Rod J. Rosenstein
Rod J. Rosenstein (born in 1965 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is the United States Attorney for the United States District Court for the District of Maryland and a former nominee to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
Mr. Rosenstein graduated from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, with a B.S. in Economics, summa cum laude in 1986. He earned his J.D. degree cum laude in 1989 from Harvard Law School, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review. He then served as a law clerk to Judge Douglas H. Ginsburg of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
After his clerkship, Mr. Rosenstein joined the U.S. Department of Justice through the Attorney General’s Honors Program. From 1990 to 1993, he prosecuted public corruption cases as a trial attorney with the Public Integrity Section of the Criminal Division, then led by Assistant Attorney General Robert S. Mueller, III.
During the Clinton Administration, Mr. Rosenstein served as Counsel to Deputy Attorney General Philip B. Heymann (1993–1994) and Special Assistant to Criminal Division Assistant Attorney General Jo Ann Harris (1994–1995). As an Associate Independent Counsel from 1995 to 1997, he was co-counsel in the trial of three defendants who were convicted of fraud, and he supervised the investigation that found no basis for criminal prosecution of White House officials who had obtained FBI background reports.
United States Attorney Lynne A. Battaglia hired Mr. Rosenstein as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in 1997. He litigated a wide range of cases, coordinated the credit card fraud and international assistance programs and supervised the law student intern program. He also briefed and argued cases in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
From 2001 to 2005, Mr. Rosenstein served as Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Tax Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. He coordinated the tax enforcement activities of the Tax Division, the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the IRS, and he supervised 90 attorneys and 30 support employees. He also oversaw civil litigation and served as the acting head of the Tax Division when Assistant Attorney General Eileen J. O'Connor was unavailable, and he personally briefed and argued civil appeals in several federal appellate courts.
President George W. Bush nominated Mr. Rosenstein to serve as United States Attorney for the United States District Court for the District of Maryland on May 23, 2005. He took office on July 12, 2005, after the United States Senate unanimously confirmed his nomination. As United States Attorney, he oversees federal civil and criminal litigation and develops and implements federal law enforcement strategies in Maryland. He also continues personally to litigate cases in the U.S. District Court and in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
The Attorney General appointed Mr. Rosenstein to serve on the Advisory Committee of U.S. Attorneys, which evaluates and recommends policies for the Department of Justice. He is vice-chair of the Violent and Organized Crime Subcommittee and a member of the Subcommittees on White Collar Crime, Sentencing Issues and Cyber/Intellectual Property Crime. He also serves on the Attorney General’s Anti-Gang Coordination Committee.
Mr. Rosenstein is on the Board of Directors of the Maryland State’s Attorneys’ Association and of the Maryland chapter of the Federal Bar Association. He is the Core City U.S. Attorney for the Mid-Atlantic Region of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force and serves on the Washington/Baltimore High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Executive Board. He also is a member of the Baltimore City Criminal Justice Coordinating Council.
As an adjunct professor, Mr. Rosenstein teaches classes on federal criminal prosecution at the University of Maryland School of Law and trial advocacy at the University of Baltimore School of Law. He also serves on the faculty of a trial advocacy seminar at Georgetown University Law Center. He often speaks about law enforcement issues and government service at public events and legal seminars.
Mr. Rosenstein is an active member of the Maryland and District of Columbia bars and of numerous federal court bars. He belongs to the Maryland, Federal and American Bar Associations. He is a barrister of the Edward Bennett Williams Inn of Court and a member of the Lawyers’ Round Table of Baltimore.
Fourth Circuit nomination under Bush
On November 15, 2007, President George W. Bush nominated Mr. Rosenstein to a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit to a seat vacated by Francis Dominic Murnaghan, Jr., who had died on August 31, 2000.
On October 12, 2000, President Bill Clinton had nominated African-American federal district court judge Andre M. Davis to replace Murnaghan. The nomination was a part of Clinton's effort to integrate the Fourth Circuit, which up to that point had never had an African-American Circuit Court of Appeals judge. However, since Davis was nominated after July 1, 2000, the unofficial start date of the Thurmond Rule during a presidential election year, no hearings were scheduled on his nomination, and the nomination was returned to Clinton at the end of his term.
Bush unsuccessfully attempted to fill the seat three times. During the spring of 2001, Bush intended to nominate Washington, D.C. lawyer Peter Keisler, a resident of Bethesda, Maryland, to the Maryland seat on the Fourth Circuit, but was blocked from doing so by Democratic senators Paul Sarbanes and Barbara Mikulski on the grounds that he wasn't sufficiently a member of the Maryland legal community. Keisler later became a nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in 2006, which was also blocked by the Senate, and Acting United States Attorney General of the United States after the resignation of Alberto Gonzales in 2007.
In 2004, in an attempt to bypass the necessary approval of Democrats Sarbanes and Mikulski, Bush sought to transfer the open circuit seat to Virginia, which had two Republican senators at the time, John Warner and George Allen. He nominated Virginia resident Claude Allen, an African American member of the Bush administration, to succeed Murnaghan on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. Allen's nomination was opposed by the People for the American Way, the NAACP, and the National Organization for Women. Because of the opposition of Sarbanes and Mikulski, Allen's nomination was stalled in the Senate Judiciary Committee and lapsed on December 8, 2005. Bush chose not to renominate Allen.
Rosenstein, a state resident, was afterward nominated to fill the Maryland seat. Mikulski and new Democratic Maryland senator, Benjamin Cardin, blocked Rosenstein's confirmation, stating that he did not have strong enough Maryland legal ties, and due to this Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy did not schedule a hearing on Rosenstein during the 110th Congress and the nomination lapsed. Davis later was renominated to the same seat and confirmed by the Senate in 2009.