U.S. attorney Michael Mosman sailed through his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday. President Bush nominated Mosman, 46, for a district court judgeship in
Oregon. Mosman still must be approved by the full Senate before moving into the new job.
Mosman's nomination had been criticized by gay activists because in 1986 he wrote memos to Supreme Court justice Lewis Powell arguing in favor of Georgia's antigay sodomy law. Mosman later met with activists and stated publicly that he opposes such laws.
When asked at Wednesday's hearing how his career experience prepared him for the bench, Mosman cited his roughly 15 years as a federal prosecutor in Oregon. He also mentioned his time clerking for Powell. Of that experience, Mosman said, "I first really saw in action the kind of civility, decency, and respect that are, for me, the primary hallmarks of being a federal judge." No questions arose about memos Mosman wrote to Powell.