The Hon. Cormac J. Carney is a District Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Western Division. He was nominated by President George W. Bush in January 2003 and was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in April 2003. He filled the seat vacated by the Hon. Carlos R. Moreno upon his appointment to the California Supreme Court.
Judge Carney graduated cum laude with his B.A. in psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1983. While in college, Carney played wide receiver on the UCLA Bruins football team. After graduating, he played briefly in the U.S. Football League. After one season in the USFL, Carney decided to pursue his law degree. He went on to earn his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1987.
After graduating from law school, Carney joined the law firm of Latham and Watkins LLP, where he practiced business litigation for four years. He then moved to O'Melveny and Myers LLP in 1991. During his tenure there, Carney was elevated to partner and would continue in his practice of business litigation.
Then, in 2001, former Governor Gray Davis appointed Carney to serve as an Orange County Superior Court Judge. During his brief tenure on the Superior Court, Judge Carney presided over criminal and civil assignments. He had only served on the Superior Court briefly before receiving the nomination to the District Court in 2003.
During his tenure on the District Court, Judge Carney has handled complex civil and criminal matters with an emphasis on patents, copyrights, trademarks, securities, business, civil rights, and white collar crimes. In a 2014 ruling, Judge Carney deemed the California death penalty to be unconstitutional. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal reversed his ruling in 2015.
Judge Carney, who was born in Detroit, Michigan, is of Irish descent. His parents, who were both physicians, immigrated from Ireland to the United States, so that his father, Pádraig Carney, could further his practice of medicine.