U.S. Senate confirms Liles Burke to be North Alabama U.S. District Judge

Liles Burke
Judge Liles Burke

The U.S. Senate on Thursday confirmed an associate judge on the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals to serve as U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of Alabama.

U.S. Senator Richard Shelby made the announcement of Judge Liles Burke‘s confirmation.

“I am proud to have voted tonight to confirm Judge Liles Burke to be a District Judge for the Northern District of Alabama,” said Shelby. “He is extremely qualified for this high honor, having served as a judge in Alabama for over a decade. I congratulate Judge Burke on this prestigious achievement and am confident he will serve our nation well.”

Burke’s confirmation came as Senate leaders struck a deal to approve 15 federal, lifetime judges in exchange for recessing early through the Nov. 6 election. The Senate had previously been scheduled to be in session until Oct. 26, and the early recess will allow vulnerable Democrats to return to their home states and campaign for their seats.

About Burke

Burke, a native of Marshall County, was named the Municipal Judge for the City of Arab, Ala. in 2001. He held that office until 2006 when he was appointed Marshall County District Judge by former Governor Bob Riley. During his time as a trial judge, he created Marshall County’s first family drug court and started one of the state’s first domestic violence courts. In 2008 Burke was elected to a full term on the District Court, without opposition. 

During his years on the bench, he has served as President of the Alabama Appellate Judges Association and has been officer in both the Alabama District Judges Association and the Alabama Juvenile Judges Association.

In February of 2011, Burke was named by former Governor Robert Bentley to the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals, filling the office left vacant by the election of Judge Kelli Wise to the Alabama Supreme Court. He was elected to a six-year term in 2012 without opposition, and still serves there through his confirmation process.

In addition to his experience in the courtroom, Judge Burke serves as the leader of the Marshall County United Way fund drive, City of Arab Chamber of Commerce, and the Arab Historical Preservation Committee.  He is also a Rotarian and alumnus of Leadership Alabama, an officer in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps of the Alabama Army National Guard, and an assistant organist at First United Methodist Church of Arab.

Burke received his B.A. from the University of Alabama and J.D. from the University of Alabama School of Law.

Other judicial nominees

Following Thursday’s vote, five Alabama judicial nominees, initially nominated by President Trump in 2017, have been confirmed. One 2018 nominee still awaits confirmation, and another awaits a hearing before the Judiciary Committee.