The U.S. Senate on Tuesday confirmed Judge Andrew Brasher of Alabama as the next judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit; Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) voted against his fellow Alabamian, while Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) proudly supported the confirmation.
Brasher, currently a federal judge on the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama, was nominated for the elevated position by President Donald J. Trump in November; the nomination was officially sent to the Senate last month.
Before being nominated by Trump for his current federal judgeship, Brasher was serving as Solicitor General of Alabama. As such, he worked for the Office of the Alabama Attorney General.
Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall hailed the Senate’s 52-43 vote to confirm Brasher on Tuesday.
“The Senate’s confirmation of Judge Andrew Brasher to the U.S. Court of Appeals is a victory for the rule of law,” Marshall said in a statement.
“Judge Brasher’s deep record of public service, combined with his impeccable legal credentials, more than qualify him for a seat on the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. I am especially proud of his contributions as Solicitor General for the State of Alabama, where he successfully argued cases before the Alabama Supreme Court, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court. Without a doubt, Judge Brasher will bring a renewed focus to upholding the law as he assumes his new position on the federal appeals court,” he added.
As each respectively did on Brasher’s confirmation to district court, Jones voted against the nominee on Tuesday, while Shelby voted affirmatively to confirm.
Ahead of the latest confirmation vote, Shelby also delivered remarks on the Senate floor regarding his staunch support for the nominee.
“Andrew Brasher’s confirmation to sit on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit is a testament to his vast legal ability and commitment to upholding the rule of law as it is written,” Shelby stated after the vote. “I believe Judge Brasher has served with impartiality, integrity, and purpose as a district judge, and I am confident he will continue to do so in this new capacity. I commend President Trump on his decision to nominate Judge Brasher to the Eleventh Circuit and know that his dedication to justice will contribute to the respected standards of our nation’s judicial system.”
Brasher has won two “Best Brief Award” honors from the National Association of Attorneys General. Before his appointment as state solicitor general in 2014, he served for several years as deputy solicitor general.
Before joining the attorney general’s office in that capacity, 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 11th 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.
Ahead of Marshall’s time as attorney general, Brasher served in the office of then-Attorney General Luther Strange.
Strange has supported Brasher’s respective nominations and lauded the latest confirmation.
Congratulations to my friend and former Solicitor General Judge Andrew Brasher on being confirmed by the Senate to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals! And on a personal note a big thank you to @senatemajldr and my former Senate colleagues for confirming such an outstanding nominee https://t.co/RKGdyIrop8
— Luther Strange (@lutherstrange) February 11, 2020
Jones on Monday also voted against Brasher’s confirmation coming to a final vote.
Mike Davis, the founder of the Article III Project and former chief nominations counsel for the Senate Judiciary Committee and clerk for Justice Neil Gorsuch, has tweeted out his derision of Jones’ opposition to Brasher. You can read that tweet thread here.
Bless your heart.
You voted to remove President @realDonaldTrump.
And then you just voted against Judge Andrew Brasher, an Alabama star.
Silver Lining:@MSNBC *may* hire you as a liberal mouthpiece, after Alabamans boot you out of office in November.
— Mike Davis (@mrddmia) February 11, 2020
In a statement to Yellowhammer News, Davis said, “The Article III Project is pleased the Senate voted to promote Judge Andrew Brasher to the 11th Circuit. Senate Democrats, pushed by their leftwing allies, should be ashamed of themselves for the smears on a nominee who even the liberal American Bar Association unanimously rated as ‘well qualified.'”
Brasher is now Trump’s 51st confirmed circuit judge; for context, President Barack Obama appointed 55 over his entire presidency.
The Alabamian will succeed U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit Chief Judge Ed Carnes, who is taking senior status on June 30 at the earliest. Brasher will have to wait until then for the seat to actually open up. He will be Trump’s second-youngest circuit court appointee when he officially takes the bench.
UPDATE 8:35 p.m.
In a statement, Jones press secretary Caroline Stonecipher said, “Senator Jones did not support his nomination to the district court and has not seen any new information that would change his position. That being said, Judge Brasher currently serves on the bench and Senator Jones wishes him well going forward.”
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn