Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Friday, February 14, 2003


Page 1


C.A. Justice Consuelo Callahan Nominated to Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals


By a MetNews Staff Writer


Third District Court of Appeal Justice Consuelo Maria Callahan has been nominated to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

President Bush sent the name of the 52-year-old jurist to the Senate late Wednesday. If confirmed, she would succeed Judge Ferdinand F. Fernandez, who took senior status.

Callahan said through a spokeswoman that she was “greatly honored to be nominated to the Ninth Circuit and...looking forward to the confirmation process.”

Callahan was named to her present post by then-Gov. Pete Wilson in 1996. Wilson had previously named her to the San Joaquin Superior Court in 1992, making her the first woman, and the first Hispanic, ever to sit on that court. Prior to her appointment, she served six years as a San Joaquin County Municipal Court commissioner.

Career Movement

She graduated from Stanford University in 1972 and from McGeorge School of Law three years later. She clerked for the public defender in Sacramento before her admission to the bar, then became a Stockton deputy city attorney in 1975 and moved to the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office the following year. remaining there until appointed to the commissioner’s position.

She has been active in California Judges Association programs and has served on the association’s executive board. She has also been honored for her work in mediation, child abuse and sexual assault prevention, and provision of legal services for the poor.

As a state appellate justice, Callahan has not written extensively on federal and constitutional statutory issues.

Among her opinions, however, she authored a dissent in People v. Bowers (2001) 87 Cal.App.4th 722, arguing that a trial judge was correct in excusing a juror for “failure to deliberate” in a criminal case; wrote for a unanimous panel in People v. Leonard (2000) 78 Cal.App.4th 776, holding that an inmate sought to be committed past his release date under the Sexually Violent Predators Act has no right to silence because the proceeding is civil in nature; and wrote for another unanimous panel in Savnik v. Hall (1999) 74 Cal.App.4th 733, holding that Proposition 213 could be applied retroactively to overturn an award of noneconomic damages to an uninsured motorist.

Smoking Case

She was on the panel, although she did not write the opinion, in the 2000 case Californians for Scientific Integrity v. Regents of the University of California. The panel, in an opinion later ordered depublished by the California Supreme Court, rejected a First Amendment challenge to state funding of University of California professor Stanton Glantz’s anti-smoking advocacy.

The lead attorney for the unsuccessful plaintiff in that case was Theodore Olson, who as U.S. solicitor general is the chief appellate lawyer for the federal government.

There are three other vacancies on the Ninth Circuit.

Assistant U.S. Attorney General Jay S. Bybee, a former University of Nevada Las Vegas law professor, had a confirmation hearing Jan. 29. A scheduled committee vote on his nomination yesterday was postponed.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Carolyn Kuhl has been nominated to the court, but has not had a confirmation hearing. The president is reportedly considering San Francisco Superior Court Judge Carlos Bea for the remaining vacancy.

The president Wednesday made two other judicial nominations, tapping U.S. Attorney Steven M. Colloton of Iowa for the Eighth Circuit and Harry A. Haines, who has practiced in Missoula, Mont. for nearly four decades, to a 15-year term on the U.S. Tax Court.


Copyright 2003, Metropolitan News Company