Wednesday, October 9, 2002
Klausner Wins Senate Committee Approval for Federal Judgeship
By KENNETH OFGANG, Staff Writer/Appellate Courts
President Bush’s nomination of Los Angeles Superior Court Judge R. Gary Klausner was approved yesterday by the Senate Judiciary Committee, one day after a confirmation hearing.
Klausner was nominated by President Bush July 18 to succeed Judge William Keller, who took senior status Oct. 29, 1999. Committee approval is the final step prior to a vote of the full Senate, which could come before Congress adjourns so that members can go home and campaign for reelection.
The 61-year-old jurist was a unanimous choice of the bipartisan screening committee, whose members are appointed by Democratic senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer and by Los Angeles attorney Gerald Parsky, representing President Bush.
Another Los Angeles Superior Court judge, S. James Otero, was nominated to the District Court the same day as Klausner and is awaiting a confirmation hearing. According to the Judiciary Committee website, an American Bar Association report on the nomination has not yet been received.
Feinstein, a member of the Judiciary Committee, did not attend Monday’s confirmation hearing, citing a scheduling conflict. She submitted a statement for the record, calling Klausner “a highly respected and thoroughly experienced jurist” who was “unquestionably prepared for a District Court seat.”
The senator cited Klausner’s 28 years of service as a judicial officer, including a long tenure as a leader of the Superior Court. He became supervising judge of the Criminal Departments in 1991, was elected assistant presiding judge in 1993, and took over as presiding judge in 1995 and 1996.
After stepping down from the court’s top leadership post, Klausner was appointed to head the Probate Department. In January of last year, he assumed a new post in the larger unified court supervising the civil departments.
Klausner is a Los Angeles native and a graduate of Loyola High School. He went on to the University of Notre Dame in Indiana and earned his law degree in 1967 from Loyola University School of Law.
A Vietnam veteran, he served as a U.S. Army captain, then returned to Los Angeles to become a deputy district attorney.
After five years as a prosecutor, Klausner was appointed to the Pasadena Municipal Court as a commissioner in 1974. Gov. Jerry Brown appointed him to a judgeship on that court in 1980, and Gov. George Deukmejian elevated him to the Superior Court in 1985.
Another Californian, San Francisco attorney Jeffrey White, won a vote of approval from the Judiciary Committee yesterday. White, who headed the Litigation Department of Orrick, Herrington, & Sutcliffe for 15 years, was nominated to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
Also approved yesterday were the following district court nominees:
•Magistrate Judges Stanley R. Chesler, Robert B. Kugler, and Freda L. Wolfson, former Rep. William J. Martini, and state trial judge Jose L. Linares for the District of New Jersey;
•Tacoma attorney Ronald B. Leighton for the Western District of Washington;
•State trial judge Linda R. Reade for the Northern District of Iowa;
•Magistrate Judge Thomas W. Phillips for the Eastern District of Tennessee;
•Bismarck attorney Daniel L. Hovland for the District of North Dakota;
•Magistrate Judge Alia M. Ludlum for the Western District of Texas;
•State appeals court Justice James E. Kinkeade for the Northern District of Texas;
•Providence attorney William E. Smith for the District of Rhode Island;
•Kent A. Jordan, vice president and general counsel of the Corporation Service Company, for the District of Delaware;
•Enterprise, Ala. prosecutor Mark E. Fuller for the Middle District of Alabama; and
•Labor lawyer and former National Labor Relations Board General Counsel Rosemary M. Collyer for the District of Columbia.
Copyright 2002, Metropolitan News Company