11.20.14

SCHUMER: BRENDA SANNES UNANIMOUSLY CONFIRMED BY SENATE TO BE SECOND-EVER WOMAN TO SERVE ON FEDERAL BENCH IN SYRACUSE; SCHUMER RECOMMENDED SANNES FOR POSITION

Brenda Sannes Has Had Respected and Successful Legal Career Serving Her Community in the Public Sector; Sannes Has Been a Dedicated Public Servant as an Assistant U.S. Attorney & Chief of the Appellate Division for Over Two Decades

Sannes Will Be Second Woman to Serve on Fed Bench in Syracuse – Lived & Worked in Syracuse Area and Northern District for Nearly 15 Years


Schumer: Sannes Embodies Best Qualities of a Legal Professional and Will Be Smart, Fair, Moderate Judge

Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced that Brenda Sannes has been confirmed by the Senate – in a 96-0 vote – to serve as a judge in the United States District Court in the Northern District of New York (NDNY). Ms. Sannes is a history-making pick, as she will be the third woman to serve on the bench in the Northern District, and only the second-ever to sit in Syracuse. Schumer made the case for Sannes to his colleagues in the Senate, presenting the many reasons that she would be an excellent fit for the job. Schumer also pushed to get this done before the end of the current Congress; if this vote had not taken place before the end of the year, the entire nomination process would have needed to start again in the next Congress. Schumer first recommended Sannes to President Obama in February 2014, and the President nominated her for the position in May. Schumer pointed to Sannes’ stellar legal background, close ties to the Syracuse region, even-handedness, temperament and demonstrated leadership skills, which together would make her an excellent choice for the Northern District Court. Schumer also said that she is highly capable and very qualified for the position.

“I am thrilled that Brenda Sannes has been unanimously confirmed by the Senate and will now sit on the federal bench in Syracuse,” said Schumer. “Brenda has all of the attributes needed to be a fantastic federal judge – she is thorough, fair, and has a passionate commitment to an impartial application of the rule of law. Today’s vote demonstrates that members of both parties recognize that Ms. Sannes’s qualifications are exemplary and that her experience will serve well the people of the Northern District Court.”

Brenda Sannes will be only the third woman to serve on the bench in the NDNY.  The first was Rosemary Pooler, now a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, who sat in Syracuse; the second was also recommended by Schumer, Mae D’Agostino, who sits in on the Northern District bench in Albany. Sannes will therefore be only the second woman on the NDNY to sit in Syracuse.

Brenda K. Sannes previously served as the Chief of the Appellate Division, a post she has held since 2005, and also now serves as Syracuse Office Manager. Ms. Sannes was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Central District of California (Los Angeles) and has been an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Northern District of New York for well over a decade. In the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles, Ms. Sannes handled narcotics and money laundering cases, served as a supervisor in the Narcotics Section, and was Anti-Terrorism Advisory Counsel Coordinator.  In the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York, Ms. Sannes has handled a variety of criminal cases involving narcotics, child exploitation, corruption, and health care fraud offenses, including United States v. Comer, an eleven-week cocaine conspiracy trial.

Ms. Sannes graduated magna cum laude from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota in 1980 and from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1983, where she was an Articles Editor on the Law Review and a member of the Order of the Coif. Following law school, she clerked for Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Jerome Farris and was a litigation associate at a large law firm in Los Angeles, Wyman, Bautzer, Christensen, Kuchel and Silbert, before becoming an Assistant U.S. Attorney.

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