• 1960

    Ruth Bader Ginsburg, appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1993, submits an application for membership to the Association.



    The Association issues the report “Mental Illness and Due Process.” The report led directly to state legislation safeguarding the rights of mentally ill patients and treating them as a sick person first and a legal problem second.


    Special Committee on Civil Rights Under Law is established. Chaired by Francis E. Rivers, the first black City Court judge and first black member of the City Bar, the committee was tasked with a number of duties, including: “To conduct and supervise a study of the procedural and enforcement aspects of the federal Civil Rights statutes and recommend revisions for their modernization…. To consider the part which lawyers might play in New York in the promotion of civil rights and equal opportunity under the law…. [and] [t]o consider the extent of racial discrimination in New York and appropriate action under law to deal with discriminatory practices and to provide equality of opportunity.” Through this committee and others—including the Committee on Federal Legislation, and the Committee on the Bill of Rights—the City Bar came out in strong support of seminal civil rights legislation such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.


    Chief Justice Earl Warren, in accepting Honorary Membership to the City Bar, said, “There is no Bar Association I know in this country or any other that has contributed more to legal history or the jurisprudence of our country than this great Association."


    The Special Committee on the Lawyer’s Role in the Search for Peace presented case studies on the role of law in the settlement of international disputes, including “The Issues in the Berlin-German Crisis,” “The Legal Aspects of the United Nations Action in the Congo,” “The Inter-American Security System and the Cuban Crisis,” and “Disarmament.” Subsequently, the working papers that were prepared in advance of the forums were published.

  • 1965

    On April 21, Dr. Martin Luther King addresses an overflow crowd in the Great Hall of the Association, nearly a year after the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and three months before the signing of the Voting Rights Act. “Standing before you in the House of this Association, whose very cornerstone is an abiding respect for the law, I am impelled to wonder who is better qualified to demand an end to this debilitating lawlessness, to better understand the mortal danger to the very fabric of our democracy when human rights are flaunted.”


    The Committee on Pro Bono and Legal Services is launched.

    The House of the Association is named a New York City Landmark.

  • 1967

    “Freedom of the Press and Fair Trial: Final Report with Recommendations.” Prompted by the events surrounding the assassination of President Kennedy, this study concluded that direct government controls on radio, television and the press would violate the First Amendment, and recommended measures such as strengthening Canon 20 and a code to regulate police conduct.


    “Privacy and Freedom” by Professor Alan F. Westin, based on the Association’s study of the impact of technological progress on privacy in the U.S., is published.


    Mario Matthew Cuomo, 52nd Governor of New York from 1983-1994, submits an application for membership to the Association of the Bar of the City of New York.

  • 1968

    The Association issues, “Mental Illness, Due Process and the Criminal Defendant.” The report addresses the rights of criminal defendants in the Mattewan and Dannemore State Hospitals for the so-called “criminal insane,” and recommends sweeping reforms to the laws dealing with the treatment of criminal defendants.


    The Association issues report in support of direct election of the president and vice president of the United States.



    Warren E. Burger, Chief Justice of the United States 1968-1986, is elected an honorary member of the New York City Bar.

    Members of the Association march on Washington to protest the U.S. bombing of Cambodia.



    The Association opposes the nomination of G. Harold Carswell to the Supreme Court, stating, “Service on the United States Supreme Court requires that a Justice have exceptional qualifications of integrity, professional distinction, legal learning and proven sensitivity to human and civil rights. In our considered opinion, the public record demonstrates that Judge Carswell lacks these essential qualifications for a Justice of the highest court in the land.”


  • 1972

    An Association report urges Congress to enact a moratorium on executions in the United States under its power to enforce the Fourteenth Amendment by appropriate legislation.

    Formation of the International Human Rights Committee. The Association sponsored multiple international human rights missions — including to Argentina, Peru, Guatemala, and Uganda — to observe the operation of their justice systems and whether the rule of law was being honored, and subsequently issued reports detailing and analyzing those visits. There were multiple visits to Northern Ireland, and a mission to Hong Kong in 1996 to investigate the future of its justice system and the prospects for the rule of law after governmental authority passed to China.



    The Sex and Law Committee urges adoption of the Equal Rights Amendment



    Thurgood Marshall, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court 1967-1991, is elected an honorary member of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York.



    John Lennon, along with Yoko Ono and his lawyer, Leon Wildes, hold a press conference at the City Bar to announce his diplomatic immunity from deportation as ambassador for Nutopia, “a new conceptual country with no laws other than the cosmic,” to counter the plan by President Nixon and FBI Director Hoover to have Lennon’s visa terminated as a “strategic countermeasure” to his increasingly vocal criticism of U.S. policy in Southeast Asia.


    The Associations report “The Law of Presidential Impeachment” analyzes the applicable law surrounding the impeachment of a President.


  • Mid-70s

    The Association leads the successful effort to adopt a merit selection system for judges in the New York Court of Appeals


    The City Bar helps found New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI) with the goal of “increasing legal services to the poor through screening and channeling public law opportunities to participating large law firms.”



    Ruth Bader Ginsburg chairs the Association’s Sex and Law Committee.


    The House of the Association is named to the National Register of Historic Places.