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The U.S. Senate on Tuesday cleared the way for Minnesota's first Latino federal jurist, confirming state Appeals Court Judge Jeffrey Bryan's nomination for the federal bench in a 49-46 vote.

The historic confirmation makes Bryan, 47, the third Minnesota federal judge appointed by President Joe Biden, and it advanced out of the Senate with just weeks to spare and a still-packed agenda on Capitol Hill. Bryan replaces former Chief U.S. District Judge John Tunheim, who remains on the bench and will now assume senior status.

U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., said in an interview Tuesday that she spoke with Bryan moments after the Senate vote: "He's happy and he's ready to get to work tomorrow."

Bryan's July nomination gained bipartisan support, in part because Klobuchar highlighted his record both as a state judge and federal prosecutor. Before Gov. Tim Walz selected him for the Minnesota Court of Appeals in 2019, Bryan authored nearly 200 decisions as a Ramsey County District Court judge and was reversed just six times. He also worked as an assistant U.S. attorney in Minneapolis for six years and prosecuted a nationwide cocaine trafficking network that involved some 350 defendants.

"It matters in a moment in our country's history where there's so much vitriolic rhetoric and so much divide to have judges that are highly qualified, that are dignified and are well respected," Klobuchar said Tuesday.

U.S. Sen. Tina Smith, D-Minn., who alongside Klobuchar included Bryan among a list of nominees recommended by a judicial selection committee created by the senators, called Bryan's confirmation Tuesday a "testament to his considerable experience and commitment to the rule of law."

Bryan was twice a finalist for openings on the Minnesota Supreme Court dating back to 2018. He has been married for 20 years to Liz Kramer, who is the state's solicitor general in Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison's office.

Bryan served as a law clerk to U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson, who was appointed by President Ronald Reagan, from 2002 to 2003. He received his juris doctorate from Yale Law School in 2002 and graduated from the University of Texas in 1998.

"Judge Bryan brings to our bench a wealth of experience, as a law clerk, private practitioner, prosecutor, state trial judge, and state appellate judge," Chief U.S. District Judge Patrick Schiltz said after Bryan's confirmation. "He is extremely well qualified, and we are thrilled to welcome him back to the 'federal family.'"

Bryan is the 31st Latino to be appointed to a federal court by Biden — the most by any president in one term, said Carl Tobias, a University of Richmond law professor who tracks judicial selection nationally. Tobias described Bryan as a "highly experienced, mainstream judge" and was surprised that the vote was as close as it was given Bryan's "exceptional qualifications and his impressive confirmation process."

"Unfortunately, he is one of many Biden judicial nominees for whom relatively few GOP senators have cast yes votes," Tobias said. "The limited bipartisanship may be explained by the increasingly partisan and politicized federal judicial selection process and lock step voting by Republicans."