Honorable Brian J. Davis receives Senate confirmation to serve on the U. S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida
Honorable Brian J. Davis (l) swearing in as Federal Judge on Dec. 30, 2013 with wife, Tanya Davis and by Honorable Judge Henry Lee Adams, Jr. (Photo by Frank M. Powell III)
By Marsha Dean Phelts
On Wednesday, Feb. 29, 2012, Circuit Judge Brian Davis was nominated by President Barack Obama to the U. S. District Court. After reviewing the stellar career and portfolio of Brian Davis, which included services in the firms of Mahoney, Hadlow & Adams as well as Brown, Terrell, Hogan, Ellis, McClamma & Yegelwel, P.A., Chief Assistant State Attorney and as Judge of the Fourth Judicial Circuit, President Obama submitted the nomination of Davis to the U. S. District Court.
The next step in this process would be confirmation by the United States Senate. But that’s when the proverbial partisan fight started. It would take the U. S Senate a total of 660 days before they confirmed the candidates. After two years of filibustering tactics, the Middle District having been declared an emergency situation with only two active district judges to handle a very heavy docket and the shutting down of the federal government in October 2013, the Senate finally confirmed the President’s nominations on Dec. 20, 2013.
During the two year interim supporters of Davis rallied by Congresswoman Corrine Brown, Attorney Evan Yegelwel and others who by the hundreds made phone calls and sent letters and messages of support urging the U. S. Senators to confirm the nominations. It wasn’t until these friends came into action that the President’s nominations of U. S. District Judges were confirmed on, Dec. 20, 2013. On that day Congresswoman Brown stated, “I am thrilled that after excessive partisan bickering and delay that Judge Davis’ nomination was allowed to move forward and pass through the Senate.”
The Congresswoman further stated of Davis, “Throughout his outstanding career, Judge Davis has been widely recognized for his work with domestic-violence victims and the mentally ill, and has held positions as a juvenile and drug court judge. He is held in great esteem as a dedicated defender of justice. Indeed, Judge Davis is universally respected and loved by his community, and serves as a role model for African American youth.
“For decades, this former Eagle Scout has held leadership positions in urban scouting. He also has continuously held leadership positions with multiple organizations that promote diversity. Beyond a doubt, his career is a testament to his commitment to public service and to the people of the state of Florida.”
Ten days later, Monday, Dec. 30, at 10:00 a.m. in Judge Davis’ courtroom at the Historic Nassau County Court-house, Davis’ wife of 38 years, Tanya, held the Bible for the swearing in of Judge Brian J. Davis. Federal Judge Henry Lee Adams, Jr. administered the oath of office to Davis. Judge Davis’ family including children grandchildren, godchildren, nieces and nephews, judicial peers and childhood friends assembled to witness the swearing in.
At the swearing in Judge Davis a product of local schools graduated from the University of Florida and Princeton University humbly, honorably and happily shared that Judge Adams had been the model he had been tracking his whole professional life. Judge Adams was a trail blazer and Davis the path finder when Adams left the Fourth Judicial Circuit of Florida in 1994 it was Davis who replaced him and when Judge Adams retired in 2012, Davis continued following his trail to become a judge in the Florida Middle District.
To the Nassau County lawyers emeritus Arthur “Buddy” Jacobs and Daniel I. McCranie and retired Judge Robert Williams, Davis’ thanked them for their guidance and support throughout his tenure on the bench in Nassau County. Schoolmates including Council-woman E. Denise Lee, Edgaranna Gwanna Jones Howard, Judges and Magistrates Marcia Morales Howard, Patricia D. Barksdale, Monte C. Richardson and each and every one of the two and a half dozen persons present were acknowledged for tremendous support they contributed to his honor and joy as a public servant.
The official investiture is being planned for the Honor-able Brian J. Davis, Federal Judge for the Middle District of Florida.