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Curtin honored for 49 years as a judge

Buffalo’s legal community gathered Thursday at the downtown federal courthouse to celebrate U.S. District Judge John T. Curtin’s 49 years on the bench.

Curtin, who recently retired, was remembered for his courage, independence and integrity and was described by one judicial colleague as a “Buffalo icon, an institution.”

“I think it’s fitting that you’re surrounded by the constitution," said Chief U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci Jr.

About 150 people attended the ceremony in the courthouse lobby, an atrium surrounded by glass windows etched with the words of the U.S. Constitution.

Known best for his order desegregating Buffalo’s public schools, Curtin also gained recognition for his rulings desegregating the city police and fire departments. He also oversaw the landmark Love Canal environmental case.