Business & Practice

Attorney Who Advocated Anti-Abortion Views Confirmed as Judge

July 24, 2019, 8:45 PM

A private attorney who’s publicly expressed anti-abortion views was confirmed by the Senate on July 24 to a district judgeship in Nebraska, the latest appointee Republicans have pushed through as they and President Donald Trump reshape the judiciary with conservatives.

Brian Buescher, who took an anti-abortion stance during an unsuccessful 2014 bid for Nebraska attorney general, was approved 51 to 40 on a party-line vote to the U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska.

He had previously come under fire by Senate Democrats for statements he made about abortion during his campaign, saying he was “avidly pro-life” and in favor of outlawing abortion altogether.

Buescher at his confirmation hearing said he would respect and apply U.S. Supreme Court precedent about abortion despite his personal beliefs. He has been a member of the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternal service organization, since 2007.

He’s a partner at Kutak Rock in Omaha, where he leads the firm’s agribusiness litigation team. Buescher has been at Kutak Rock since graduating from Georgetown University Law Center in 2000.

The Senate on Wednesday also confirmed Wendy Williams Berger 54 to 37 to a judgeship on the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida. Three Democrats—Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Doug Jones of Alabama, and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona—voted in her favor.

She has served as a judge on Florida’s Fifth District Court of Appeal since 2012, and before that worked as a circuit judge on the state’s Seventh Judicial Circuit. Berger received in 2005 a recognition for outstanding service to the administration of justice by then-Governor Jeb Bush.

President Donald Trump has so far nominated 131 judges to lifetime appointments, including 86 district judges, 43 appeals court judges, and two Supreme Court justices.

— With assistance from Patrick Gregory

To contact the reporter on this story: Jake Holland in Washington at jholland@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jessie Kokrda Kamens at jkamens@bloomberglaw.com; John Crawley at jcrawley@bloomberglaw.com

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