President Obama Nominates Indian American to Serve on US District Court

President Barack Obama

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Washington, DC – The Indian American community welcomed the announcement from the White House that President Barack Obama has nominated Vince Girdhari Chhabria for a District Court judgeship. Others nominated are Matthew Leitman, Judith Levy, Judge Laurie Michelson, Judge James Moody, Jr. and Judge Linda Parker.

“These men and women have had distinguished legal careers and I am honored to ask them to continue their work as judges on the federal bench,” said President Obama, adding in a statement, “They will serve the American people with integrity and an unwavering commitment to justice.”

Welcoming the announcement of Chhabria for the US District Court for the Northern District of California, Ravi Batra, Chair of the National Advisory Council on South Asian Affairs, said, “Vince Girdhari Chhabria is an American success story; he is an immigration success story; but, ultimately, he is America’s success story.”

The North American South Asian Bar Association (NASABA) applauded the nomination, its President Nadeem Bezar saying in a statement, “This is a proud moment for NASABA as another deserving South Asian has been nominated to the judiciary.”

Chhabria, who currently serves as a Deputy City Attorney for Government Litigation and as the Co-Chief of Appellate Litigation at the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office, where he has worked since 2005, previously worked as an associate at the law firm Covington & Burling from 2002 to 2004.

From 2001 to 2002, he clerked for Justice Stephen G. Breyer on the United States Supreme Court. In 2001, Chhabria worked at the law firm of Keker & Van Nest, after completing a one-year clerkship for Judge James R. Browning of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Chhabria began his legal career clerking for Judge Charles R. Breyer of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California from 1998 to 1999. He received his J.D. in 1998 from Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley and his B.A. in 1991 from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

NASABA in its statement noted that after the Senate confirmation, Chhabria would be the first South Asian Article III judge in California, and the fourth South Asian Article III judge in the nation, following Amul Thapar at the US District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, Cathy Bissoon at the US District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, and Sri Srinivasan at the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit.

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