Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Thursday, December 2, 2010


Page 1


Senate Judiciary Committee Approves 11 Nominees for Federal Bench, Including Two in California


By a MetNews Staff Writer


The Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday approved 11 of President Obama’s nominees to federal courts, including two in California.

The committee reported on its website that it had approved the district court nominations of Edward Davila, Northern District of California; Anthony J. Battaglia, Southern District of California; Amy Totenberg, Northern District of Georgia; James E. Boasberg and Amy B. Jackson, District of Columbia; James E. Shadid and Sue E. Myerscough, Central District of Illinois; Paul K. Holmes III, Western District of Arkansas, and Diana Saldana, Southern District of Texas.

Also approved were Court of Appeals nominees Susan L. Carney in the Second Circuit and James E. Graves in the Fifth Circuit. Carney was approved on a roll call vote of 17-2, while the other 10 were cleared on voice votes.

Davila, 57, has been a Superior Court judge since 2001. He was previously in private practice from 1988 to 2001 and a Santa Clara County deputy public defender from 1981 to 1988.

He was president of the Santa Clara County Bar Association in 1998 and served two terms as president of the La Raza Lawyers Association of Santa Clara County. If confirmed he would succeed U.S. District Judge Marilyn Hall Patel, who moved to senior status.

Davila graduated in 1976 from California State University, San Diego, and in 1979 from the University of California’s Hastings College of the Law. As a Superior Court judge, Davila presided over the case of Anna Ayala of Las Vegas, who pleaded guilty to charges related to planting a human finger in a bowl of chili at a Wendy’s restaurant in San Jose in 2005.

Davila sentenced Ayala to nine years in prison, which was nearly the maximum, while saying that “greed and avarice overtook” Ayala and her husband and “they lost their moral compass,” newspapers reported at the time.

The sentence was later reduced to seven years as result of a state appeals court ruling and Ayala was released after four years with credit for good behavior.

Battaglia has served as a magistrate judge in the Southern District since 1993. Before that, he was a litigator in private practice.

Battaglia is a former president of the Federal Magistrate Judges Association. He earned his bachelor’s degree from United States International University, which is now Alliant International University, and his law degree from the California Western School of Law.

Both Davila and Battaglia were nominated by the president on the recommendation of Sen. Barbara Boxer, who alternates recommendations with her Democratic colleague, Dianne Feinstein. Boxer tapped them after reviewing names submitted by a bipartisan advisory committee.


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