Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Confirmation Hearings Set for Governor’s Nominees To First District Court of Appeal Nominees
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Confirmation hearings have been scheduled by the Commission on Judicial Appointments for Jan. 6 for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s nominees to fill two vacancies on the First District Court of Appeal, the Administrative Office of the Courts said yesterday.
The AOC said the commission would hold a hearing at 10 a.m. that day for Justice Ignazio J. Ruvolo, who currently sits in the First District’s Div. Two but has been nominated to replace the recently retired Laurence D. Kay as presiding justice of Div. Four.
That hearing will be followed immediately by the commission’s consideration of Peter Siggins, former legal affairs secretary and former interim chief of staff for Schwarzenegger, and prior to that a high-ranking deputy to Attorney General Bill Lockyer. Siggins’s nomination to Div. Three is contingent upon the confirmation of Justice Carol Corrigan as a justice of the California Supreme Court following a hearing scheduled for Jan. 4.
The hearings will be held in the Supreme Court’s San Francisco courtroom.
The Commission on Judicial Appointments, when hearing First District nominations, consists of Chief Justice Ronald M. George, Lockyer, and Presiding Justice J. Anthony Kline, the district’s senior presiding justice.
The AOC said it will accept comments on the nomination, as well as requests to speak at the hearing, until Dec. 29 at 5 p.m. Commission rules require that those wishing to speak submit the request in writing with a summary of their proposed testimony, which is usually limited to five minutes.
The commission’s address is Commission on Judicial Appointments, c/o Chief Justice of California, Supreme Court of California, 350 McAllister Street, San Francisco, California 94102, Attention: Ms. Gale Tunnell, Secretary to the Commission.
Ruvolo, 58, has served as an associate justice since 1996. He was previously a Contra Costa Superior Court judge from 1994 to 1996.
Before his appointment to the Superior Court, Ruvolo was an attorney for the firm of Bronson, Bronson & McKinnon for 17 years. He also served as a trial attorney for the United States Department of Justice’s Civil Division, Tort Section from 1972 to 1977.
Ruvolo earned a master of laws degree from the University of Virginia, a law degree from the University of San Diego and a bachelor’s degree from Rutgers. He is a Republican.
Among the opinions he has authored for Div. Two was one that upheld the constitutionality of Indian gaming compacts that allow tribes to conduct high-stakes casino gaming that is off-limits to licensed card clubs like the Hustler Casino owned by pornographer Larry Flynt, who challenged the compacts on constitutional grounds.
In another case, he wrote that the California Milk Products Advisory Board is a public entity and cannot be sued for violation of the Unfair Competition Law. The ruling blocked a suit by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which claimed the board’s ell-known “Happy Cows” advertising campaign deceived the public by masking what PETA said were unhealthy conditions to which dairy cows were subjected.
Siggins, 50, served as legal affairs secretary to the governor from November 2003 to November 2005 and as interim chief of staff for the last two months of that period, while Patricia Clarey, who has since left the post, was on leave working for the governor’s ultimately unsuccessful campaign to pass four initiative measures at a statewide special election.
His successor as legal affairs secretary was named two months ago, and sources said then that he would likely be appointed to a judgeship after the special election. He reportedly played a major role in the governor’s decision not to commute the sentence of convicted murdered “Tookie” Williams, who was executed at San Quentin Prison yesterday morning.
Before going to work for the governor, Sigginsówho is registered decline-to-stateówas chief deputy attorney general for four years. He previously served as senior assistant attorney general in charge of the Correctional Law Section, and much of his work as legal affairs secretary was taken up with prison reform issues, as the state has been forced to respond to litigation concerning conditions in its correctional facilities.
He was also responsible, along with Clarey and Judicial Appointments Advisor John Davies, with vetting candidates for the bench.
Before joining the state service, Siggins practiced civil litigation and maritime law in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is a graduate of Hastings College of the Law and Loyola Marymount University.
Copyright 2005, Metropolitan News Company