Politics, government and public life for Southern California

9th Circuit nominee has 'Legally Blonde' connection

MGM 2001 Movie Previews

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The California nominee to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, John Owens, had a near brush with the 2001 film “Legally Blonde" (in the photo, actress Reese Witherspoon performs a scene from that film).

The same week Senate Republicans blocked President Obama’s nominee to the DC federal court, the Senate Judiciary Committee took up the nomination of five other judicial nominees. The California nominee to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals had a near brush with the film “Legally Blonde.”

John Owens was a prosecutor at the US Attorney’s office in Los Angeles. At his confirmation hearing, Senator Dianne Feinstein introduced him as having clerked under both a conservative judge appointed by President Nixon and perhaps the most liberal U.S. Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Owens told the Senate Judiciary Committee he learned an important lesson from both: write decisions in a way that makes sense. "The public and the parties have to be able to understand the decision you’ve written, so write it in plain English."

Owens attended Stanford Law School with Amanda Brown, who wrote the book that became the 2001 film “Legally Blonde.”

In a law article from that time, Owens wondered if he ended up in the movie, writing: “I really wanted someone to play me as the smart and dashing superstud law student that I've convinced myself that I was.” Owens said he was both “relieved” and “disappointed” that he didn’t make the cut.

He may have a better chance at securing a seat on the 9th Circuit Court. 

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