Judge Alison Nathan, Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals

Judge Alison Nathan

Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals

Alison Julie Nathan was born in June 1972 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She earned an undergraduate degree from Cornell University. She taught English In Japan for a year, then went on to become editor of an English-language newspaper in Bangkok, Thailand. She returned to Cornell where she earned her Juris Doctor from Cornell Law School. She clerked at the Ninth Circuit and later was a law clerk for Justice John Paul Stevens at the U.S. Supreme Court. She entered private practice. 

She became a fellow at New York University School of Law and later was an adjunct professor there.  During President Obama’s administration, Nathan served as special assistant to the president and associate White House counsel. She worked in the New York State Attorney General’s office as a special counsel to the state’s solicitor general. 

Nathan was nominated by President Obama to a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. She was confirmed by the Senate and received her commission in October 2011. 

President Joe Biden nominated Nathan to a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. That nomination expired, but she was renominated when the new Congress was sworn in. She was confirmed by the Senate and received her judicial commission in March 2022. 

She is married to Meg Satterthwaite. They are parents of twin sons.

In the News…

A lawsuit that challenges a Connecticut high school sports association’s policy which allows biological males who identify as women to compete in girls’ sports has been revived by the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. The court issued a limited ruling that several female athletes had standing in the case. The court said they could create certain track and field records they had lost to transgender competitors.

The appeals court emphasized it was not deciding the case’s key issue. Writing for the court’s majority, Judge Alison Nathan said, “The splintered nature of the court’s opinions should not in any way suggest that its holding encompasses a determination on [the] highly contested underlying merits question” of whether the policy of the Connecticut school violates Title IX. “It does not,” the judge stated. 

Judge Nathan wrote, “We must assume plaintiffs are correct that permitting transgender girls to compete in those races violated federal law and that plaintiffs’ current records are therefore impacted by an unlawful policy. It is plausible that altering certain public athletic records—for example, indicating that [one] plaintiff … finished 1st rather than 3rd in the 2019 state open indoor 55m[meter] final—would at least partially redress the alleged denial of equal athletic opportunity by giving plaintiffs the higher placements and titles they would have received without the CIAC policy in place, albeit belatedly.” 

The case has been returned to a federal district court in Connecticut. 

Contact this Leader…

Did you pray for Judge Nathan today? You can let her know at:

The Honorable Allison Nathan 
Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals 
Thurgood Marshall U.S. Courthouse 
40 Foley Square 
New York, NY 10007 


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