Friday, May 18, 2012
Democrats Seek to Force Vote on Watford Nomination
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Senate Democrats said yesterday that they will try to end debate Monday on the nomination of Los Angeles attorney Paul J. Watford to serve as a judge of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
On their web page, the party conference said that Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., had filed a cloture petition, and that a vote likely will occur at about 5:30 p.m.
Watford and another Ninth Circuit nominee, Arizona Supreme Court Justice Michael Hurwitz, were among eight nominees who were approved by the Judiciary Committee, but not included in a previous agreement that resulted in the confirmations of 14 nominees.
Those 14 included Judge Jacqueline Nguyen, who was elevated to the Ninth Circuit from the U.S. District Court for the Central District, and Michael Fitzgerald, who now sits on the Central District court. Watford’s nomination has attracted support from a number of prominent conservative lawyers, including local Federalist Society chapter president Jeremy Rosen and UCLA professor Eugene Volokh, but no Republican senator voted for his nomination in committee.
Two GOP members voted “present.”
Watford was nominated last October to fill the seat left vacant when Judge Pamela Ann Rymer died on Sept. 21.
Watford, 44, is a litigation partner at Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP, where he has worked since 2001. His practice focuses primarily on appellate litigation in state and federal courts.
He first joined the firm as an associate in 1996 then left in 1997 to serve as an assistant U.S. attorney until 2000 in the Central District of California, where he worked in the Major Frauds Section, Criminal Division.
The attorney was also an associate at Sidley & Austin LLP in Los Angeles from 2000 to 2001.
Watford clerked for Judge Alex Kozinski, now chief judge of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, from 1994 to 1995, and for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg from 1995 to 1996.
He attended UC Berkeley and received his law degree from UCLA, where he was editor of the UCLA Law Review.
Copyright 2012, Metropolitan News Company