New York’s Democratic Senators share a split in recommending candidates for the federal bench, with the more junior Kirsten Gillibrand getting one pick for every three or four that the more senior Chuck Schumer gets. After nominating four Schumer picks to New York District Courts, the White House has chosen Gillibrand selection Jennifer Rochon.
Born in 1970 in Michigan, Jennifer Louise Rochon received her B.A. from the University of Michigan in 1992 and, after volunteering with the Peace Corps, a J.D. in 1997 from New York University School of Law. After law school, Rochon clerked for Judge Maryanne Trump Barry on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, before joining Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel, where she became a Partner in 2006. Since 2013, Rochon has been general counsel for Girl Scouts of the USA.
History of the Seat
Rochon has been nominated to the vacancy on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York vacated on May 1, 2021 by Judge George Daniels’ move to senior status. Rochon was recommended for the vacancy by Gillibrand and was nominated on December 15, 2021.
Rochon has made occasional political donations throughout her career, including donations to Biden, Reps. Antonio Delgado, Anthony Brindisi, and Max Rose.
Rochon spent the first thirteen years of her post-clerkship career at Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel, where she served both as associate and as a litigation partner. Early in her career, she represented immigration organizations as amici in constitutional challenges to the Immigration and Nationality Act. See Patel v. Zemski, 275 F.3d 299 (3d Cir. 2001); Phu Chan Hoang v. Comfort, 282 F.3d 1247 (10th Cir. 2002); Welch v. Ashcroft, 293 F.3d 213 (4th Cir. 2002).
Among her more prominent cases, Rochon represented a dental floss manufacturer in a false advertising suit against Pfizer for claims that its mouthwash was as effective as flossing, securing a preliminary injunction against the challenged advertising. See McNeil-PPC, Inc. v. Pfizer, Inc., 351 F. Supp. 2d 226 (S.D.N.Y. 2005).
In 2013, Rochon, a third generation girl scout herself, was appointed to be the first general counsel for the Girl Scouts of America, where she currently serves.
Coming from an in-house environment, Rochon would come to the bench with a slightly different background that most federal judges. Additionally, her affiliation with the Girl Scouts, an organization that is widely praised across the political spectrum, is also likely to garner Rochon bipartisan support for confirmation.