The governor’s office issued a curious press release this morning that says Arnold Schwarzenegger intends to appoint former congressman James Rogan to the Orange County Superior Court.
A spokeswoman for the governor said Schwarzenegger “intends” to name Rogan because he can’t take office until Oct. 1 when current Superior Court Judge Susanne Shaw retires. So why not just wait until then to make the announcement — like the media office usually does with judicial appointments?
Schwarzenegger aide Sabrina Demayo Lockhart says there’s nothing to read into the governor’s “intent” to appoint James Rogan announcement. “There’s no change in our announcement process,” she insists. “Glad to know our headlines grab peoples’ attention.”
Perhaps we’re being a bit paranoid, but a scan of other press releases issued this year didn’t reveal any other “intent” proclamations. Schwarzenegger’s early heads-up on Rogan may be his way of telling conservative Republicans that he still cares about them, even as his re-election campaign has shifted to the political center in recent months. And state Republicans, once peeved with Schwarzenegger for not naming more party-mates to the bench, appear happy for now. The governor appointed five judges today. Four are Republicans and one is registered decline-to-state.
In any case, Rogan’s appointment isn’t shocking. The former manager of President Clinton’s impeachment trial served as a municipal court judge in Los Angeles County between 1990 and 1994. There was even some chatter last summer that he was a candidate for the state Supreme Court. Since voters ousted him from Congress in 2000, Rogan, 48, has been hawking his autobiography, “Rough Edges,” appearing on radio and television talk shows and working at the firm Preston Gates & Ellis. He lives in Yorba Linda.
— Cheryl Miller