Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Senate Confirms O’Connell to U.S. District Court, 92-0
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Beverly Reid O’Connell was confirmed yesterday as a U.S. district judge for the Central District of California.
The Senate voted 92-0 to seat O’Connell, a judge since 2005, on the court. She will fill a seat that has been vacant since Judge Valerie Baker Fairbank took disability-related senior status last year.
Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., was the only senator who spoke during the brief debate on the nomination, which was televised and broadcast online by C-SPAN. The senator said O’Connell had been “an exemplary Superior Court judge in Los Angeles” and was “known by her colleagues as a great manager and supervisor, attributes that will serve her well in the busy Central District.”
A moment of silence was observed just prior to the vote as a tribute to the victims of yesterday’s explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
O’Connell was an assistant U.S. attorney at the time of her appointment to the Superior Court in 2005 by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
She had been with that office for 10 years, after having spent five years at the law firm of Morrison & Foerster. O’Connell received her law degree from Pepperdine University in 1990.
For a five-month stint in 2010 and 2011, she sat under assignment, on Div. Eight of this district’s Court of Appeal. She became supervising judge of the North Valley District Jan. 1, and has also served on the Superior Court’s Executive Committee.
She has also taught at Pepperdine and Loyola law schools.
Prior to the vote, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, issued a statement praising O’Connell but slamming Republicans for underfunding the courts, filibustering other nominees, and proposing to cut three judgeships from the D.C. Circuit, while he said he was “tempted to suggest that they amend their bill to make it effective whenever the next Republican President is elected.”
He noted that four judges were appointed to the circuit during the George W. Bush presidency, without difficulty.
Leahy commented on O’Connell:
“Today, the Senate is being allowed to confirm Judge Beverly O’Connell to a judicial emergency vacancy on the Federal trial court for the Central District of California, one of the busiest courts in the Nation. She currently serves on the Superior Court for the County of Los Angeles in California, where she has served for the last eight years. She is also currently an Adjunct Professor of Law at Loyola Law School and at Pepperdine University School of Law. Prior to becoming a judge, she served in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California for 10 years and worked in private practice as an associate at Morrison & Foerster LLP. She received the ABA Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary’s highest possible rating, unanimously ‘well qualified,’ and has the support of her home state Senators, Senator Feinstein and Senator Boxer. She originally had her hearing last December, was unanimously approved by the Judiciary Committee, will be overwhelming approved by the Senate, and should and could have been confirmed last year.”
Copyright 2013, Metropolitan News Company