Senate Confirms L.A. Attorney to 9th Circuit

     SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - By 56-43 vote, the Senate on Monday confirmed Los Angeles attorney John B. Owens to a seat on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals - the seat has been vacant for nine years.
     President Obama nominated Owens, 42, of Munger, Tolles & Olson, on Aug. 1 last year but the Senate failed to act. The president renominated him on Jan. 6.
     The judgeship on the busy appeals court has been vacant since Dec. 31, 2004, when Judge Stephen Trott assumed senior status.
     Before joining Munger, Tolles & Olson in 2012, Owens was a federal prosecutor for 11 years, in Los Angeles and San Diego. He became chief of the Criminal Division in San Diego Federal Court in 2010.
     Owens got his Bachelor's degree from UC-Berkeley in 1993 and his J.D. from Stanford in 1996, from which he graduated first in his class.
     The 9th Circuit had 12,826 new case filings in 2013 - 475 per judge. It is authorized 29 judgeships, one of which remains vacant.