Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Friday, February 10, 2012


Page 3


U.S. Magistrate Bencivengo Confirmed as Southern District Judge


By a MetNews Staff Writer


The U.S. Senate yesterday confirmed the president’s nomination of Magistrate Judge Cathy Ann Bencivengo of San Diego to serve on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. 

Bencivengo, who was nominated by President Obama on the recommendation of Sen, Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., was confirmed by a vote of 90-6.

Feinstein’s office forwarded the following excerpt from he statement before the vote:

“I was pleased to recommend Magistrate Judge Bencivengo to the President for nomination to the District Court.  Since 2005, she has served as a serious, thoughtful jurist.  I am confident that Judge Bencivengo’s respected judicial temperament, as well as her valuable experience as an intellectual property lawyer for over 15 years, will enable her to serve the Southern District well as a U.S. District Judge.”

The senator noted that the border district has one of the highest and most rapidly-increasing criminal caseloads in the country. 

The confirmation came following a bipartisan agreement to move the nomination to a vote. Bencivengo was one of three Californians mentioned by Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., when the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Tuesday urged Republicans to cooperate in filling vacancies.

The others were U.S. District Judge Jacqueline Nguyen of the Central District of California, nominated for the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and Los Angeles attorney Michael Fitzgerald, nominated for the Central District of California.

The six senators voting “no” were all Republicans—Mike Lee of Utah, Mike Crapo and James Risch of Idaho, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Richard Shelby of Alabama, and James DeMint of South Carolina. Lee has been particularly outspoken in urging colleagues to block presidential nominations in retaliation for the president’s recent recess appointments to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the National Labor Relations Board.

Glenn Sugameli, a staff attorney at Defenders of Wildlife who monitors judicial nominations for a number of environmental groups, said Lee’s “fellow GOP senators hung him out to dry- it shows that they understandably cannot stomach Sen. Lee’s absurd protest which his hometown papers have ridiculed.”

Bencivengo has served as a magistrate judge since 2005.  Prior to joining the bench, she spent her entire legal career at the law firm now known as DLA Piper US, LLP, beginning as a litigation associate in 1988 and becoming a partner in 1996. 

She received her law degree in 1988 from University of Michigan Law School and both her M.A. in 1981 and her B.A. in 1980 from Rutgers University.


Copyright 2012, Metropolitan News Company