Minnesota’s federal bench will soon return to full strength for the first time in more than two years after the U.S. Senate on Thursday confirmed Minneapolis attorney and law professor Eric Tostrud to be the district’s latest federal judge.
Tostrud advanced out of the Senate via a unanimous voice vote to become the second President Donald Trump nominee in as many weeks to be confirmed for a pair of Minnesota court vacancies left open since 2016. Tostrud and Hennepin County Judge Nancy Brasel now await their swearing-in, to come after Trump signs a presidential commission for each.
A William Mitchell College of Law alum, Tostrud spent more than 26 years at the Lockridge Grindal Nauen firm and also clerked for the late U.S. District Judge Edward Devitt and Circuit Judge George MacKinnon in Washington, D.C. Tostrud has also taught in the areas of federal jurisdiction and court procedure at Mitchell Hamline School of Law and the University of Minnesota law school.
Tostrud attended college with and later served as finance chairman for U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen, R-Minn., who backed Tostrud after setting up a judicial selection committee after Trump’s election. In a statement, Paulsen said Tostrud’s “legal experience and temperament will make him an outstanding addition to Minnesota’s U.S. District Court.”
“I’ve known Eric for many years — he is a man of deep integrity and keen intellect,” Paulsen said. “The bipartisan support he earned in the Senate is well-deserved and I have no doubt he’ll be a fair and impartial voice on Minnesota’s federal bench.”
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., said she was “happy for [Tostrud and Brasel], as well as our state — they will both be fine judges.”
Tostrud has taught and practiced in federal legal matters for most of his law career in Minnesota, working with clients in cases covering Medicare fraud and federal health law.
Tostrud was among several district court judges confirmed Thursday, about a week after Brasel and six other Trump nominees made it through at a time in which the Senate is not known for taking up district court judicial nominations. They are poised to fill seats previously held by Judges Ann Montgomery and Donovan Frank, who have since assumed senior status.