The U.S. Senate on Tuesday confirmed Hennepin County Judge Nancy Brasel as a Minnesota federal judge, filling a vacancy that has remained open since 2016.
DFL Gov. Mark Dayton appointed Brasel to the Fourth Judicial District in 2011 after she spent three years as an assistant federal prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Minnesota. Before joining the bench, she spent more than a decade in private practice at the law firms Stinson Leonard Street and Greene Espel, focusing on business and employment litigation.
Brasel was managing editor of the Minnesota Law Review and earned her law degree from the University of Minnesota. She also attended the University of Texas at Austin and Trinity University.
"Judge Brasel is a dedicated public servant whose extensive legal experience makes her extremely well-qualified for the job," said U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., who had urged colleagues for months to confirm Brasel.
Eric Tostrud, a Minneapolis private attorney and professor at Mitchell Hamline School of Law, is also expected to be confirmed by the Senate by the end of next week.
President Donald Trump nominated Brasel and Tostrud for the federal bench in February after a long search process that included selection committees commissioned by both of Minnesota's Democratic senators before the 2016 election and, later, another led by Rep. Erik Paulsen, Minnesota's senior Republican congressman.
Both nominees were rated as "well-qualified" by the American Bar Association, Klobuchar said. Brasel's background bucks that of many Trump nominees: She was appointed to the Hennepin County court by Dayton and donated to Klobuchar's campaign coffers more than a decade ago while in private practice.
Staff writer Stephen Montemayor contributed to this report.