Press Release

Key Senate Panel Approves Gillibrand Recommended Ronnie Abrams for U.S. District Court Judge, Southern District of New York

Nov 3, 2011

Washington, D.C. – The Senate Judiciary Committee today unanimously voted for U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s  nominee Ms. Ronnie Abrams to serve as a U.S. District Court Judge for the Southern District of New York.  Senator Gillibrand recommended her for the position in April as her first judicial recommendation. Her appointment would add another exceptional female jurist to the federal bench. Ms. Abrams nomination now heads to the full Senate.

A distinguished prosecutor, Ms. Abrams rose to Deputy Chief, Criminal Division at the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York, where she supervised over 160 prosecutions in cases involving violent crime, white collar crime, public corruption, narcotics trafficking and computer crimes. She was awarded the Department of Justice’s Director’s Award for Superior Performance as a Federal Prosecutor.

“Ms. Abrams is a highly experienced and exceptional attorney, who is extremely well qualified to serve as a federal court judge,” Senator Gillibrand wrote in her recommendation letter to President Obama in April. “Because federal judges are appointed for life, it’s essential that federal judges are individuals who are fair-minded, have impeccable integrity, and excellent judicial temperament. I believe those qualities define Ronnie Abrams. Throughout her career, Ms. Abrams has served with the highest integrity and distinction, and she possesses a deep rooted commitment to justice and public service.”

The number of women serving on the federal bench has stagnated over the past several years, remaining at 500 positions filled by women from 2007 to 2011. Less than a third of federal bench positions are filled by women, according to the American Bar Association Commission on Women in the Profession. 
Ms. Abrams currently serves as Special Counsel for Pro Bono at the law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell in New York, and also serves as adjunct professor at Columbia Law School, teaching a seminar on the investigation and prosecution of federal cases. Ms. Abrams received her B.A. from Cornell University and her J.D. from Yale Law School.