Minnesotas federal bench will soon be back 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 districts 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. Both Tostrud and Hennepin County Judge Nancy Brasel now await their formal swearing in by the districts chief judge, which must wait for Trump to sign a presidential commission for each judge.
Trump nominated Tostrud and Brasel in February, and the candidates made it through a Senate committee after being grilled on Capitol Hill in April.
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 J. Devitt and Circuit Judge George MacKinnon. Tostrud has also taught in the areas of federal jursidiction and court procedure at Mitchell Hamline School of Law and the Unversity of Minnesota law school.
Tostrud attended college with and later served as finance chairman for Rep. Erik Paulsen, R-Minn., who backed Tostrud after setting up a judicial selection committee following Trumps election. In a statement Thursday, Paulsen said Tostruds legal experience and temperament will make him an outstanding addition to Minnesotas U.S. District Court.
Ive 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 hell be a fair and impartial voice on Minnesotas federal bench.
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.
In a statement on behalf of the law firm Tostrud is about to leave, Dick Lockridge said Thursday that we are proud and thrilled. Eric will be an outstanding judge on the federal bench.
Tostrud was among eight district court judges confirmed Thursday, about a week after Brasel and seven 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 two seats previously held by Judges Ann Montgomery and Donovan Frank, who have since assumed senior status.