Former Jones Day associate Eric E. Murphy was confirmed to a seat on the Sixth Circuit on Thursday.
The Ohio solicitor general, who recently appeared before the Supreme Court in an elections lawsuit, was confirmed 52-46. He is the second Jones Day alum to be confirmed this week, following Chad Readler, cleared by the Senate on Wednesday.
President Donald Trump flagged Murphy for the post, which spans Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee.
Murphy, 40, faced scathing opposition from Ohio’s Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown. In closing comments, he accused the Republican majority of continually voting for judges who have “put their thumb on the scales of justice,” allegedly dismantling rights that hurt workers and consumers by bowing to Wall Street.
Brown took issue with Murphy’s prior moves to restrict access to contraception, defend Big Tobacco and oppose marriage equality. Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson came to Murphy’s defense, urging senators not to castigate one side.
As state solicitor, Murphy defended Ohio’s ban on same-sex marriage and its use of sedative Midzolam in state executions.
In June 2018, Murphy’s defense of Ohio’s voter purge narrowly swayed a divided Supreme Court, which ruled the state’s strict voter registration practices don’t violate federal law.
Since Murphy took the post in 2013, the National Association of Attorneys General has awarded his office its Best Brief award three times.
Murphy worked at Jones Day’s Columbus office from 2007 to 2013, focusing on complex trial and appellate litigation and taking multiple appeals cases to federal court.
Murphy holds a bachelor’s degree from Miami University of Ohio and a law degree from the University of Chicago. He’s clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy and Fourth Circuit Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson.
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