President Barack Obama has nominated a federal judge with Washington, D.C., ties for elevation to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.
U.S. District Judge Mary Murguia has sat in the District of Arizona since 2000, when she was among the last Clinton judicial nominees confirmed by the Senate. But until then, she served a year as director of the Executive Office for United States Attorneys, helping to oversee federal prosecutors nationwide. She also held lower-level positions in the office for a year.
Murguia served as an assistant U.S. attorney in Arizona and was that office’s deputy criminal chief from 1994 to 1998, according to her White House biography. Janet Napolitano, now U.S. homeland security secretary, was Murguia’s boss then as the U.S. attorney for Arizona.
Obama nominated Murguia on Thursday for a spot previously held by 9th Circuit Judge Michael Hawkins, a Clinton appointee who has taken senior status. She is Obama’s second nominee to the sprawling West Coast circuit, after law dean and professor Goodwin Liu. In a news release, Obama praised her “fairness and integrity.”
As a trial judge, Murguia presided over a patent infringement case that landed on the cover of The American Lawyer in November 2009. The trial between C.R. Bard Inc. and W.L. Gore & Associates Inc. ended in a $410 million judgment against Gore for damages alone.