Chief among the many things President Donald Trump will be remembered for will be his monumental shifting of the American judiciary to the right.
On Wednesday, the United States Senate confirmed two Texans, Deputy First Assistant Attorney General Brantley Starr and Texas Supreme Court Justice Jeff Brown, to the Northern and Southern Federal District Courts.
Deputy First Assistant AG Brantley Starr
Starr was nominated to the Northern District of Texas Court in March and was confirmed on Wednesday.
“Brantley Starr is a brilliant attorney and a dedicated public servant, but above all, he is a man of exceptional judgment and character. Brantley and I have worked side by side on many of the most complex and important legal challenges facing our state, and I have observed his dedication to the rule of law and his fidelity to the Constitution firsthand,” Attorney General Ken Paxton said. “As a federal judge, Brantley will continue to serve the people of Texas from the bench with the same integrity, dedication, and intellect he has been known for throughout his career.”
Starr, a native of Abilene and an Abilene Christian University and UT School of Law alumnus, clerked for Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett. After his clerkship, he served as an assistant solicitor general under Sen. Ted Cruz. Starr went on to practice commercial and appellate litigation at King & Spalding, L.L.P. before returning to public service as a staff attorney to Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman. He returned to the Texas attorney general’s office in 2015 as deputy attorney general for legal counsel before his promotion to deputy first assistant attorney general.
Starr is the eighth current or former AG staff member that President Trump appointed to the judiciary after Don Willet, James Ho, Kyle Duncan, and Andrew Oldham of the fifth circuit; Cam Barker and Sean Jordan of the Eastern District of Texas; and David Morales of the Southern District.
Texas Supreme Court Justice Jeff Brown
Justice Jeff Brown was also nominated and confirmed to the Southern District of Texas Court this week.
“Jeff Brown has served the people of Texas faithfully as a judge for 15 years at all three levels of the Texas judiciary,” Paxton said. “Brown has a proven record of excellence, professionalism, and fidelity to the Constitution. He decides cases based on the rule of law rather than personal preference. The federal courts will benefit greatly from President Trump’s decision to add his many years of state experience to the federal bench.”
Brown is a sixth-generation Texan who was born and raised in Dallas County, the son of a 35-year Dallas police officer. After earning his law degree from the University of Houston, Brown worked as a law clerk on the Supreme Court of Texas for Justices Jack Hightower and Greg Abbott, before concentrating on civil litigation practice with Baker Botts in Houston.
Prior to reaching the Texas Supreme Court, Justice Brown served six years each as a trial judge and an appellate justice. Brown’s judicial career in Texas began in 2001, when then-Gov. Perry appointed him to the 55th District Court, followed by an appointment to the 14th Court of Appeals six years later. Brown has served as a Justice of the Texas Supreme Court since his appointment by Perry in 2013.