest protectors of LGBT rights and a powerful ally for trans equality.”
-- The Advocate magazine
A Vice-Chair and founding member of the House Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Equality Caucus, and the first from New York’s congressional delegation to openly support marriage equality, Rep. Nadler has been an original co-sponsor of every major piece of LGBT civil rights legislation for the last twenty-plus years. He personally authored the Respect for Marriage Act (RMA), the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA), the Father Mychal Judge Act, and the Equal Access to Social Security Act, marking his place as a central architect of LGBT legislative strategy in Congress. He led the fight in the House against the Defense of Marriage Act and the Federal Marriage Amendment and continues to oppose anti-gay efforts as they emerge in Congress. Additionally, Rep. Nadler authored and led the Congressional amicus briefs in the two most significant marriage equality-related cases to go to the Supreme Court—both Windsor and Obergefell—and procured the first-ever non-AIDS related House appropriation for a LGBT organization -- New York’s LGBT Center. He was also one of only six members of the House Democratic Caucus to oppose the Employment Non-Discrimination Act when it failed to protect members of the transgender community. Former Representative Barney Frank has praised Rep. Nadler’s record, saying: “Jerry Nadler has been a vigorous, unyielding, active supporter of fairness for gay men and lesbians on every relevant issue since he came to Congress.”
“Jerry Nadler is at the forefront of the movement to protect reproductive freedom, fighting every day against anti-choice leaders in Congress.”
-- Kate Michaelman, former president of NARAL Pro-Choice America
Congressman Nadler has played a significant role in the fight for women’s rights, serving as a central figure in the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act and the author of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. In recognition of his leadership in the area of equal pay, Rep. Nadler was invited to join President Obama at the White House for the signing of the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.
Representative Nadler is nationally recognized as a staunch defender of women’s health, including a woman’s constitutional right to access an abortion. As a senior Member of the House Judiciary Committee and a leader in the House Pro-Choice Caucus, he has often taken a central role in standing up to conservative attacks against every American’s right to make personal decisions about reproductive health, including devising the strategy to defeat countless anti-choice bills and carrying the movement’s signature piece of legislation -- the Freedom of Choice Act. Because of his strong voice defending such rights, in 2015 Rep. Nadler was named by Leader Nancy Pelosi as one of six Democratic Members (and the only male Member) chosen to serve on the Republicans’ Select Committee shamefully set up to attack women’s health organizations like Planned Parenthood, which provides lifesaving reproductive health services to millions of women and families across the country.
Rep. Nadler has also been a life-long advocate for the differently-abled, shepherding the Americans with Disabilities Act Restoration Act of 2007 through the House.
Even early in his career in the State Assembly, Rep. Nadler was a major civil rights voice. He passed the first bills protecting People with AIDS (PWAs) from discrimination and served as a key women’s rights advocate, garnering the New York State Chapter of the National Organization for Women’s “Legislator of the Year” Award, the first and one of only two men to ever receive this honor.
Defending Civil Liberties
“Jerry Nadler is a gifted constitutional scholar and the conscience of the House.”
-- House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi
As a nationally recognized leader on civil liberties, Congressman Nadler has fought for protections against unwarranted government interference in our personal affairs and has been called “one of the House’s most stalwart defenders of the Constitution” by the American Civil Liberties Union. His legislation to remove the most pernicious elements of the USA PATRIOT Act and stop the NSA’s dragnet surveillance of Americans has won him praise from organizations and individuals spanning the political and ideological spectrum. In 2015, he was one of four Members of the U.S. House of Representatives to author the bipartisan USA Freedom Act—ending the illegal collection of bulk data by the NSA—the passage of which represented the first significant reform of government surveillance carried out by the federal government since 1978.
Another hallmark of Rep. Nadler’s career is his commitment to due process rights for the accused, his work to prevent prosecutorial over-zealousness and misconduct, and his staunch advocacy against the use of illegal torture methods.
Congressman Nadler serves as a champion in the House for free speech and free expression. He has often taken difficult votes on controversial issues in order to remain true to his principles and the fundamental belief in the rights guaranteed under the First Amendment. He is one of Congress’s most vocal defenders of the separation of church and state and of Americans’ right to exercise their religion freely, while also denouncing efforts by some to use religion as an excuse to discriminate. Rep. Nadler was one of the lead Democratic sponsors of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) and the author of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), which ensure that individuals are able to assert their religious beliefs without jeopardizing the freedom and rights of others. He also has opposed state-based laws with similar titles that were specifically designed to discriminate against LGBT Americans.
Throughout his career, Congressman Nadler has adamantly supported the right to free speech and assembly for protestors, including during the 2004 Republican National Convention and the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations, which centered in his district.
Leading on Internet and Technology Issues
“[Congressman] Nadler was Silicon Alley’s earliest serious political defenders.”
-- Silicon Alley Reporter Magazine
Congressman Nadler represents one of the main tech-hubs of the East Coast—also known as Silicon Alley—and is viewed as a fierce promoter for the technology industry. As a strong proponent of net neutrality, he has long opposed pay-to-play agreements, as well as blocking and discrimination of content, and has urged the FCC to reclassify broadband providers as common carriers. In early 2015, Rep. Nadler reintroduced the Innovation Act, which would address the problem of shell companies, otherwise known as patent trolls, that seek to force financial settlements from businesses with threats of expensive lawsuits over very weak claims of patent infringement.
Representative Nadler has also taken principled stands on important technology-related issues, being an outspoken advocate in fighting against the overreach of the National Security Agency (NSA). He introduced the Electronic Communications Privacy Act Modernization Act in 2012, which would enhance protections for private communications stored on remote computing services, and in 2014 helped lead House Judiciary Committee efforts to reform NSA spying programs and protect Americans’ privacy. Congressman Nadler led efforts on behalf of the Democrats in 2015 as one of four co-sponsors of a reintroduced USA Freedom Act, which ended bulk data collection and passed through both Houses of Congress during an intense debate on government surveillance.
Supporting the Artists and the Arts
“The nation knows him as a protector of civil liberties, defender of women’s rights, promoter of access to health care and an expert on Middle East policy, but in addition to all of that we know him as a champion of another group that the law has left behind and that’s music creators.”
-- Neil Portnow, President and CEO of the Recording Academy (GRAMMYs)
Representing a district widely recognized as an epicenter of artistic and creative activity, Congressman Nadler has taken a particular interest in the protection of artists’ rights. He is the lead sponsor of the American Royalties Too (ART) Act, which would require resale royalties be paid to visual artists when their work is resold and allow them to benefit when their work increases in value. He has also shown a particular interest in solving difficult and complex issues for music creators. Rep. Nadler introduced the Fair Play Fair Pay Act to establish a terrestrial (AM/FM) performance right, and require all forms of radio to pay the same fair market value to performing artists and musicians, including music recorded prior to 1972. Enactment of these bills would correct two of the biggest U.S. copyright law injustices against artists and would bring the United States in line with the rest of the developed world.
Representative Nadler is a longtime, leading member of the Congressional Arts Caucus and created “Americans for the NEA”, which brought pro-arts advocates from around the country to Washington to lobby against attempts to cut funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). He has also consistently fought for funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. He has helped secure hundreds of millions of dollars for New York’s arts and cultural institutions, including Lincoln Center, the Met, the Museum of Natural History, the Museum of African Art, the NY Public Library for the Performing Arts, and many more institutions across the district.
Serving as a Strong, Principled Progressive Voice
“From his first days in politics, Nadler has been a true reformer… From defending abortion access to fighting for the environment and the arts, Nadler has done the right thing time after time.”
-- New York Daily News
As a veteran member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Jerry Nadler has been a champion of progressive causes both in New York and throughout the country. As one of Congress’ leaders on affordable housing, Rep. Nadler has garnered hundreds of millions of dollars for the Section 8 program -- just one of many accomplishments that led the New York Daily News to call him, “the liberal lion of the New York delegation.” He has also fought vigorously against cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and SNAP benefits, and has been an aggressive supporter of health care expansion in order to maintain the nation’s social safety net.
As a life-long advocate for working people, Congressman Nadler has promoted progressive economic development policy in New York, supporting good-paying union jobs, as well as national public policy solutions to end income inequality. This includes leading House efforts to reform the country’s bankruptcy laws in order to better protect average Americans.
“Strongly liberal, with a civil rights bent, [Jerry Nadler] is considered Congress’ resident intellectual.”
-- Crain’s New York
Rep. Nadler has a long and distinguished record working to reduce gun violence, as the author of bills improving the ban on assault weapons and preventing the sale of firearms to sex offenders. He also has been a strong voice on climate change and environmental justice, and has led efforts to ensure that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) uses its full federal authority and responds more aggressively to major environmental disasters, such as the BP oil spill, and is the Congressional leader on clean ports.
Congressman Nadler’s record has earned him scores of awards and praise from various progressive groups, including the League of Conservation Voters, Planned Parenthood, the NAACP, the Human Rights Campaign, the Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence, Children’s Defense Fund, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the American Federation of Teachers. In the 2015 TIME Magazine Person Of The Year issue, Jerry Nadler was named as a Teddy Award recipient for political courage.
Honorable Jerrold Nadler
2132 Rayburn Building
Washington, DC 20515