Politico's Abby Phillip reports this afternoon -- and the White House confirmed -- that the President Barack Obama is planning on nominating Michael Fitzgerald, an out gay attorney in Los Angeles, to serve as a district court judge in federal court in California.
[UPDATE @ 5:35 PM: The White House has announced Fitzgerald's nomination. Read the White House release below the jump.]
The White House plans to announce the nomination of Michael Fitzgerald, a lawyer with Corbin, Fitzgerald and Athey, to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. Fitzgerald, 51, a graduate of Harvard University and the University of California Berkley Law School, previously served as an assistant U.S. attorney in California and has been a practicing trial lawyer for 20 years.
A White House official confirmed the report was accurate to Metro Weekly, but the administration has not released an official statement about the expected nomination.
According to Fitzgerald's law firm biography:
From 1988 to 1991, Mike served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Central District of California. As a federal prosecutor, Mike handled over twenty criminal trials and filed over thirty briefs in the Ninth Circuit. Mike's cases included the successful prosecution of a money-laundering ring masquerading as a legitimate business.
Mike graduated from the School of Law of the University of California at Berkeley (Boalt Hall) in 1985, where he was elected to the Order of the Coif. He served as Managing Editor of the Industrial Relations Law Journal and received the American Jurisprudence Award in Criminal Law. After law school, Mike was a law clerk to the Honorable Irving R. Kaufman of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Mike received his bachelor's degree magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1981.
A search of his political contribution history on OpenSecrets.org shows that Fitzgerald contributed the maximum amount -- $4,600 -- to Obama's 2008 presidential campaign.
The move comes just days after the Senate approved the nomination of J. Paul Oetken to serve as a district court judge in the Southern District of New York.
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THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 20, 2011
President Obama Nominates Michael Walter Fitzgerald to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, President Obama announced his nomination of Michael Walter Fitzgerald to the United States District Court for the Central District of California.
"I am honored to nominate Michael Walter Fitzgerald to the United States District Court," President Obama said. "His impressive career stands as a testament to his formidable intellect and integrity. I am confident he will serve the people of California with distinction on the District Court bench."
Michael Walter Fitzgerald: Nominee for United States District Judge for the Central District of California
Michael Walter Fitzgerald has been a named partner at the law firm of Corbin, Fitzgerald & Athey LLP in Los Angeles, California since 1998, where he handles civil and criminal litigation in both federal and state courts. Previously, he worked at the Law Offices of Robert L. Corbin PC from 1995 to 1998 and at the law firm of Heller, Ehrman, White & McAuliffe from 1991 to 1995. Between 1988 and 1991, Fitzgerald served as an Assistant United States Attorney in Los Angeles. Upon graduation from law school, he clerked for the Honorable Irving R. Kaufman of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Fitzgerald received his J.D. in 1985 from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall) and his A.B. magna cum laude in 1981 from Harvard University.