Boxer Recommends L.A. Jurist to Be Nominated for Federal Judgeship
U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) on Friday recommended to President Clinton that he nominate George H. King, a federal magistrate judge, to a federal district judgeship in Los Angeles.
“King’s breadth of experience as an attorney, and as a judge, his professional service and his deep commitment to fairness and equality qualify him to serve the people of California with great distinction,” Boxer said.
Her recommendation came only a week after she disclosed that her original choice for the long-vacant position, Los Angeles trial lawyer Samuel Paz, had withdrawn from consideration. Last year Boxer had recommended Paz, who specializes in representing victims of police brutality, and he had been nominated by the White House.
But several police organizations vigorously opposed the nomination, and after Republicans took control of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the White House concluded that Paz could not be confirmed by the Senate and asked Boxer to submit another nominee’s name.
King has served as a federal judge in Los Angeles since 1987. In that post, he handles a wide range of pretrial matters in civil and criminal cases. And in recent years, federal magistrate judges have been conducting full trials when both parties consent.
King, 43, a former president of the Southern California Chinese Lawyers Assn., declined to comment, but a wide range of judges, lawyers and law professors praised the choice.
“I’m very pleased about Magistrate Judge King’s appointment,” said Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer Angela Oh, who headed Boxer’s judicial selection committee for the Central District of California, which spans seven Southern California counties from San Bernardino to San Luis Obispo.
Oh said that during the selection process Boxer’s committee learned that King “is very well regarded by his colleagues on the bench, as well as by attorneys who appeared before him.”
“He should have absolutely no problems with the confirmation process,” Oh said. “I’m still sad about Sam Paz. . . . But given the state of affairs in this Congress, the Judiciary Committee was simply not prepared to go forward with that nomination.”
U.S. District Judge Dickran Tevrizian said he expected that King would “sail through” the confirmation process: “He has no political baggage. He’s an all-around super-qualified individual.”
“Sen. Boxer has made an excellent choice,” said U.S. Attorney Nora M. Manella. “Judge King has broad experience in all areas of federal law and has a proven track record as a jurist of exceptional intelligence, fairness and judgment.”
USC law professor Erwin Chemerinsky, who also had been under consideration for the position, praised King as “extremely smart and very conscientious.”
King was born in China, and his family left Hong Kong for California when he was 11.
He attended Fairfax High School, then graduated magna cum laude from UCLA in 1971. He received his law degree in 1974 at USC, where he was an honors student, served on the law review and was selected for Order of the Coif, the law school equivalent of Phi Beta Kappa.
King spent five years as an assistant U.S. attorney in Los Angeles, where he specialized in fraud cases and received a special achievement award from the Justice Department for sustained superior performance. He then spent eight years in private practice before he was selected as a federal magistrate judge in 1987.