California Republicans have forwarded five candidates
to the White House for an open Bay Area federal
judgeship - and one of them is none other than Santa
Clara County Superior Court Judge Patricia Lucas.
In recent months, Republican lawyers and judges have
been searching for a possible successor to U.S.
District Judge Martin Jenkins, who left the federal
bench in San Francisco to become a state appeals court
justice. Even though President George W. Bush is in
the waning months of his administration and federal
judicial nominations tend to stall in election years,
Republicans have been assured there's a chance the
judgeship could yet get through the Senate.
If it happens, Lucas finds herself on a short list
that also includes a number of other prominent Bay
Area legal figures, according to judges and lawyers
familiar with the list. These include San Francisco
U.S. Magistrate Judge Elizabeth LaPorte; San Francisco
U.S. Magistrate Judge Edward Chen, previously a lead
attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union; and
San Francisco Superior Court Judge Anne-Christine
Massullo, a former prosecutor. IA hasn't yet gleaned
the name of the fifth candidate.
The fact that 54-year-old Lucas is on the list is no
surprise, even though she's a registered Democrat.
Before former Gov. Gray Davis appointed her to the
state court in 2003, Lucas specialized in litigating
high-stakes intellectual property cases and headed the
litigation department for Fenwick & West. She could
not be reached for comment on the prospect of a
lifetime appointment to the federal bench.