Michael (Mike) Brown was confirmed today by the U.S. Senate to a seat on the Northern District of Georgia bench, by a vote of 92-0. The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts had listed this open seat as a “Judicial Emergency” because the seat has been vacant for 1270 days, the 10th longest running vacancy in the country, and the added workload the Administrative Office calculated the vacancy has placed on the current Northern District of Georgia bench.
This seat has been vacated since July 31, 2014, when Judge Julie Carnes was elevated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. President Obama failed twice to fill this seat, unsuccessfully nominating both Michael Boggs, currently a Justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia, and Judge Dax Eric Lopez, a Georgia State Judge in Dekalb County.
According to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, there are currently 123 vacancies out of 677 authorized judgeships on the district court level, or 18% of district court judgeships. There are 39 district court nominees pending in the Senate. After Brown’s confirmation, there are still three judicial vacancies in Georgia, one in the Northern, Middle, and Southern District of Georgia courts, respectively. All of which have pending nominations by the Trump Administration.
Both Senator Johnny Isakson and Senator David Perdue applauded Brown as an outstanding nominee.
Senator Isakson, after his confirmation today, said, “Michael Brown is a great lawyer, federal prosecutor and outstanding citizen of our state whose experience will serve him well on the federal bench. I gave him my highest recommendation at his confirmation hearing, and I applaud him and the Senate on his confirmation.”
Senator Perdue said, while introducing Brown (and Georgia Court of Appeals Judge William Ray who is nominated to fill the other open seat in the Northern District of Georgia) to the U.S. Senate, “I’m proud to support both of these impressive nominees without reservation, and applaud the president for his selection of two such qualified and well-regarded Georgians to fill these seats on the federal bench in my state.”
Brown grew up in Atlanta, Georgia and graduated from the University of Georgia, School of Law with honors. He then proceeded to have a prestigious legal career, clerking for the U.S Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, serving as an assistant U.S. Attorney in both Georgia and Florida for 6 years, and working as an attorney at King & Spalding, before becoming a partner at Alston & Bird, where he presently co-chairs the government and internal investigation team.