Judge Ralph Winter, Senior Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit at the Thurgood Marshall Courthouse in Foley Square on Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017. Photo: David Handschuh/NYLJ. Originally found here.


Judge Ralph K. Winter of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit died earlier this week at the age of 85. Judge Winter was the first faculty advisor of the Yale Federalist Society Chapter during his time as a law professor at Yale Law School. He was a warm and friendly person with a tremendous sense of humor and will be always be remembered as a loyal supporter of the Yale Federalist Society Chapter. Ralph Winter was an important scholar of Corporate Law and of Antitrust Law. He defended powerfully the view that corporate chartering at the state level led to “a race to the top.” He was opposed to federalizing either corporate law or criminal law. Ralph Winter was a highly respected judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and served as Chief Judge of that court for a period of time. His opinions were memorable and had a major impact on the law. He served on important committees of the Judicial Conference.

Ralph Winter attended both of the first two speaker meetings of the Yale Federalist Chapter as well as the Federalist Society’s inaugural conference held in April 1982. He was a vital support to the chapter in its early years. Ralph Winter hired a number of Yale Federalist Chapter heads to clerk for him including Steven G. Calabresi, who is the Co-Chairman of the Federalist Society’s Board of Directors. His former law clerks include: Paul Mahoney, the former Dean of the University of Virginia Law School, Robert Giuffra, George Conway, Yale Law Professor James Whitman and many others. Winter was beloved by his law clerks with whom he had lunch every day. He was friendly, outgoing, and loved other people.  Ralph Winter will be sorely missed. May he rest in peace.