Boxer Nominates O.C.'s Sonenshine for Circuit Court

From Associated Press

An Orange County appeals court judge is one of two jurists, two civil-rights lawyers and a labor lawyer recommended by Sen. Barbara Boxer as candidates for a vacancy on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The judges are Sheila Prell Sonenshine, a justice on the state’s 4th District Court of Appeal in Santa Ana and Thelton Henderson, chief judge of the U.S. District Court in San Francisco and a former Justice Department civil-rights lawyer.

The lawyers are Antonia Hernandez, general counsel of the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund; Ralph Abascal, general counsel of California Rural Legal Assistance, and Marsha Berzon, a San Francisco law firm partner and labor union advocate.

The recommendations, in a letter to President Clinton dated June 2, were reported Friday by the Los Angeles Daily Journal and confirmed by Boxer’s office. A similar story appeared earlier in the Metropolitan News-Enterprise.


Boxer and Sen. Dianne Feinstein have divided recommendations for U.S. District Court and U.S. attorney positions, for which the White House has traditionally accepted nominations by a home-state senator from the President’s party.

But no such tradition exists for the multi-state appeals courts. The 9th Circuit, based in San Francisco, covers nine western states.

It has been widely predicted, however, that the next nominee will come from California, because the vacancy was created when Judge Arthur Alarcon of Los Angeles transferred to semi-retired senior status last November.

“We have offered our unsolicited advice on five outstanding candidates who we think would serve well on the court,” said Rose Kapolczynski, Boxer’s state director. “There’s no guarantee that one or any of these people will be nominated.”