Nashville attorney Jane Branstetter Stranch has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate as a member of the Sixth U.S. Court of Appeals, ending a more than one-year wait — the longest wait in the nation — for an Obama nominee to a Court of Appeals position.
The senate confirmed her nomination Monday by a vote of 71 to 21, with Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker affirming.
Addressing his colleagues on the floor of the Senate, Alexander said Stranch's father, Cecil Branstetter, must hold a point of special pride in the vote as he was the man who introduced legislation in the Tennessee State Legislature in the 1950s to allow women to serve on a jury.
President Obama nominated Stranch on Aug. 7, 2009, to fill the vacancy left when Judge Martha Daughtrey assumed senior status earlier that year
Her confirmation process took longer than most expected. The Senate Judiciary Committee voted — 15 to 4 — to forward her nomination to the full Senate. The hearing was relatively uneventful with only two committee members (Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn. and Jeff Sessions, R-Ala.) showing up to question her.
A date has not been set for Stranch to be sworn in to the lifetime appointment.
Stranch was born on Sept. 17, 1953, in Nashville. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1975 and law degree in 1978 from Vanderbilt University and Vanderbilt School of Law, respectively.
Her law practice centered around labor and employment law, specializing in ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act) litigation. She has practiced before the Tennessee Regulatory Authority, has taught law at Belmont University and has worked on the AFL-CIO Lawyers Coordinating Committee. She has been a member of the law firm Branstetter, Stranch & Jennings PLLC.