Two more of President Donald Trump’s judicial selections won Senate confirmation on Wednesday, adding more diversity to a field of predominantly white males.
Holly A. Brady, a partner at Haller & Colvin in Fort Wayne, cleared the chamber 56 to 42 and is headed to the Northern District of Indiana. David Steven Morales, a Hispanic, was confirmed 56 to 41. He’ll be seated at the Southern District of Texas.
Brady and Morales, a partner at Kelly Hart in Austin, were the third and fourth district court picks to be confirmed this week as the Republican-led Senate accelerates the pace of clearing judges through the chamber.
Brady has practiced law since 1994, and has focused generally on employment and labor law. Morales was chief legal adviser to Republican Texas Gov. Rick Perry from 2011-14. He’ll fill a seat that’s been vacant since 2011.
The ABA’s Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary rated Brady as “Qualified” and gave Morales its highest rating of “Well Qualified.”
Also on Wednesday, three other district court picks sailed through a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.
Sen. Ted Cruz, a Republican from Texas, jokingly congratulated the nominees for managing “to scare away every senator on the committee” besides himself.
The failure of other senators to show up and question the nominees was a testament to their qualifications for the bench, Cruz said.
Jeffrey Vincent Brown, nominated to the Southern District of Texas, is currently a justice on the Texas Supreme Court. He’s also a former associate at Baker Botts in Houston.
Stephanie L. Haines, nominated to the Western District of Pennsylvania, is an assistant U.S. attorney and also a judge advocate in the West Virginia Air National Guard with the rank of colonel. She’s tried more than 40 cases to verdict.
Brantley Starr, nominated to the Northern District of Texas, is a deputy first assistant attorney general in Texas. He’s been criticized by progressives for litigation stances he’s taken involving voting and transgender rights.
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