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Indian-American appointed full-time judge by Barack Obama

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Los Angeles: A 46-year-old Indian-American federal judge is among 11 people elevated as a full-time judge in the third largest US state California by President Barack Obama.

Vince Chhabria was appointed the Bay Area’s first Indian-American federal judge.

The appointment was made as President Obama transformed most of the Bay Area’s federal judiciary, filling 11 of the 14 full-time judgeships on the region’s federal court — the most dramatic makeover of a district court bench in the nation, mercurynews.Com reported.

The Bay Area Obama judges, appointed to lifetime tenure, are a generally young, demographically diverse group that will be deciding Silicon Valley tech showdowns, civil rights challenges and major federal criminal law questions for the foreseeable future, the report said.

The 11 Obama appointees sailed through Senate confirmation hearings.

The group is ethnically diverse, with seven minority appointees, including the court’s first Asian-American appointee, San Jose’s Lucy Koh; first Latina, Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers; and first Indian-American, Vince Chhabria, it said.

Chhabria was confirmed last year year to a seat in San Francisco. He once clerked for US Supreme Court Judge Stephen Breyer, as well as his brother, San Francisco federal judge Charles Breyer.

He has issued significant decisions allowing cases, inlcuding that of labour laws, against transport companies Uber and Lyft’s models to proceed.

Previously in a historic moment for the Indian-Amercican community, Obama had nominated Chhabria, then 43, to serve as a federal judge in the US District Court for the Northern District of California.

San Francisco-born Chhabria, whose father came to the US from Mumbai on a college scholarship, is a graduated with honours from University of California, Berkeley (Boalt Hall) and the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Prior to public service, he worked in the private sector, first as an associate at Keker & Van Nest and later at Covington & Burling.

PTI