Press Release of U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer
|For Immediate Release: |
December 13, 2011
Washington D.C. Office (202) 224-3553
Boxer Statement to Senate Judiciary Committee on Nomination of Paul Watford for U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) today issued the following statement for the Senate Judiciary Committee’s confirmation hearing of Los Angeles attorney Paul Watford to serve on the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Watford, a former federal prosecutor and attorney in private practice who specializes in appellate casework and complex commercial litigation, was nominated by President Obama in October. If confirmed, he would be one of only two African Americans serving on the Ninth Circuit and only the fourth African American ever to serve on the Ninth Circuit.
Below is Senator Boxer’s statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee:
Mr. Chairman, I am honored to support Paul Watford, a well-qualified California nominee for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals who is appearing today before the Judiciary Committee.
I want to join in welcoming him and his wife, Sherry, to this hearing today.
I was pleased when President Obama nominated Mr. Watford to serve on the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. He has a breadth of experience, ranging from public service to the private sector, and he will make an excellent addition to the federal appellate bench.
Let me say a few words about his background.
Mr. Watford was born in Garden Grove, California. His parents, Tom and Virginia, are watching the hearing via webcast, and as a mother and a grandmother, I share in their pride on this important day for their son.
Mr. Watford is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, and received his law degree from the University of California at Los Angeles, where he graduated with honors and was an editor of the UCLA Law Review.
Following law school, he clerked for Judge Alex Kozinski on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, then clerked for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the United States Supreme Court.
From 1997 through 2000, Mr. Watford served as a federal prosecutor in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California, where he handled a variety of criminal trial and appellate matters for the office, including major fraud investigations.
After his tenure as a prosecutor, Mr. Watford entered private practice – first with Sidley & Austin, then with his current law firm, Munger Tolles. He is a partner at Munger Tolles, specializing in appellate casework and complex commercial litigation.
In addition to his record as a lawyer, Mr. Watford has served in bar associations and professional committees. He has served as Co-Chair of the American Bar Association’s Appellate Practice Committee, and he is a member of the Central District Court’s Magistrate Selection Panel.
The American Bar Association has given him their highest rating – unanimously well qualified.
Mr. Watford has earned the respect of attorneys who know his work. For example, Daniel Collins, who clerked for Justice Scalia and served as an attorney in both Bush administrations, said this about Mr. Watford:
“He just embodies the definition of judicial temperament — very level-headed and even-keeled. … I don’t think he’ll approach the job with any kind of agenda other than to do what is right and consistent with precedent as he understands it.”
And Jeremy Rosen, a partner at Horvitz & Levy and former president of the Los Angeles Lawyers Chapter of the Federalist Society, said Mr. Watford is a nominee many conservatives could support:
“I know he has the respect of anyone who has come into contact with him. He is exceptionally bright and well qualified …”
In conclusion, Mr. Watford is a talented lawyer who has earned the respect of his peers for his work in the public and private sectors. He will be a great addition to the federal bench, and we should act quickly to confirm him.