Co-Director, Voting Rights Project
Ezra Rosenberg is the co-director of the Voting Rights Project, overseeing all voting rights litigation.
A former member of the Board of Trustees of the Lawyers’ Committee, Ezra joined the Lawyers’ Committee in November 2014 as Special Senior Counsel in the Legal Mobilization Project, continuing a 40-year career in the public and private sectors, before being named co-Director in July 2015.
Prior to joining the Lawyers’ Committee staff, Ezra was a partner at Dechert LLP, where he served several terms on the firm’s Policy Committee and as a Deputy Chair of the firm, as co-chair of Dechert’s Product Liability and Mass Torts Group. Ezra was consistently ranked among the top litigators both in New Jersey and nationwide by numerous publications, including Chambers, The Legal 500 United States, Benchmark Litigation, and, in 2014, was named as one of the top 500 lawyers in the nation by Lawdragon. At Dechert, Ezra was actively involved in pro bono representations, including several significant cases with the Lawyers’ Committee. He has been one of the lead counsel challenging Texas’s photo ID voting law, serving as co-lead trial and lead coordinating counsel in both the Section 2 and Section 5 cases (tried in 2014 and 2012 respectively); served as co-lead trial counsel in a school desegregation case tried in Pitt County, North Carolina in 2013; and supervised the advantageous settlements of a minority profiling case in New Jersey and of a prison conditions case in Passaic County, New Jersey. In 2014, Ezra successfully argued an appeal on behalf of the NJ-ACLU before the New Jersey Supreme Court, dealing with the admissibility of a defendant’s rap lyrics in his attempted murder trial, helping to persuade the court to adopt stringent standards before admitting such evidence. In 2014, Ezra was named to The National Law Journal’s “Pro Bono Hot List” for his role in significant public interest cases of national importance.
Ezra began his career with the New Jersey Department of the Public Advocate, focusing on “special project” criminal appeals, arguing several times before the New Jersey Supreme Court, including a landmark case that set the standard for judicial review of prosecutorial denials of pretrial intervention, and a series of cases which established protections against discovery by the prosecution of investigative and expert reports criminal defendants did not intend to use at trial. He joined the Lands & Natural Resources Division of the United States Department of Justice in 1979, where, as a Senior Trial Attorney, he handled a variety of cases relating to the nation’s lands, including the defense of surface mining regulations and a pre-Chadha “one House veto” case under the Wilderness Act.
Ezra graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, B.A., Cum laude, in 1971 and from New York University School of Law, J.D., 1974, Cum laude, where he received the Founders Day Award and was admitted to the Order of the Coif. He is a past President of the Mercer County, NJ, Bar Association and has received numerous awards during his career, including the Department of Justice Award for Meritorious Service in 1982, the New Jersey Commission on Professionalism “Professional Lawyer of the Year Award” in 1997, the American Jewish Congress’ “Learned Hand Award” in 2011, the Mercer County Bar Association’s “Michael J. Nizolek Award for Service to the Bar” in 2014, the Lawyers’ Committee’s “Brooke R. Burdette Award for Best New Board Member” in 2014, the ACLU of NJ’s “Legal Leadership Award” in 2015, and a Joint Resolution of the New Jersey Legislature in 2015, honoring his pro bono service.
Memberships, Affiliations & Other Distinctions
- Legal Leadership Award, ACLU of New Jersey (2015)
- Brooks R. Burdette Best New Board Member Award, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (2014)
- Michael J. Nizolek Award for Service to the Bar, Mercer County Board Association (2014)
- Judge Learned Hand Award, American Jewish Committee (2011)
- Professional Lawyer of the Year Award, New Jersey Commission on Professionalism in the Law/Mercer County Bar Association
- Award for Meritorious Service, U.S. Department of Justice, Land and Natural Resources Division (1981)
- Member, Board of Trustees, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (2013-2014)
- President, Mercer County Bar Foundation (1996-1997)
- President, Mercer County Bar Association (1995-1996)
Barriers to the Ballot Box: Implicit Bias and Voting Rights in the 21st Century, MICH. J. RACE & LAW ____ (forthcoming 2015) (with Arusha Gordon)
- United States Supreme Court
- United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
- United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
- United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
- United States District Court for the District of New Jersey
- United States Court of Claims
- United States Tax Court
- New Jersey
- District of Columbia