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Alabama’s Andrew Brasher confirmed as federal judge

Trump-nominee Andrew Brasher, a resident of Montgomery, was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on Wednesday as the federal District Judge for the Middle District of Alabama.

Brasher was nominated for the federal judgeship by President Donald Trump in April 2018. In June, he appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee for consideration of his nomination and was favorably reported out of the committee.

In statements, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) and Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall praised Brasher’s confirmation. He was serving as the solicitor general of the state of Alabama until the Senate’s 52-47 vote on Wednesday. Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) voted against the confirmation.

“Andrew Brasher is an outstanding choice to serve as a district judge for the Middle District of Alabama,” Shelby said. “His judicial temperament and vast legal experience make him well-suited to assume this new role. I congratulate him on this honor and am confident that his integrity and commitment to the rule of law will further contribute to the high standard of our nation’s judicial system.”

In addition to Brasher’s confirmation, six Alabama judicial nominees, initially nominated by Trump in 2017, have been confirmed. Corey Maze, who was nominated by the president in 2018 to be a U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of Alabama, has been voted out of the Senate Judiciary Committee and is still awaiting confirmation by the full Senate.

Shelby’s office pointed to “historic obstruction by Democrats” that has occurred during the Trump administration’s attempt to confirm federal judges. The previous six presidents combined faced a total of 24 procedural votes on judicial nominees while Trump faced more than 100 during his first two years in office. To confirm Brasher on Wednesday, cloture had to be invoked.

This came after the Senate last month voted to reduce post-cloture debate time from 30 hours to two hours for certain executive and federal judicial nominations, including district court appointments, preventing further delay on confirming hundreds of qualified nominees.

Brasher has argued in the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and the Alabama Supreme Court as the state’s solicitor general. Brasher has tried cases in federal and state courts and won two “Best Brief Award” honors from the National Association of Attorneys General. Before his appointment as solicitor general in 2014, he served for several years as deputy solicitor general.

“It is hard to imagine anyone who is more qualified to take on the responsibility of a federal judgeship than Andrew Brasher,” Marshall emphasized. “He brings to the federal bench impeccable professional credentials as Alabama’s Solicitor General and Deputy Solicitor General for the last seven years, during which time he successfully argued cases before Alabama Supreme Court judges and U.S. Supreme Court justices.

Before joining the attorney general’s office, Brasher practiced in the litigation and white collar criminal defense practice groups in the prestigious Birmingham office of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP. Upon graduation from law school, he served as a law clerk to Alabama’s Judge William H. Pryor, Jr., of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Brasher earned his Bachelor of Arts with honors and summa cum laude, from Samford University, where he presently serves on the Board of Overseers, and his Juris Doctorate, cum laude, from Harvard Law School, where he was a member of the Harvard Law Review and winner of the Victor Brudney Prize.

Marshall concluded, “I was proud to support Mr. Brasher’s nomination by President Trump and I wish him all the best as the newest judge on the U.S. Middle District Court here in Alabama.”

New Alabama solicitor general appointed

On Wednesday, Marshall also announced the appointment of Edmund LaCour, Jr. to succeed Brasher as state solicitor general.

“I am pleased to announce the appointment of Edmund LaCour as the new Solicitor General of the State of Alabama,” the attorney general said.

Marshall added, “Mr. LaCour, a Wiregrass native, draws upon an impressive legal and academic background to lead my office’s legal team. He has served as Alabama’s Deputy Solicitor General since December 2018 and has already made his mark. In addition to arguing multiple appeals, he has drafted briefs in several important cases, including the State’s response to Mike Hubbard’s Alabama Supreme Court appeal. I look forward to his continued service on behalf of the State of Alabama here in the Attorney General’s Office.”

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn