Wednesday, October 17, 2001
Moreno Confirmation to State Supreme Court Appears Assured as No Opposition Surfaces by Deadline
By a MetNews Staff Writer
The confirmation of U.S. District Judge Carlos Moreno to succeed the late Justice Stanley Mosk on the California Supreme Court appeared assured yesterday as the Commission on Judicial Appointments reported that it had received no opposition by Monday’s deadline.
With no speakers against the nominee, tomorrow’s confirmation hearing in San Francisco shapes up as a celebration rather than a confrontation, as has been the case with some past nominees.
Gov. Gray Davis, who made Moreno his first selection for the state’s highest court, will head the list of speakers in favor of the nomination. He will be followed by retired Court of Appeal Justice Elwood Lui, Los Angeles attorneys Fred Alvarez and Bruce Ishimatsu, and Mexican American Bar Association President Luis Rodriguez.
Pauline Weaver, who chairs the State Bar Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation, and commission member Allan B. Goldman will present the commission’s report.
While the evaluation was not made public until yesterday, the governor announced when he made the selection last month that Moreno had unanimously received the highest possible rating, exceptionally well qualified.
None of the other candidates whose names were submitted—Fifth District Court of Appeal Justice Dennis Cornell, Second District Justice Steven Perren, or Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Dennis Perluss—had that distinction, Davis said.
Moreno, 52, was born in East Los Angeles and graduated from Abraham Lincoln High School, where he was senior class president. He holds degrees from Yale University—where he headed a Mexican American student group prior to graduating in 1970—and Stanford University Law School.
After graduating Stanford in 1975, he became a Los Angeles deputy city attorney, working in the criminal and consumer fraud sections. His boss, then-City Attorney Burt Pines, is now the governor’s top adviser on judicial appointments.
Moreno was a senior associate at the Los Angeles law firm of Kelley, Drye & Warren when then-Gov. George Deukmejian tapped him for the Compton Municipal Court in 1986. He was elevated to the Superior Court by then-Gov. Pete Wilson in 1993.
His 1998 appointment to the federal bench by President Clinton was endorsed by a number of elected officials in both parties, and his judicial philosophy has generally been described as centrist.
Copyright 2001, Metropolitan News Company