Her former colleague, Georgia Court of Appeals Chief Judge Stephen Dillard, gave her the oath in their courtroom. Dillard had 12,000 Twitter followers. Word traveled fast. Afterward, Dillard’s court sent out a news release taking note of who attended the informal ceremony.
“Branch was surrounded by close family members, friends, Court of Appeals employees and members of her Boot Camp, who ran with her this morning,” the court’s announcement said.
“The Court of Appeals will greatly miss Judge Branch,” Dillard said in the news release. “Her legal talent was a great asset to this court, and she will shine on the federal bench as she has here.”
President Donald Trump nominated Branch to the federal court in 2017 and renominated her in 2018. The U.S. Senate confirmed her on Feb. 26 with a 73-23 vote. She received her commission from the president on Monday.
Gov. Nathan Deal appointed her to the Court of Appeals in 2012. Before that, she was a partner in the commercial litigation practice of Smith, Gambrell & Russell in Atlanta. She had also clerked for a federal judge and worked a stint for President George W. Bush in the Office of Management and Budget, plus a year as a Department of Homeland Security general counsel, according to Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Georgia, as he urged the Senate to confirm her.
Isakson saved a personal note for the end of his remarks—bringing up a rare reference to heaven and lawyers on the Senate floor.
“When Lisa went to Smith, Gambrell & Russell, she worked with a firm that represented my father, Ed Isakson and his company (Northside Realty) and represented me,” the senator said. “I’m sure that my father and his best friend Harold Russell—who is the Russell in Smith, Gambrell & Russell—are looking down from heaven today on this occasion.”