Friday, February 10, 2006
Schwarzenegger Administration Official Sandra Ikuta Nominated to Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
By a MetNews Staff Writer
President Bush has nominated Sandra Segal Ikuta, deputy director and general counsel of the California Resources Agency and a former partner at O’’Melveny & Myers, to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
If confirmed by the Senate, Ikuta, 51, who was nominated Wednesday, would fill a seat that has been vacant since Judge James Browning took senior status in 2000.
Ikuta has held the position, which involves advising agency officials on legal and policy matters, overseeing the formulation of California Environmental Quality Act guidelines; and coordinating environmental litigation, since January 2004. She was previously at O’Melveny for nine years.
She joined the law firm in 1990 as an associate and became a partner in 1997. She specialized in environmental and natural resources law and co-chaired the firm’s environmental practice group.
Ikuta earned her law degree from UCLA, received her masters in journalism from Columbia University, and graduated from UC Berkeley after majoring in English. She is a past chair of the Executive Committee of the Environmental Section of the Los Angeles County Bar, and has been active as a writer and speaker on environmental issues.
She also served as a vice chair of the International Environmental Law Committee of the American Bar Association’s Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources.
Before joining O’Melveny, she clerked for then-Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and before that for Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Alex Kozinski.
.There are currently four vacancies on the Ninth Circuit.
President Bush last year nominated N. Randy Smith, a trial judge from Pocatello, Idaho and former chairman of his state’s Republican Party, to fill the vacancy created when Judge Stephen S. Trott took senior status Dec. 31, 2004.
He had previously nominated William G. Myers III, a Boise, Idaho attorney and former Interior Department solicitor, to fill the seat of Judge Thomas G. Nelson, who took senior status Nov. 14, 2003. Myers remains the nominee, but no attempt has been made to bring his nomination to the Senate floor since efforts to end a filibuster failed,
The name of Milan Smith, a Los Angeles transactional attorney and the brother of Sen. Gordon Smith, R-Ore., was reportedly sent to the Justice Department for a background check as a possible nominee to the Tashima seat last year.
Copyright 2006, Metropolitan News Company