Monday, December 20, 2010
Senate Confirms Kimberly Mueller for Eastern District Judgeship
By a MetNews Staff Writer
The U.S. Senate has confirmed President Obama’s nomination of U.S. Magistrate Judge Kimberly J. Mueller of the Eastern District of California to become a district court judge.
The Senate confirmed Mueller, a former Sacramento City Council member, by unanimous consent on Thursday. Upon her swearing in, she will be the first female district judge in the Eastern District’s history.
Obama nominated Mueller in March and the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the nomination in May, but the full chamber took more than seven months before voting on it
U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, who recommended Mueller to the president, commented Thursday:
“I am very pleased that the Senate has finally taken action to confirm Kimberly Mueller as a District Judge for the Eastern District of California. This Court has a crushing caseload of more than 1,000 filings per judge—the highest caseload in the nation—and is badly in need of Judge Mueller’s able help. She will be an excellent asset for the Court.”
Mueller will fill a two-year-old vacancy on the Eastern District created when U.S. District Judge Frank C. Damrell took senior status in 2008.
She has served as a magistrate judge since 2003, and before that was in private practice specializing in intellectual property work, first as an associate attorney with Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP and then as a sole practitioner in Sacramento. She also taught as an adjunct faculty member at Pacific McGeorge School of Law and at the UC Davis School of Law.
Prior to graduating from Stanford Law School in 1995, Mueller served five years on the Sacramento City Council and was health and safety director of the California Firefighter Foundation. She attended Pomona College.
Feinstein on Thursday criticized the delay in bringing the nominations of Mueller and others to a vote.
“It is senseless that Judge Mueller, a well-qualified and uncontroversial nominee, had to wait over nine months for the Senate to take action to confirm her,” she said in a statement. “It is time to put an end to the obstruction and delay that have been holding so many qualified judicial candidates hostage.”
The Senate on Thursday also confirmed by unanimous consent the judicial nominations of Catherine C. Eagles, a North Carolina superior court judge, in the Middle District of North Carolina; Virginia attorney John A. Gibney Jr. in that state’s Eastern District; and U.S. Magistrate Judge James Kelleher Bredar in the District of Maryland.
Obama nominated Eagles in March, and nominated Gibney and Bredar in April.
A number of the president’s other nominees for judicial posts remain pending, including Goodwin Liu and Mary Murguia for the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and Los Angeles Superior Court Judge John Kronstadt, who recently nominated to succeed the late Judge Florence-Marie Cooper in the Central District. They are joined by U.S. Magistrate Judge Edward M. Chen and Santa Clara Superior Court Judge Edward J. Davila in the Northern District, and U.S. Magistrate Judge Anthony J. Battaglia in the Southern District.
Copyright 2010, Metropolitan News Company