Joshua Matz is a partner at Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP. His specialties include complex commercial disputes, constitutional law, civil rights, and appellate and Supreme Court litigation. He recently rejoined Kaplan Hecker from the House Judiciary Committee, where he served among counsel for the impeachment and trial of President Trump.

Joshua graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 2012. He then 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.

Joshua has worked on a wide array of commercial cases, ranging from contract and copyright disputes to consumer protection and False Claims Act litigation. He maintains an active commercial practice, oriented toward the financial and technology sectors, defamation disputes, and university compliance with Title IX.

Joshua also focuses on constitutional litigation. His recent matters have addressed subjects including LGBTQ rights, religious liberty, freedom of speech, privacy, firearm regulation, the separation of powers, due process, and the right to counsel.

Some of Joshua’s other recent matters include:

  • Representing defendants against defamation lawsuits filed as retaliation for #MeToo statements and protected political speech
  • Representing Maryland and the District of Columbia, as well as private parties, in challenges to President Trump’s violation of the Emoluments Clauses
  • Representing Philadelphia against a First Amendment challenge to the City’s contractual non-discrimination requirements for foster care providers
  • Representing victims of the Charlottesville attacks in a civil rights lawsuit against white supremacists who conspired to engage in racially-motivated violence
  • Representing victims of consumer fraud in a case against President Trump, his family, and his business
  • Representing the House Judiciary Committee in litigation seeking to compel testimony by former White House Counsel Don McGahn

On behalf of leading scholars and civil rights groups, Joshua has filed amicus briefs in cases regarding the exclusion of transgender persons from the military, the addition of a citizenship question to the census, 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 illegality of state policies denying Medicaid coverage for gender-affirming surgeries, and the denial of service to same-sex couples based on religious objections. In 2018, Joshua represented a student-led LGBT Pride organization in Starkville, Mississippi, in a successful constitutional challenge to the city’s denial of a parade permit.

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 several times. 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 Journal, USA 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.

In March 2012, Joshua and Professor 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 & Co.). 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 and an MSt (with distinction) from Oxford University. Before law school, he interned at Equality Advocates Pennsylvania and the Innocence Project. During law school, he worked 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. After graduating, he spent a summer at Neufeld Scheck & Brustin LLP, where he worked on civil rights cases arising from wrongful convictions.