Senate Judiciary Committee Advances Nominees Recommended by Portman, Brown for U.S. District Court Judge for the Northern District of Ohio

January 14, 2022 | Press Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today announced that the Senate Judiciary Committee voted yesterday to advance the nominations of Ms. Bridget Meehan Brennan, Mr. Charles Esque Fleming, and Judge David Augustin Ruiz by President Biden to serve as U.S. District Court Judges for the Northern District of Ohio. The Northern District has court locations in Akron, Cleveland, Toledo, and Youngstown. It serves over 6 million Ohioans in the 40 most northern counties in Ohio. The nominees must now be confirmed by the full U.S. Senate.

“I congratulate Ms. Brennan, Mr. Fleming, and Judge Ruiz on the Senate Judiciary Committee vote to report them from committee. These three nominees will serve the Northern District of Ohio with distinction and integrity and I look forward to their confirmation by the U.S. Senate,” said Portman.

“It was my honor to recommend these three highly qualified nominees to serve in the Northern District of Ohio. The swift passage of their nominations through committee is a testament to their qualifications. Each of these nominees brings with them not only impressive legal credentials, but also life experiences, empathy, and deep commitment to justice,” said Brown. “I look forward to their swift confirmation by the full Senate.”

Ms. Brennan would become the fifth woman presently on the bench in the Northern District, if confirmed. She has served as the Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio since January 2021. Ms. Brennan has held a number of leadership roles since joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 2007, including First Assistant from 2018 to 2021, Chief of the Criminal Division from 2017 to 2018, Chief of the Civil Rights Unit from 2015 to 2017, and Ethics Advisor from 2013 to 2018. She was previously an associate at Baker Hostetler LLP in Cleveland from 2000 to 2007. Ms. Brennan received her J.D. from Case Western Reserve School of Law in 2000 and her B.A. from John Carroll University in 1997.

If confirmed, Mr. Fleming would be the only African American man currently serving as an active-duty Federal District Court Judge for the Northern District. He has served as an Assistant Federal Public Defender in the Office of the Federal Public Defender for the Northern District of Ohio in Cleveland since 1991. In addition to serving as an Assistant Federal Public Defender, Mr. Fleming was the Investigative and Paralegal Staff Supervisor from 2010 to 2016 and the Cleveland Trial Team Supervisor from 2016 to 2021. He was an associate at Forbes, Forbes & Associates in Cleveland from 1990 to 1991. Mr. Fleming received his J.D. from Case Western Reserve University Law School in 1990 and his B.A. from Kent State University in 1986.

If confirmed, Judge Ruiz would be the first Latino federal judge in Ohio’s history. Judge Ruiz has served as a Magistrate Judge on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio since 2016. From 2010 to 2016, he served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Northern District of Ohio. From 2003 to 2010, Judge Ruiz worked as a senior attorney at Calfee Halter & Griswold LLP in Cleveland. From 2001 to 2003, Judge Ruiz has worked in private practice in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Judge Ruiz received a J.D. from Ohio State University Moritz College of Law in 2000 and a B.A. from Ohio State in 1997.