U.S. District Court Judge Carlos R. Moreno is expected to win confirmation today to the California Supreme Court after a hearing in which little, if any, opposition is anticipated.
In preparation for Moreno's hearing, the California Supreme Court made public copies of recommendations for Moreno and a background questionnaire the judge completed for Gov. Gray Davis. Moreno is Davis' first appointment to the state high court.
The state bar committee that investigated his fitness for the court wrote that Moreno's "commitment to the Constitution and to justice is outstanding."
"He is revered for his skills, breadth of experience, honesty, integrity, wisdom, fairness, his ability to dispense justice with diligence, hard work, respect for precedent and compassion," the committee said in its letter to Chief Justice Ronald M. George.
In the Davis questionnaire, Moreno was asked about his background. He said he is a board member of the Arroyo Vista Family Health Center, a nonprofit clinic that provides health care to lower-income residents in northeast Los Angeles; and served on the board of Narcotics Prevention Project, a drug rehabilitation program in Boyle Heights, from 1976 to 1979.
Moreno said he was never sued by a client. Queried about drug use, Moreno wrote: "While in college and law school, I used marijuana on an occasional and irregular basis, ending in 1975." Moreno was admitted to the practice of law in California that year.
Moreno received the state bar's highest rating for the post, and his use of marijuana while a student is not expected to affect his confirmation. "Something that happened 26 years ago has no bearing on his judicial performance and the quality of his judicial record," said Roger Salazar, a spokesman for Davis.