Senate Confirms 6 to Federal Benches in Bipartisan Votes

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON (CN) – Resuming its work on President Donald Trump’s judicial nominees after a month-long recess, the Senate on Wednesday afternoon confirmed six new judges to federal courts across the country.

The nominees were initially part of a larger package the Senate was set to consider before it left Washington for its August recess, but were held over until after the break. None were particularly controversial, earning significant bipartisan majorities on their way to the federal bench.

Included in the nominees confirmed Wednesday was Ada Brown, who will become the first black woman to sit on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas after an 80-13 vote in her favor Wednesday.

Brown currently serves on the Texas Fifth Court of Appeals, a job she took in 2013 after spending time as an attorney at the Dallas firm McKool Smith. She also worked as a prosecutor in the state and as a judge on the Dallas County Criminal Court Number 1.

Two of the nominees confirmed Wednesday were originally nominated by President Barack Obama, only to fall victim to the Republican blockade of judicial nominees at the end of the Obama administration.

Mary McElroy has served as Rhode Island public defender since 2012, her second stint in the job after holding the office from 1994 to 2006. McElroy also spent time as a federal public defender in Massachusetts from 2006 to 2012.

A Rhode Island native, McElroy was first nominated to a seat on the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island in 2015. Trump picked her for the seat in 2018 and a second time in May after she again did not get a vote in the Senate.

McElroy comes with the endorsement of Rhode Island’s senators, including Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democrat who serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Stephanie Gallagher, who is nominated to a seat on the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, has a similar story, having first been chosen for the position by Obama in 2015.

Gallagher currently serves as a U.S. magistrate judge on for the District of Maryland, a job she took in 2011 after working at the Baltimore firm Levin & Gallagher. She also spent time as a federal prosecutor and as an associate at the firm Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld.

Both were confirmed unanimously Wednesday.

Confirmed to the court 75-18, District of Georgia nominee Steven Grimberg is the managing director and general counsel at Nardello & Co. in Atlanta, having spent time as a federal prosecutor in Georgia from 2010 to 2017. Before becoming a federal prosecutor, Grimberg worked as a trial attorney at the Justice Department’s tax division.

Stephanie Haines, who will take a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, also has prosecutorial experience, having done the job in Johnstown, Pennsylvana, since 2007 and in West Virginia before that. She also worked as an attorney and prosecutor in the U.S. Army from 1996 to 1999.

Haines was confirmed 94-0.

Steven Seeger works as a senior trial counsel at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in Chicago and spent the previous 15 years at the branch of Kirkland & Ellis in the same city. A clerk to conservative D.C. Circuit judge David Sentelle, Seeger will take a seat in the Northern District of Illinois after a 90-1 vote.

%d bloggers like this: