A long time federal prosecutor who currently heads the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio, Bridget Brennan’s support from Ohio Senators Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown makes her a likely candidate for a smooth confirmation.
Bridget Meehan Brennan received her B.A. from John Carroll University in 1997 and her J.D. from the Case Western Reserve University School of Law in 2000.
Brennan started her legal career as an associate at the Cleveland office of Baker Hostetler, where she worked until 2007. Since then, Brennan has been a federal prosecutor with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio. Brennan served as First Assistant with the office since 2018 and is currently the acting U.S. Attorney.
History of the Seat
Brennan has been nominated for a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. This seat was vacated on January 31, 2021, when Judge Dan Polster moved to senior status.
Brennan has worked in two capacities throughout her legal career: the first as an associate in private practice; and the second as a federal prosecutor. During her time in private practice, Brennan was part of the legal team for Progressive Corp., defending against a class action fighting an alleged policy of using cheap imitation parts to repair insured vehicles. See Augustus v. Progressive Corp., 2003-Ohio-296 (Ohio App. 8th 2003). She also defended the Cleveland Plain Dealer against a defamation complaint filed by a Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Peter Sikora. Sikora v. Plain Dealer Publ. Co., 2003-Ohio-328 (Ohio App. 8th 2003).
Since 2007, Brennan has been with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, serving in various capacities, including heading the Civil Rights Unit, the Criminal Division, and, since 2021, the entire office. Brennan was notably one of the lead prosecutors in the hate crime trial of Samuel Mullet, who attacked and cut the hair of religiously orthodox Amish with others. After convictions at trial, the Sixth Circuit overturned the hate crime convictions of Mullet and 15 others, finding that the jury should have been instructed that the religious belief of the victims was a “but for” cause of the attack, rather than a “significant factor.” See United States v. Miller, 767 F.3d 585, 589 (6th Cir. 2014). Brennan also prosecuted Randolph Linn, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison for setting fire to the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo.
With a largely uncontroversial record and the support of her home state senators, Brennan will likely be confirmed swiftly with little opposition.