Senate Floor Statement by Senator Chuck Grassley
Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee
Elizabeth Branch to be U.S. Circuit Judge for the Eleventh Circuit
February 27, 2018
Mr. President, today the Senate is voting to confirm Judge Elizabeth Branch to serve as a U.S. Circuit Court Judge for the Eleventh Circuit. Judge Branch was favorably reported out of the Judiciary Committee on a 19-2 bipartisan vote. She has broad bipartisan support from her home state of Georgia. The American Bar Association rated Judge Branch as unanimously well-qualified. If the Senate confirms Judge Branch, as I’m confident it will, she will be the fourth woman confirmed by the Senate to the federal courts of appeals in the 115th Congress—three more than the one woman confirmed at this point in President Obama’s first term.
Judge Branch’s judicial career and broad range of legal experiences have well prepared her to serve on the Eleventh Circuit. Judge Branch was appointed to the Georgia Court of Appeals in 2012. In her time on the appellate bench, she has participated in over 1,500 cases. Before joining the bench, Judge Branch spent several years in private practice. She also served in government, including her role as a top lawyer for the Department of Homeland Security. Judge Branch received her B.A. from Davidson College and her J.D. from Emory. After law school, Judge Branch clerked for Judge Owen Forrester on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.
As I noted earlier, if confirmed, Judge Branch will become the fourth female circuit-court judge confirmed under President Trump. Her confirmation puts her in good company, joining a class of first-rate female jurists and legal scholars. She will join a group that includes: 7th Circuit Judge Amy Coney Barrett, a former professor at Notre Dame University Law School and law clerk to Justice Scalia; 10th Circuit Judge Allison Eid, a former Colorado Supreme Court Justice and law clerk to Justice Thomas; and 6th Circuit Judge Joan Larsen, another clerk of Justice Scalia and former Michigan Supreme Court Justice. I’m confident that Judge Branch will serve as an excellent addition to this outstanding class of female circuit-court judges.
Judge Branch’s impressive background and bipartisan support suggest that she will be an excellent court of appeals judge. I am pleased to support her nomination today.