On Monday, news spread fast that 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Alex Kozinski would soon resign amid sexual misconduct allegations. Almost as fast came speculation that President Trump would tap former Rep. Jim Rogan, R-Calif., as Kozinski's replacement.
The Romanian-born Kozinski, tapped for the decidedly liberal 9th Circuit by President Reagan in 1985, was long considered a lone conservative superstar on the bench and frequently touted for the Supreme Court. But recent allegations of improper sexual comments and behavior toward his clerks and other staff convinced the jurist to retire at 67.
Famed as one of the House managers in Bill Clinton’s 1999 impeachment trial, Jim Rogan, now 59, is a judge of the Superior Court in Southern California. Despite a staunchly conservative record as congressman and in his earlier office as Republican state assemblyman, Rogan has a long record of working well with Democrats.
When President Bush tapped Rogan as undersecretary of commerce for intellectual property in 2001, the Californian was confirmed by the Senate without opposition.
The 9th Circuit is the largest appellate court in the nation, with 29 judges. There were four vacancies when Trump became president, and in September, he nominated Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan Bounds of Oregon to one vacancy. Judge Kozinski’s abrupt departure brings the number of vacancies to four again.
Of the currently active 25 judges, there are 10 Clinton appointees, six George W. Bush appointees, seven Barack Obama appointees, and one Jimmy Carter appointee. Kozinski was the last Reagan appointee to the 9th Circuit.
Earlier this year, sources in the Republican and legal communities told Newsmax that Rogan met in early June with White House counsel Don McGahn to discuss possible appointment to the 9th Circuit.
"And Jim hit a home run, especially in discussing his view of originalism [basing judicial rulings on the original intent of the authors of the Constitution]," said one source involved in the judicial selection process who requested anonymity.
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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