Richard B. Russell Federal Building
Richard B. Russell Federal Building (John Disney/Daily Report)

Three new federal judge picks for Georgia come with the package of nominees President Donald Trump announced Thursday.

Michael Brown of Alston & Bird and Georgia Court of Appeals Judge William “Billy” Ray II are Trump’s picks to fill openings on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. Georgia Court of Appeals Judge Tripp Self is Trump’s choice for the Middle District of Georgia.

Georgia’s U.S. senators cheered the choices in a news release following the White House announcement Thursday.

“The president has nominated three outstanding Georgians, and I look forward to working with them as they go through the confirmation process in the Senate,” Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Georgia, said in the joint release.

“President Trump nominated an impressive and qualified group of individuals to fill the vacant federal judgeships in the Middle and Northern Districts of Georgia,” said Sen. David Perdue, R-Georgia. “I look forward to meeting with Mike Brown, William Ray and Tripp Self as they go through the Senate confirmation process.”

The senators included the statement from the White House, which simply announced the president’s intent to nominate 11 people for federal judgeships around the country. The White House included a brief paragraph of background information on each.

Brown is co-chair of Alston & Bird’s white collar and government investigations practice group. Previously, Brown served as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Northern District of Georgia and in the Southern District of Florida. Before entering government service, Brown spent four years as a litigation associate in the Atlanta office of King & Spalding. Brown clerked for Judge J.L. Edmondson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in Atlanta. He received his B.A. from Georgetown University and his J.D. from the University of Georgia law school.

Before joining the Court of Appeals, Ray served 10 years as a Gwinnett County Superior Court judge. He was a member of the Georgia State Senate and was a partner in the Gwinnett County law firm of Andersen, Davidson & Tate. Ray earned a B.B.A and an M.B.A. from the University of Georgia Terry College of Business and a J.D. from the University of Georgia law school.

Self began serving on the Court of Appeals in January, appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal. Previously, Self was a judge for 10 years on the Macon Judicial Circuit Superior Court. Before that, Self was in private practice in Macon. He’s a former field artillery officer in the U.S. Army. Self received his B.S. from The Citadel and his J.D. from the University of Georgia law school.