Rudolph Contreras

Rudolph Contreras (born December 6, 1962) is a United States district judge of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. He also serves as Presiding Judge on the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

Rudolph Contreras
Rudolph Contreras.jpg
Presiding Judge of the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court
Assumed office
May 19, 2021
Preceded byJames E. Boasberg
Judge of the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court
Assumed office
May 19, 2016
Preceded byThomas F. Hogan
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia
Assumed office
March 23, 2012
Appointed byBarack Obama
Preceded byRicardo M. Urbina
Personal details
Born (1962-12-06) December 6, 1962 (age 60)
Miami, Florida, U.S.
EducationFlorida State University (BS)
University of Pennsylvania (J.D.)

In December 2017 he briefly presided over the case of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, accepting Flynn's guilty plea, but was later recused from the case.[1]

Early life and educationEdit

Contreras was born in 1962 in Miami, Florida,[2] to Cuban immigrant parents and raised in Miami.[3] He received a Bachelor of Science from Florida State University in 1984 and a Juris Doctor from University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1991.[4][5]

Federal judicial serviceEdit

On July 28, 2011, President Barack Obama nominated Contreras to fill a vacancy on the United States District Court for the District of Columbia[4] to replace Judge Ricardo M. Urbina, who assumed senior status in 2011. On October 4, 2011, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on his nomination and on October 3, 2011, reported his nomination to the floor of the Senate. On March 22, 2012, the Senate confirmed Contreras in a voice vote. He received his commission on March 23, 2012.[5]

In April 2016 Chief Justice John Roberts appointed Contreras to the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court for a term starting May 19, 2016.[6][5] On May 19, 2021, Contreras was named the Presiding Judge.[7]

Notable casesEdit

On November 17, 2016, Contreras dismissed a lawsuit against U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell seeking to compel a vote on the U.S. Supreme Court nomination of Merrick Garland, finding that the plaintiff, who had simply alleged he was a voter, had no standing to sue. [8]

In 2017 Contreras was randomly assigned the case of United States of America v. Michael T. Flynn, the former National Security Adviser to President Donald Trump. The two-page indictment was released on December 1, 2017.[9] Contreras accepted Flynn's guilty plea to one count of making false statements to the FBI in the course of their investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The guilty plea was part of a plea bargain with the Special Counsel investigation led by Robert S. Mueller III.[9] On December 7, 2017, Contreras was recused from further sentencing hearings scheduled to take place in the future.[10] The case was randomly reassigned to District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan.[11] According to several reputable sources, text messages show that Peter Strzok, a veteran FBI counterintelligence official who worked on the Flynn case as part of Mueller's team, knew Contreras.[12][13]

On August 6, 2020, Contreras dismissed a lawsuit filed by House Republicans against U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that challenged proxy voting rules adopted during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. He ruled that the Constitution's "Speech or Debate Clause" prohibited lawsuits over Congress' legislative efforts. He concluded that "the Court can conceive of few other actions, besides actually debating, speaking, or voting, that could more accurately be described as 'legislative' than the regulation of how votes may be cast".[14][15]

On March 5, 2021, Contreras ruled that the states of Illinois, Nevada, and Virginia had ratified the Equal Rights Amendment too late – as it had occurred after the congressionally-imposed 1982 deadline – for the amendment to be valid.[16]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Judge presiding over Michael Flynn criminal case is recused: court". December 8, 2017. Retrieved January 26, 2019 – via www.reuters.com.
  2. ^ "Senate Judicial Questionnaire" (PDF).
  3. ^ Tillman, Zoe (July 29, 2011). "Former Colleagues Weigh In on Rudolph Contreras Nomination". The Blog of Legal Times. Retrieved August 16, 2011.
  4. ^ a b The White House: Office of the Press Secretary (July 28, 2011). "President Obama Nominates Two to the United States District Court". whitehouse.gov. Retrieved August 16, 2011 – via National Archives.
  5. ^ a b c "Contreras, Rudolph – Federal Judicial Center". www.fjc.gov.
  6. ^ "Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court 2016 Membership". fas.org.
  7. ^ "FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE SURVEILLANCE COURT FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE SURVEILLANCE COURT OF REVIEW Current and Past Members June 2021" (PDF). Retrieved August 31, 2021.
  8. ^ DeBonis, Mike (November 18, 2016). "Judge dashes Merrick Garland's final, faint hope for a Supreme Court seat". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 23, 2016.
  9. ^ a b "Michael Flynn Pleads Guilty to Lying to FBI in Russia Probe". Retrieved December 8, 2017.
  10. ^ "Judge recuses in Michael Flynn case". POLITICO. December 7, 2017. Retrieved December 8, 2017.
  11. ^ "Judge presiding over Michael Flynn criminal case is recused: court". Reuters. December 8, 2017. Retrieved December 8, 2017.
  12. ^ Nakashima, Ellen; Hsu, Spencer S.; Zapotosky, Matt. "Texts show judge who recused himself in Flynn case was friendly with FBI agent involved in probe". Washington Post.
  13. ^ "Strzok and Page Plotted Covert Meeting with Presiding Judge in Michael Flynn Case". nationalreview.com. March 16, 2018. Retrieved January 26, 2019.
  14. ^ Swanson, Ian (August 6, 2020). "Judge throws out House GOP lawsuit over proxy voting". TheHill.
  15. ^ Denean, Austin (August 6, 2020). "Judge throws out GOP lawsuit challenging proxy voting". WCYB.
  16. ^ Axelrod, Tal (March 5, 2021). "Judge rules states were too late in ratifying Equal Rights Amendment". TheHill.

External linksEdit

Legal offices
Preceded by Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia
2012–present
Incumbent
Preceded by Judge of the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court
2016–present
Preceded by Presiding Judge of the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court
2021–present