Judge Harry Pregerson, a notorious judicial activist named to the court by President Jimmy Carter, was the senior member of the three-judge panel postponing the recall. In his 1979 confirmation hearing, Pregerson said he would follow his conscience rather than legislative intent if necessary. This year, he refused "in good conscience" to go along with the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling that "three-strikes-and-out" legislation is constitutional.
Another member of the panel is Judge Richard Paez, an appointee of President Bill Clinton who was confirmed by the Senate in 2000 despite Republican accusations of judicial activism.
Former Secretary of State Bill Jones, the last Republican to win a statewide election in California, has been inspired by the GOP resurgence in the governor's recall effort to consider challenging Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer for re-election next year.
Jones was widely regarded as the strongest Republican general election candidate against Gov. Gray Davis last year, but his under-financed campaign failed in the primary. Jones endorsed Sen. John McCain against George W. Bush for president in 2000, but he tells friends the White House would not oppose his Senate bid.
Another possible foe of Boxer is Rep. Darrell Issa, who personally financed the recall drive against Davis. He was given a standing ovation at last weekend's Republican State Convention in Los Angeles, but he angered former supporters by withdrawing from the race for governor without notifying them. Former U.S. Treasurer Rosario Marin is running, but not impressing many Republicans.