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Judy Rabinovitz

Special Counsel

ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project


Judy Rabinovitz is a Deputy Director of the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project, where she has worked since 1988, litigating class action and impact cases on a variety of issues affecting the rights of immigrants. In recent years her work has focused largely on advocacy and litigation challenging immigration detention policies and practices. She played a leading role in the indefinite detention litigation that resulted in the Supreme Court’s Zadvydas v. Davis decision, and in subsequent litigation to ensure application of that decision to indefinitely detained Mariel Cubans. In addition, she coordinated a nationwide litigation campaign to challenge the mandatory immigration detention statute that Congress enacted as part of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA), culminating in Demore v. Kim, which she argued before the Supreme Court in 2003. She has twice received the Jack Wasserman Memorial Award for Excellence in Litigation from the American Immigration Lawyers Association; and in 2006, she received the Carol King Award from the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild. For the past twenty years she has served as an adjunct assistant professor of law at NYU Law School.