Is Robin Rosenbaum, a 2012 Dist. Court Appointee, Headed to 11th?

By William Peacock, Esq. on October 02, 2013 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

With her seat on the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida barely warm, rumor has it that the Honorable Robin Stacey Rosenbaum is being vetted for a promotion. The Southern District of Florida Blog reports that Rosenbaum is being considered for the vacancy left by Judge Rosemary Barkett, whose last day on the court was yesterday. Barkett is heading to Europe to sit on the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal in The Hague.

Barkett's departure leaves three vacancies on the court, with one more coming as soon as former-Chief Judge Joel Dubina steps into senior status (he's waiting until the vacancies are filled). And nominating the recently-appointed, yet uncontroversial Judge Rosenbaum might be exactly what's needed to break the log-jam of judicial appointments in the Eleventh Circuit.

Rosenbaum's Background

Thanks to her 2012 confirmation proceedings, we have her entire judicial questionnaire. Rosenbaum is an Ivy Leaguer, graduating with a B.A. from Cornell in 1988. She then graduated magna cum laude from the University of Miami School of Law in 1991.

After graduating law school, she spent a few years as a trial attorney for the Department of Justice, then spent a year at the Office of the Independent Counsel looking in to the activities of former United States Secretary of Commerce Ronald H. Brown and Nolanda Hill.

After the OIC, she did a one-year stint in BigLaw at Holland & Knight before fleeing to the friendly confines of the Eleventh Circuit, where she clerked for still-seated Judge Stanley Marcus. She then spent nine years at the United States Attorney's Office before joining her current court as a magistrate judge in 2007.

District Court Years

In 2011, President Barack Obama nominated Judge Rosenbaum for a vacant seat in the District Court. She was confirmed on June 26, 2012 by a vote of 92-3. In her brief time on the court, she's already made one ruling that made headlines, ordering the NSA to turn over cell phone records to a defendant who wished to use the dragnet surveillance records to prove his innocence in an armored car robbery case.

Why the Nomination Almost Certainly Works

How do you push a nomination through? Nominate the same judge twice. Judge Rosenbaum was vetted and easily passed the confirmation process in 2012. The only complaint one might be able to lodge against her now, considering her recent approval (92-3) by the Senate, is lack of experience, a concern tempered by the approximately five years she spent as a magistrate judge for the same U.S. District court in which she now sits as a full federal District Court judge.

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