Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Friday, October 3, 2003


Page 3


Senate Confirms Two to District Court in San Diego


By a MetNews Staff Writer


Magistrate Judge John A. Houston and Assistant U.S. Attorney William Q. Hayes were confirmed yesterday by the U.S. Senate as U.S. district judges for the Southern District of California.

Houston and Hayes, both of San Diego, join Magistrate Judge Larry Burns and San Diego Superior Court Judge Dana M. Sabraw, who won approval earlier to fill new seats in the district. Another magistrate judge, Roger T. Benitez of El Centro, still awaits confirmation.

Legislation approved last year created the five new seats. The San Diego-based district, like others along the U.S.-Mexico border, had long sought additional judges to cope with a criminal caseload disproportionate to the district’s population.

Hayes, 47, a federal prosecutor in San Diego for 16 years, has headed the criminal division for the U.S. Attorney’s Office since 1999. Before coming to San Diego, he was a private attorney in Colorado, handling civil cases.

He was born in Bronxville, N.Y. and holds undergraduate and law degrees, as well as a master’s degree in business administration, from Syracuse University.

Houston, 51, was an assistant U.S. attorney for the district from 1981 to 1998, rising to the position of senior financial litigation counsel before being appointed a magistrate judge.

The North Carolina native graduated from North Carolina A&T State University and the University of Miami School of Law, and was an officer in the Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps before joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

In a statement released yesterday, Sen. Barbara Boxer praised the new judges and the bipartisan selection process under which a committee made up of three appointees of the White House and three members chosen by Boxer and Sen. Dianne Feinstein recommend judicial nominees for each of California’s four districts.

Boxer added, “Both Judge Houston and Mr. Hayes were reviewed by the Southern District Committee and strongly recommended for these positions.  I continue to support this bipartisan selection process and the high-quality nominees it has produced.”


Copyright 2003, Metropolitan News Company