Michael B. Brennan

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Michael B. Brennan
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
Assumed office
May 11, 2018
Appointed byDonald Trump
Preceded byTerence T. Evans
Judge of the Milwaukee County Circuit Court
In office
January 2000 – November 30, 2008
Appointed byTommy Thompson
Personal details
Born1963 (age 55–56)
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
EducationUniversity of Notre Dame (BA)
Northwestern University School of Law (JD)

Michael Brian Brennan (born 1963) is a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. He was previously a partner in the Milwaukee law firm Gass Weber Mullins LLC.

Education and clerkships[edit]

Brennan received his Bachelor of Arts degree in government and philosophy, cum laude, from the University of Notre Dame in 1986, and his Juris Doctor from Northwestern University School of Law in 1988, where he served as the coordinating note and comment editor of the Northwestern University Law Review and won the Julius H. Miner Moot Court Competition.

Brennan served as a law clerk to Chief Judge Robert W. Warren of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin from 1989–91 and also for Judge Daniel Anthony Manion of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit from 1995–97.[1]

Legal career[edit]

From 1991 to 1995, Brennan was a litigation associate in the Milwaukee office of Foley & Lardner LLP. He later became an assistant district attorney in Milwaukee County, where he first-chaired numerous trials.

In 1999, Brennan was appointed by Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson to serve as a judge of the Milwaukee County Circuit Court. Taking office in January 2000, he served in this position until November 30, 2008, presiding over almost 300 trials and thousands of motions in criminal and civil cases. During that time, he served as the presiding judge of the civil division of that court.[2]

Brennan returned to private practice in 2009 and became a partner at the law firm of Gass Weber Mullins, where he was a trial lawyer in the area of commercial litigation and handles appeals in federal and state courts. He was a partner before being confirmed to the Seventh Circuit. Brennan is a mediator and an AAA certified arbitrator and has published more than 50 articles on federal practice and procedure and criminal sentencing.[2]

Federal judicial service[edit]

On August 3, 2017, President Trump nominated Brennan to serve as a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, to the seat vacated by Judge Terence T. Evans, who assumed senior status on January 17, 2010.[3] On January 3, 2018, his nomination was returned to the President under Rule XXXI, Paragraph 6 of the United States Senate.[4]

Upon the announcement of his nomination, Senator Tammy Baldwin criticized President Trump for bypassing the bipartisan commission composed to vet potential judicial candidates. She withheld her blue slip. However, her Republican counterpart in the Senate, Senator Ron Johnson, praised the nomination.[5]

On January 5, 2018, President Donald Trump announced his intent to renominate Brennan to the Seventh Circuit.[6] On January 8, 2018, his renomination was sent to the Senate.[7] On January 24, 2018, a hearing on his nomination was held before the Senate Judiciary Committee.[8]

On February 15, 2018, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted on a party line vote to report Brennan's nomination. Democrats strongly objected to the vote, noting that Senator Tammy Baldwin was still withholding her blue slip.[9][10] On May 9, 2018, the Senate agreed to invoke cloture on his nomination by a vote of 49–47.[11] Brennan's nomination was confirmed on May 10, 2018, by a vote of 49–46.[12] He received his judicial commission on May 11, 2018.

Affiliations and awards[edit]

Brennan is the founder of the Milwaukee chapter of the Federalist Society. He has served as a member of the Wisconsin Legislative Council's Special Committee on Crimes against Children.[2] Brennan also chaired the Wisconsin Governor's Judicial Selection Advisory Committee.[13] He received a special commendation from the United States Department of Justice for his service as a member of the National Advisory Committee on Violence Against Women.[14]

Electoral history[edit]

Milwaukee County Circuit Court – Branch 15 Election Results, April 3, 2001
Party Candidate Votes %
Nonpartisan Michael B. Brennan (incumbent)
Total votes 100.00%
Milwaukee County Circuit Court – Branch 15 Election Results, April 3, 2007[15]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Nonpartisan Michael B. Brennan (incumbent) 66,617 100.00% ±0.00%
Majority 66,617 100.00% ±0.00%
Total votes 66,617 100.00%

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "President Donald J. Trump Announces Sixth Wave of Judicial Candidates and Fifth Wave of U.S. Attorney Candidates", White House, August 3, 2017
  2. ^ a b c Severino, Carrie (August 4, 2017). "Who is Mike Brennan?". National Review. Retrieved August 17, 2017.
  3. ^ "Eighteen Nominations Sent to the Senate Today", White House, August 3, 2017
  4. ^ "Congressional Record", United States Senate, January 3, 2018
  5. ^ Marley, Patrick (August 4, 2017). "Baldwin: Trump ignored bipartisan panel by nominating Gov. Scott Walker ally to 7th Circuit Court of Appeals". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved November 11, 2017.
  6. ^ "President Donald J. Trump Announces Renomination of 21 Judicial Nominees", White House, January 5, 2018
  7. ^ "Nominations Sent to the Senate Today", The White House, January 8, 2018
  8. ^ United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary: Nominations for January 24, 2018
  9. ^ Results of Executive Business Meeting – February 15, 2018, Senate Judiciary Committee
  10. ^ Quinn, Melissa (February 15, 2018). "Democrats fume as GOP ignores Senate tradition to approve Trump's judicial nominee". The Washington Examiner. Retrieved February 15, 2018.
  11. ^ U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 115th Congress – 2nd Session United States Senate Vote Summary: Vote Number 88, United States Senate, May 9, 2018
  12. ^ "On the Nomination (Confirmation Michael B. Brennan, of Wisconsin, to be U.S. Circuit Judge for the Seventh Circuit)". United States Senate. May 10, 2018. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
  13. ^ Vielmetti, Bruce (May 11, 2011). "Michael Brennan to lead Walker's judicial advisory group". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved August 17, 2017.
  14. ^ "Michael Brennan". Gass Weber Mullins. Retrieved August 17, 2017.
  15. ^ "Recap – The Milwaukee County Board of Election Commissioners – Spring Election, April 3, 2007" (PDF). Milwaukee County, Wisconsin. Milwaukee County Board of Election Commissioners. April 3, 2007. Retrieved May 11, 2018.

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Terence T. Evans
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit