Vince G. Chhabria cleared the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on a 13-5 roll call vote Thursday to advance his nomination to a judgeship on the Northern District of California to the full Senate.
Chhabria is currently a deputy city attorney in San Francisco and co-chief of the appellate litigation section, which got him into some trouble with Republicans on the Judiciary Committee.
The Republicans did not like his defense of San Francisco in handgun and same-sex adoption cases. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, who voted against the nomination, doubted Chhabria’s ability to set aside his history of “liberal advocacy.”
Chhabria defended San Francisco’s healthcare law requiring employers to provide heath insurance to workers. He also defended San Francisco against a suit by Catholic groups over permissive same-sex adoption policies.
In 2006 he co-authored a column for the San Francisco Daily Journal titled, “Courts Wrongly Continue Bias Against Gays.”
Chhabria has been with the City Attorney’s office since 2005 and prior to that was a lawyer with Covington & Burling from 2002-2004.
He’s got impressive judicial connections. Chhabria served as law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer from 2001 to 2002 and the late Judge James R. Browning of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals from 1999-2000.
He worked as a Congressional intern for retired Rep. Lynn Wooley from 1992 to 1995.
He may also be a San Francisco 49er football fan. He penned a blog called “49er Huddle” for the San Jose Mercury News from 2006-2007.
He received a law degree from UC Berkeley Law School, Boalt Hall, in 1998 and an undergraduate degree from UC Santa Cruz in 1991.
His name now goes to the full Senate for confirmation.