Press Release

Senate Confirms Gillibrand Recommended Judge Joan Azrack To Sit On Federal Bench For U.S. District Court, Eastern District Of New York

Dec 17, 2014

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand announced today that the U.S. Senate has confirmed Ms. Joan Azrack to serve as a U.S. District Court Judge for the Eastern District of New York.  Gillibrand recommended her for the Central Islip seat to President Obama in September, in an effort to add another exceptional female jurist to the federal bench. With Gillibrand’s push, the Senate Committee confirmed Ms. Azrack in April and  her nomination was confirmed by the full Senate last night. 

Judge Azrack is currently a United States Magistrate Judge for the Eastern District of New York. She also serves as the Supervising Program Judge for the U.S. Pretrial Services Agency, is a judicial member of the Eastern District of New York Budget Committee and a judicial member of the William C. Conner Intellectual Property Court.

“Joan Azrack is well-suited to serve as the Eastern District of New York’s U.S. District Court judge,” said Senator Gillibrand. “I am pleased that President Obama chose to act on my recommendation and that she has been confirmed by the full Senate. Ms. Azrack is a woman with impeccable credentials, incredible intellect, and exactly the kind of fair-minded judgment we need on the federal bench. I am confident she will serve the Eastern District of New York well, as a federal judge. I look forward to her appointment adding yet another superb female jurist to the federal bench.”

Judge Azrack has long served the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. She has served as a U.S. Magistrate Judge since 1990 and from 1981 until her first judicial appointment, served as Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District. In her role as Attorney, she was the Deputy Chief of the Narcotics Section; Chief of the Business and Securities Fraud Section; and Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division.

Azrack has received many accolades for her work as a former prosecutor and has been honored with the Eastern District Association Award. She has also been awarded for her work by Merrill Lynch for credit card fraud prosecutions in 1988 and the International Association of Credit Card Investigators in 1987. She has been recognized by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms; Drug Enforcement Administration; and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Judge Azrack has a Bachelor’s of Science degree from Rutgers University and a Juris Doctor degree from New York Law School.  Previously, Ms. Azrack worked in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and has also served as a visiting Instructor at the National Institute for Trial Advocacy at Harvard Law School.

According to the American Bar Association Commission on Women in the Profession, over the last several years, the number of women in the federal judiciary has stagnated – hovering at roughly 500. That’s less than a third of the federal bench.

In March of 2012, the U.S. Senate confirmed Senator Gillibrand’s very first judicial nominee, Ms. Ronnie Abrams, to serve as a U.S. District Court Judge for the Southern District of New York.