Nicholas G. Garaufis (born 1948 in Paterson, New Jersey) is a Senior United States District Judge serving on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. He was nominated by President Clinton on February 28, 2000, to a seat vacated by Charles P. Sifton and confirmed by the United States Senate on May 24, 2000. Garaufis received his commission on May 25, 2000.
Garaufis graduated from Columbia College of Columbia University in 1969 and received his law degree from Columbia Law School in 1974.
Nicholas G. Garaufis entered service as a United States District Judge in the Eastern District of New York on August 28, 2000. Judge Garaufis was nominated by President Clinton on February 28, 2000 upon the recommendation of U.S. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-NY). On May 24, 2000, the United States Senate confirmed Judge Garaufis by unanimous consent.
Prior to his appointment, Judge Garaufis served for more than five years as the Chief Counsel of the Federal Aviation Administration in Washington, D.C., overseeing a staff of 200 attorneys. Prior to his appointment to the Clinton Administration in June, 1995, Judge Garaufis served for nine years as counsel to Queens Borough President Claire Shulman in New York City.
Judge Garaufis began his legal career in 1974 as an associate of Chadbourne & Parke. He also served as an Assistant Attorney General in the Litigation Bureau of the New York State Attorney General’s office under Attorney General Louis J. Lefkowitz and has practiced law privately in Queens County, New York.
After receiving his B.A. from Columbia College in 1969, Judge Garaufis taught in New York City public schools. In 1974, he received his J.D. from the Columbia University School of Law. Judge Garaufis is married.
On July 16, 2012, Judge Garaufis ordered the New York City Fire Department to implement racial quotas to address grievances from minorities who failed entrance exams. His ruling requires hiring off a list of priority hire candidates, two of every five newly hired firefighters to be black and one of every five Hispanic, until the department has fulfilled the court-ordered quota of 186 black and 107 Hispanic hires or until the list is exhausted. This is due to a lawsuit that alleges two placement exams (Written Exams 7029 or 2043) for the FDNY were discriminatory against blacks and Hispanics, because fewer minorities passed the exam than whites.
Garaufis took senior status on October 1, 2014.