Senate confirms UCSC alumnus Vince Chhabria as U.S. District judge

vince chhabria
Vince Chhabria

The U.S. Senate last week confirmed UC Santa Cruz alumnus Vince Chhabria ('91, Merrill, politics) as a U.S. district judge for the Northern District of California.

Chhabria, who is a deputy city attorney for San Francisco, is the first person of south Asian decent to serve as a federal judge in California. His confirmation comes as a series of vacancies on the Northern District bench was called a "judicial emergency" as a consequence of the Senate blocking President Obama's judicial appointments.

The Senate vote was 58-41 for confirmation after earlier voting 57-43 to invoke cloture, or cut off debate.

After graduating from UCSC, Chhabria attended the UC Berkeley School of Law, where he was associate editor of the California Law Review. He later served as law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer, Ninth Circuit Judge James Browning, and U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer.  He was an associate at law firms Keker & Van Nest, and Covington & Burling.

Since 2005, he has served in the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office, where he is deputy city attorney for government litigation and as co-chief of appellate litigation.
U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer, D-Ca., recommended Chhabria for the district bench and President Obama nominated him last July.

Boxer commented on his confirmation March 5: "Mr. Chhabria has distinguished himself as a very well-respected attorney in California. He is a lawyer dedicated to public service with extensive civil and criminal law experience, and he will be a tremendous addition to the Northern District bench."