Contacted by telephone late Wednesday, Moreno, who’s been a justice on the California Supreme Court since October 2001, said he’s heard nothing from the White House, despite reports today by the Associated Press and the Atlantic magazine that he has emerged as one of several candidates the White House is considering to replace the soon-to-depart Justice David Souter. The two media outlets’ reports were based on anonymous sources.
“I would be very interested and very honored and humbled to be considered for the appointment,” the 60-year-old jurist said. “I realize it’s a very difficult — and can easily become an intrusive — process.
“But in 1997, when I was nominated by President Clinton [to the Los Angeles federal bench], I had firsthand experience with the federal confirmation process,” he added. “So I’m familiar with the process, but I’m sure this examination will be even more thorough and comprehensive.”
Moreno’s name has been floated in recent weeks by La Raza and other groups, as well as many California appellate specialists, but not until today so firmly attached to the White House. On Tuesday, Sen. Dianne Feinstein urged Obama to take a look at Moreno too. (Politico wrote about that.)
“I haven’t been contacted by the White House,” Moreno said told Legal Pad today, “but it certainly was a great honor to receive Sen. Feinstein’s endorsement.”
He said he hasn’t talked to Feinstein directly, but spoke with her staff, “who reiterated her support.”
Moreno said he also got a call today from the Hispanic National Bar Association “wanting to vet me, you know, as a candidate.”
Moreno said his wife, Christine, is very supportive about the possibility of having a husband on the U.S. Supreme Court. “We’re prepared, if nominated and confirmed, to make the move and take our niece with us,” he said. Moreno and his wife are the foster parents of the 13-year-old girl.
— Mike McKee