South Bay judge confirmed to federal bench

The U.S. Senate today voted 93-0 to confirm Santa Clara Superior Court Judge Edward Davila to the federal bench serving California’s Northern District.

Davila, 58, is expected to receive his commission shortly and will fill a judgeship that has been vacant since U.S. District Judge Marilyn Hall Patel took senior status on Oct. 30, 2009, according to the circuit executive’s office for the 9th Judicial Circuit.

President Barack Obama had nominated Davila in May 2010, but although the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing Sept. 29 and recommended his confirmation Dec. 1, the Senate recessed without confirming him; the President re-nominated him Jan. 5.

Then-Gov. Gray Davis appointed Davila to the state court bench in 2001. Perhaps the most publicized case over which he presided was that of Anna Ayala and Jaime Placencia, who attempted to hoax the fast-food chain Wendy’s by planting a severed human finger in a bowl of chili.

Earlier, Davila had been in private law practice in Santa Clara and worked as a Santa Clara County deputy public defender. The Palo Alto native earned a bachelor’s degree from San Diego State University in 1976 and a law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law in 1979.

Federal trial judges hold lifetime appointments and earn an annual salary of $174,000.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.