Education

  • University of Pennsylvania, BA, 2008
    magna cum laude
  • MSt, Oxford University, 2009
    distinction
  • JD, Harvard University, 2012
    magna cum laude

Clerkships

  • Hon. Anthony M. Kennedy, Supreme Court of the United States
  • Hon. Stephen Reinhardt, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • Hon. J. Paul Oetken, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

Fellowships, Leaderships & Recognition

  • D.C. Rising Star, 2020, The National Law Journal
  • 40 & Under Hot List, 2020, Benchmark Litigation
  • Alumni All-Star, 2016, Forbes Magazine
  • “30 under 30” Law & Policy List, 2014, Forbes Magazine
  • Articles & Book Reviews Chair, Harvard Law Review
  • Oberman Memorial Award in Constitutional Law, Harvard Law School
  • President, American Constitution Society, Harvard Law School
  • Peter J. Parrish Dissertation Prize, Oxford University

Bar and Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan
  • U.S. Courts of Appeals for the District of Columbia, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Seventh and Ninth Circuits
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • New York
  • District of Columbia

Joshua Matz is a partner at Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP. His practice includes complex commercial disputes, constitutional law, civil rights, and Supreme Court and appellate litigation. In March 2020, he rejoined the firm from the House Judiciary Committee, where he served among counsel for the impeachment and trial of President Trump. He has since been recognized by The National Law Journal as a 2020 "D.C. Rising Star" and by Benchmark Litigation on its 2020 "40 & Under Hot List."

Joshua litigates a wide array of commercial cases, ranging from contract, fraud, and defamation disputes to consumer protection and sex discrimination matters. He also advises companies on regulatory compliance, participates in sensitive internal investigations, and helps to formulate administrative and constitutional challenges to city and state regulation. Along with several of his colleagues at Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP, Joshua represents Columbia University in class action tuition refund litigation arising from its response to the pandemic. And he represents Petal Card, Inc. in defending against contract, joint venture, fiduciary duty, and other claims.

In addition, Joshua is a renowned civil rights and constitutional litigator. His cases have ranged across LGBTQ rights, religious liberty, freedom of speech, privacy, firearm regulation, the separation of powers, the right to counsel, due process, and the scope of constitutional remedies. He has represented individual clients, civil rights organizations, current and former government officials, cities, states, and congressional committees. In 2018, Joshua represented a student-led LGBT Pride organization in Starkville, Mississippi, in a successful challenge to the city’s denial of a parade permit—and then negotiated an agreement with Starkville to ensure LGBT rights remained protected.

Joshua’s current representations include:

  • ICE detainees in a challenge to their confinement amid the COVID-19 pandemic
  • The Federal Defenders of New York in a challenge to attorney access policies at the Metropolitan Detention Center
  • Victims of the Charlottesville attacks in a lawsuit against white supremacists
  • Maryland and the District of Columbia—as well as private parties—in challenges to President Trump’s violation of the Emoluments Clauses
  • Victims of consumer fraud in a case against President Trump and his business
  • The House Judiciary Committee in litigation seeking to compel testimony by former White House Counsel Don McGahn
  • Moira Donegan in a defamation case related to the “Shitty Media Men” list
  • Liz Mair in a defamation case brought by Representative Devin Nunes
  • E. Jean Carroll in a case against President Trump for repeated acts of defamation in response to the public revelation that he raped her
  • The City of Philadelphia in Fulton v. Philadelphia—a Supreme Court merits case involving a First Amendment challenge to the City’s contractual non-discrimination requirements for foster care providers.

Joshua has also filed amicus briefs on behalf of legal scholars, civil rights organizations, former officials, and medical experts. These briefs have addressed issues including:

  • The legality of emergency public health measures issued amid the pandemic
  • Judicial power to release detainees facing a substantial risk of harm in custody
  • The application of Title VII to anti-LGBT discrimination
  • The addition of a citizenship question to the census
  • The denial of service to same-sex couples based on religious objections
  • The exclusion of transgender persons from the military
  • The imposition of broad religious exemptions from the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive coverage requirement
  • The need for due process limits on suggestive in-court eyewitness identifications
  • The availability of a damages remedy for cross-border shootings by federal agents
  • The illegality of denying Medicaid coverage for gender-affirming surgeries.

In 2017 and 2018, Joshua filed an amicus brief on behalf of constitutional law scholars opposing the travel ban policy. In its en banc opinion upholding an injunction against the President’s order, the Fourth Circuit cited his brief. The Economist called this brief a “persuasive and skillfully targeted argument,” and Slate described the opinion as “a striking vindication of the constitutional theory put forth in an amicus brief by a group of scholars led by . . . Joshua Matz.” When the travel ban cases reached the Supreme Court, Justice Sotomayor quoted from Joshua’s brief in her dissent.

Alongside his litigation experience, Joshua has written for diverse audiences about legal issues. His articles have appeared in The Washington Post, The Wall Street JournalUSA Today, The Guardian, The Atlantic, and Wired, and he has been invited to speak at Harvard Law School, the 92nd Street Y, the ABA LGBT+ Forum, the National Constitutional Center, and Politics & Prose. Since March 2017, Joshua has served as the Publisher of Take Care, a website that offers accessible coverage of the executive branch. He also serves as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown Law School, where he co-teaches “Constitutional Litigation and the Executive Branch.”

In March 2012, Joshua and Larry Tribe of Harvard Law School published “The Constitutional Inevitability of Same-Sex Marriage,” 71 Md. L. Rev. 471 (2012). In June 2014, they published an award-winning book, Uncertain Justice: The Roberts Court and the Constitution (Henry Holt). In May 2018, they published their second book together, To End a Presidency: The Power of Impeachment (Basic Books). The Economist proclaimed this book “the definitive treatment of a vital subject.” 

Joshua holds a BA (magna cum laude) from the University of Pennsylvania, an MSt (with distinction) from Oxford University, and a JD (magna cum laude) from Harvard Law School. While in law school, he interned at the Public Citizen Litigation Group and the Federal Defenders of New York. He also served as Articles & Book Reviews Chair of the Harvard Law Review and president of the American Constitution Society. Following law school, Joshua clerked for Judge J. Paul Oetken of the Southern District of New York, Judge Stephen Reinhardt of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and Justice Anthony M. Kennedy of the United States Supreme Court. In 2014, Forbes named Joshua to its “30 under 30” Law & Policy List—and in 2016 it named him an “Alumni All-Star” of past honorees.  

Read about Joshua Matz in our Newsroom

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