Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Friday, December 20, 2013


Page 3


Senate Judiciary Committee, After Procedural Delay, Holds Hearing for Southern District Nominee


From Staff and Wire Service Reports


A day after her hearing was blocked by Senate Republicans, a San Diego Superior Court judge nominated to the federal bench answered questions from members of the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday.

Judge Cynthia Bashant and four other federal judicial nominees—from Maine, Kansas, and Maryland—went before the committee that’s expected to make recommendations to the full Senate in coming weeks.

The nominees were supposed to appear before the committee on Wednesday, but Republicans delayed the hearing. GOP senators have vowed to slow down the nominations process since the Democratic majority invoked the “nuclear option” and changed Senate rules in order to prohibit filibusters of executive and judicial nominees.

On Wednesday, Republicans invoked a customarily waived rule that prohibits committees from meeting more than two hours after the Senate goes into session. Democrats responded by rescheduling the hearing for yesterday, then rushing to get it in under the two-hour deadline.

Bashant was nominated for the Southern District opening in September.

She has served on the San Diego Superior Court since 2000, handling both criminal and juvenile matters.  From 2009 to last year, she was the presiding judge for the juvenile dependency and delinquency courts. 

Prior to her appointment to the bench, Bashant served as an assistant United States attorney in the district, a post she held for 11 years. She practiced civil litigation as an associate with Baker & McKenzie in San Diego from 1988 to 1989 and with Macdonald Halsted & Laybourne in San Diego from 1986 to 1988.  

The nominee is a graduate of Hastings College of the Law and of Smith College.


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