U.S. Attorney Rose recommended for federal judgeship

Stephanie M. Rose, the U.S attorney for the Northern District of Iowa in Cedar Rapids, has been recommended to fill a vacancy on the federal District Court for the Southern District of Iowa.

Stephanie Rose

Sen. Tom Harkin recommended Rose as well as Karen Romano, am Iowa trial judge and former Polk County prosecutor, and Mary Tabor, who has served since 2010 on the Iowa Court of Appeals.

The recommendations go to President Obama, who will appoint a replacement to Judge Robert Pratt, who plans to retire July 1.

Harkin said he made the recommendations “after carefully reviewing the records and qualifications of many outstanding attorneys in Iowa, talking to many members of the Iowa bar and community and interviewing a number of candidates.”

“Now that I have submitted these recommendations to the White House for consideration, I look forward to working with the president to fill this important position as quickly as possible,” he said.


From 1987 through 1996, Romano has served as a prosecutor for Polk County. As a prosecutor, she spent five years in the Juvenile Bureau, representing the state in delinquency, child in need of assistance, and termination of parental rights maters.  She then spent four years prosecuting felonies, including homicides, sexual abuse and child abuse matters.

Since 1996, Romano has served as a trial court judge in Iowa, handling both civil and criminal matters.  As a judge, she has a reputation as an excellent jurist with a great sense of fairness and respect for the law.

Before serving as U.S. Attorney, Rose served as an assistant U.S. attorney for 12 years.  In that time, she was lead counsel in more than 260 criminal felony cases and an associate counsel to over 50 additional felony cases. She appeared before the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals 34 times.  In her capacity as a prosecutor, she has worked to prosecute violent criminals and drug traffickers, and she has been a leader in prosecuting complex nationwide illegal Internet pharmacy cases. Rose also has participated in the crafting of national policy through her work on numerous Department of Justice committees. For example, she is the Eighth Circuit representative on the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee.

Since May, 2010, Tabor has served as a judge on the Iowa Court of Appeals, the state’s intermediate appellate court.  Prior to her appointment, from 1993 until 2010, she worked in the Criminal Appeals Bureau of the Iowa Department of Justice, the last 10 as the Appeals Division’s director

Particularly through her work in the Appeals Bureau, Tabor developed an expertise in criminal and constitutional law. Tabor supervised an office that opened nearly 800 new cases each year and filed about 375 briefs annually, including both state direct appeals and federal habeas cases. She also represented the state in defending the constitutionality of numerous statutes. Both as an appellate lawyer and judge, she has a reputation as an outstanding lawyer with a brilliant legal mind and a strong sense of fairness and commitment to justice.

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