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For Immediate Release
March 22, 2012

Nuffer, Contreras, Abrams Judicial Nominations Floor Statement

 Prepared Floor Statement of Senator Chuck Grassley
Ranking Member, Senate Committee on the Judiciary
The Nominations of
Ronnie Abrams to be United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York
Rudolph Contreras to be United States District Judge for the District of Columbia
David Nuffer to be United States District Judge for the District of Utah
Thursday, March 22, 2012

Mr. President,
Again, we are moving forward under the regular order and procedures of the Senate. This year, we have been in session for about 32 days, including today.  During that time we will have confirmed 12 judges.  That is an average of better than one confirmation for every 3 days.  With the confirmations today, the Senate will have confirmed nearly 74% of President Obama’s Article III judicial nominations.   

Today, we turn to three more judicial nominations. Ronnie Abrams is nominated to be United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York.  She graduated with a B.A. from Cornell University in 1990.  She received her J.D. from Yale Law School in 1993.  Upon law school graduation, she clerked for Honorable Thomas P. Griesa of the United State District Court for the Southern District of New York. From 1994 to 1998 she worked as an associate on civil matters at David Polk and Wardwell. In 1998, Ms. Abrams joined the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Criminal Division. She handled a variety of criminal cases, inducing ones involving the sexual exploitation of children, bank robbery, immigration, identity theft and money laundering. She also served in the Narcotics, Violent Crime and Public Corruption Units.  From 2004 to 2008, Ms. Abrams served in a supervisory role at the United States Attorney’s Office, as either Deputy Chief or Chief of the Criminal Division. In 2008, Ms. Abrams returned to David Polk and Wardwell as Special Counsel for Pro Bono and represents those without means to represent themselves.

Rudolph Contreras is nominated to be United States District Judge for the District of Columbia. He is a 1984 graduate from Florida State University and received his J.D. in 1991 from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.   After graduating from law school, Mr. Contreras joined the litigation department of the law firm Jones Day. In 1994, he became an Assistant United States Attorney in the District of Delaware and the District of Columbia. In that capacity, he has represented the United States and its departments at both the trial level and appellate levels in civil actions. In 2003, Mr. Contreras became Chief of the Civil Division in the District of Delaware. There, he supervises 40 Assistant United States Attorneys, 6 Special Assistant United States Attorneys, and 31 support staffers.

David Nuffer is nominated to be United States District Judge for the District of Utah. He received his B.S. in 1975 and his J.D. in 1978 from Brigham Young University. He began his legal career as an associate at Allen Thompson & Hughes. From 1982 to 1992, Judge Nuffer practiced both criminal prosecution and criminal defense. From 1995 to 2002, he represented municipalities, individuals and businesses in civil litigation. He also served as a part-time United States Magistrate Judge during this time. In 2003, he was appointed to serve as a full-time Magistrate Judge. In 2009, he became Chief Magistrate Judge. He has presided over 30 cases that have gone to verdict or judgment.  

While some may complain about the time it has taken to confirm Judge Nuffer, I would note that the President took over a year and a half - 576 days - to submit this nomination, once the vacancy occurred.