Orrick, 60, from 2009 to 2012 served as a counsel and deputy assistant attorney general for the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Division; earlier he was a litigator at the San Francisco firm of Coblentz, Patch, Duffy and Bass for 25 years. His father, William Orrick Jr., also served as a judge of the San Francisco-based Northern District court.
President Obama first nominated the younger Orrick to the bench in June 2012; the Senate Judiciary Committee approved him a month later and sent his nomination to the floor Aug. 2, but that nomination died when the Senate adjourned Jan. 2 without holding a confirmation vote. Obama re-nominated him a day later; once again, the Judiciary Committee approved him in February on an 11-7 vote.
U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., issued a statement today saying Orrick “will be an outstanding addition to the Northern District bench and I am so pleased the Senate has confirmed him. He brings a depth of legal experience in both the public and private sectors, which will make him a tremendous asset to the court.”
Boxer and U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., both spoke before today’s vote to praise Orrick’s record, but Feinstein also used her time to berate the Senate’s Republican minority for having delayed the vote for so long.
“This is a real shame. The Northern District of California is in a judicial emergency, as declared by the Judiciary Conference of the United States, as are all judicial districts in California,” Feinstein said. “The Northern District has 675 weighted filings per judgeship, making its caseload 30 percent above the national average. A civil case takes nearly 3 years to get to trial—up nearly 50 percent from a year ago.”
“When well-qualified nominees like Bill Orrick are held up, judicial emergencies like those California continues to face year after year are only exacerbated. So, I am very pleased Bill Orrick will be confirmed, and I thank my colleagues on the Republican side for agreeing to schedule a vote on his nomination,” she concluded. “I simply believe – strongly – that he could and should have been confirmed sooner by this body.”