Americans United Assistant Legal Director Richard B. Katskee has been elected to the American Law Institute (ALI), a distinguished national body of legal experts.
Based in Philadelphia, ALI is an independent organization that produces scholarly work to clarify, modernize and otherwise improve the law. The Institute is made up of more than 4,000 lawyers, judges and law professors. Its members draft, revise and publish model statutes and other modifications of the law that are often used in courts and state legislatures.
ALI members are elected through a selective process.
Roberta Cooper Ramo, Institute president, said of members, “We choose individuals who have made significant professional achievements, demonstrated leadership and promise and who are interested in carrying out our purposes ‘to promote the clarification and simplification of the law and its better adaptation to social needs, to secure the better administration of justice and to encourage and carry on scholarly and scientific legal work.’ Election is considered one of the highest honors in the legal profession.”
Katskee has chosen to serve on the ALI’s Principles of Government Ethics project, which seeks to draft guidelines applicable to ethics laws relating to the executive and legislative branches of government.
Katskee has been with Americans United since 2004. He was a leading attorney in the landmark Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District case, which struck down “intelligent design” in a Pennsylvania public school. He also argued a successful case in New Jersey, ending a football coach’s practice of praying with students.
In addition, Katskee served as lead counsel in AU’s litigation challenging the Department of Veterans Affairs’ regulations limiting gravestone and memorial markers to a list of “approved” religions. The case was settled out of court when the Department agreed to meet AU’s conditions.
Katskee has authored numerous scholarly articles about church-state law and often serves as a guest lecturer at law schools, universities and other venues.
A Nebraska native, Katskee received his legal degree from Yale Law School, where he served as an articles editor on the Yale Law Journal. Prior to that, he earned a master’s degree in political science from Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Michigan.