Bench Memos

Law & the Courts

Who is Judge Richard Sullivan?

Judge Richard Sullivan is President Trump’s nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit from New York.

Age: 54

Current Position: U.S. District Judge, Southern District of New York (New York, NY)

Education:

  • B.A., College of William & Mary (1986)
  • J.D., Yale Law School (1990)

Judicial Clerkships: Judge David Ebel, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit (1990-91)

Experience:

  • 1991-1994: Associate, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz LLP (New York, NY)
  • 1994-2005: Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York (New York, NY)
  • 2005-2007: Deputy General Counsel and General Counsel, Marsh Inc. (New York, NY)
  • 2007-Present: U.S. District Judge, Southern District of New York (New York, NY)

Notable Matters:

  • President George W. Bush nominated Sullivan to be a U.S. District Judge in 2007, and he was confirmed by a vote of 99-0.
  • As a federal prosecutor, Sullivan served as Chief of the International Narcotics Trafficking Unit and oversaw the prosecution of major drug rings.
  • Sullivan prosecuted Mario Villanueva Madrid, a major drug trafficker who was the Governor of the Mexican State of Quintana Roo.

Awards

  • Prosecutor of the Year, Federal Law Enforcement Association (1998); Henry L. Stimson Medal, New York City Bar Association (2003)

 Professional Activities

  • Judge Sullivan is an Adjunct Professor and Fordham University Law School and Columbia Law School, and teaches classes on White Collar Crime, Trial Advocacy, and Sentencing.
  • He is a frequent speaker and panelist at Federalist Society events and also serves on the executive board for the New York American Inn of Court.

Biographical Notes

  • Judge Sullivan is originally from Manhasset, New York and is a graduate of Chaminade High School in Mineola, New York.
Carrie Severino is chief counsel and policy director to the Judicial Crisis Network.

Most Popular

White House

The Trivialization of Impeachment

We have a serious governance problem. Our system is based on separation of powers, because liberty depends on preventing any component of the state from accumulating too much authority -- that’s how tyrants are born. For the system to work, the components have to be able to check each other: The federal and ... Read More
U.S.

‘Texodus’ Bodes Badly for Republicans

‘I am a classically trained engineer," says Representative Will Hurd, a Texas Republican, "and I firmly believe in regression to the mean." Applying a concept from statistics to the randomness of today's politics is problematic. In any case, Hurd, 42, is not waiting for the regression of our politics from the ... Read More
Culture

Feminists Have Turned on Pornography

Since the sexual revolution of the 1960s, the feminist movement has sought to condemn traditional sexual ethics as repressive, misogynistic, and intolerant. As the 2010s come to a close, it might be fair to say that mainstream culture has reached the logical endpoint of this philosophy. Whereas older Americans ... Read More
Culture

Not Less Religion, Just Different Religion

The Pew Poll tells us that society is secularizing -- particularly among the young -- and who can deny it? That is one reason that the free expression of religion is under such intense pressure in the West. But it seems to me that we aren't really becoming less religious. Rather, many are merely changing that ... Read More
Elections

In Defense of Tulsi

Some years ago, a liberal-minded friend of mine complained during lunch that Fox News was “stealing” his elderly parents. “They should be enjoying retirement,” he said, noting that they live in a modest but comfortable style with attentive children and grandchildren to enjoy. “But instead,” he sighed, ... Read More