Dakota County judge inches closer to Senate vote on U.S. attorney nomination

May 24, 2018 GMT

The U.S. attorneys office in Minnesota is a step closer to getting a presidentially appointed top prosecutor in place after a Senate committee on Thursday unanimously cleared President Trumps nominee for a final vote.

The Senate Judiciary committee voted to send Dakota County Judge Erica MacDonalds nomination to the full Senate for a vote that has not yet been scheduled. But in a tweet following the vote, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a member of the Judiciary Committee, wrote I dont anticipate any problems when the full Senate votes.

Judge MacDonald is a dedicated public servant who is well-qualified to serve as Minnesotas next U.S. attorney, Klobuchar later said in a statement Thursday. I had a good meeting with her earlier this year and I told the Department of Justice and the Administration that she would be a good candidate for the job. She received strong bipartisan support during todays Judiciary Committee hearing and I expect a swift confirmation in the Senate.


Trump nominated MacDonald, who is also a former federal prosecutor, last month to replace Andrew Luger, who was ordered to resign in March 2017. Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty appointed MacDonald, 51, to be a judge in Dakota County in 2010, and she was re-elected to the court in 2012.

Gregory Brooker, Lugers former first assistant, assumed the role of acting U.S. attorney after Lugers departure and has remained in the job following respective appointments this year by Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Minnesotas 11 federal judges as the office awaited a presidential appointee.

Trumps two nominees for federal judgeships in Minnesota are also awaiting a full Senate vote after the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to advance the nominations of Hennepin County Judge Nancy Brasel and law professor Eric Tostrud for a floor vote. They would fill vacancies that have been open since 2016.

Meanwhile, Minnesota is still without a nomination for U.S. marshal, which has also been vacant since 2016. The Star Tribune reported this month that Minnesota Public Safety Commissioner Mona Dohman has been vetted by the FBI for a possible nomination by the White House.

Stephen Montemayor 612-673-1755

Twitter: @smontemayor