Birotte will replace Judge Gary Allen Feess, a Clinton appointee, whose seat has been vacant since March. With his confirmation, all 28 judgeships in the region that spans seven counties from San Luis Obispo to Riverside are now filled.
In a statement, Sen.
"Throughout his career, Andre Birotte has shown a profound commitment to fairness and the rule of law, and he has earned the respect of the diverse communities of the Central District," she said. "I'm confident that his tenure as U.S. District Judge will be equally impressive."
Sean Kennedy, the district's federal public defender, said he believed Birotte would oversee cases with empathy.
"Andre will be a great judge because he's occupied so many different roles in the system," he said. "He's really a down to earth guy who understands the human side of legal decision-making."
Birotte could not be reached for comment.
As U.S. attorney, Birotte oversaw a civil-rights and obstruction of justice investigation into the
The office also secured large settlements from the
At the same time, also under Birotte's watch, the office dropped high-profile prosecutions against cyclist
Before his appointment as U.S. attorney, Birotte served periodically as a temporary judge in Superior Court in Los Angeles, hearing small claims cases three or four times a year. He also served as an assistant U.S. attorney from 1994 to 1999, prosecuting bank robberies, fraud and other crimes, and was briefly in private practice handling white-collar crimes and civil business litigation. He has tried about 40 cases before a jury throughout his career, according to his
He has taught at the University of Southern California's law school as an adjunct professor, and was a part-time instructor at a West Hollywood gym during his years as inspector general, according to Office of Government Ethics disclosure forms.
Asked during the confirmation process what he believed was the most important quality of a judge, Birotte said it was the "ability to always faithfully and impartially adhere to the rule of law and controlling precedent."
"I believe that a judge should always be calm and even-tempered," he responded. "A judge should also be a good listener who is respectful of all the litigants and lawyers who appear in court and the public who serve as jurors."
Birotte, 47, is a New Jersey native who graduated from Tufts University in 1987 and received his law degree from Pepperdine in 1991.