Colleen McMahon (born 1951) is a United States federal judge.
Born in Columbus, Ohio, McMahon received a B.A. from Ohio State University in 1973 and a J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1976. She was in private practice in New York from 1976 to 1995, except for a period from 1979 to 1980 when she was a speechwriter and special assistant to the Hon. Donald McHenry of the United States Mission to the United Nations. She was a judge on the New York Court of Claims, New York Supreme Court, from 1995 to 1998.
On May 21, 1998, McMahon was nominated by President Bill Clinton to a seat on the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York vacated by John F. Keenan. McMahon was confirmed by the United States Senate on October 21, 1998, and received commission the next day. Among the cases over which she has presided was a defamation case brought by Drug Enforcement Administration agents against the makers of the film American Gangster, which was alleged to have portrayed such agents as being corrupt.
In that case, by sentencing time on June 29, she pointed out from the bench that the FBI played a key role. She says: "It created acts of terrorism out of his fantasies of bravado and bigotry,and then made those fantasies come true." And added: "Only the government could have made a terrorist out of Mr. Cromitie, whose buffoonery is positively Shakespearean in scope. Shahed Hussain became an all-star FBI informant, after his work with Fuller in the so called Newburgh Four case.
- Colleen McMahon at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center.
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