Senate confirms Valley’s de Alba to Ninth Circuit appeals court

The Dos Palos native has ascended to a spot on the San Francisco-based court.

Former Fresno lawyer and Judge Ana de Alba has been confirmed to a seat on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. 

De Alba becomes just the fourth Hispanic woman to be appointed to the court. 


Driving the news: The U.S. Senate elevated de Alba to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday by a vote of 48-43. 

  • De Alba moves to the San Francisco-based court after serving as a judge for the District Court for the Eastern District of California. 
  • Democrats widely supported de Alba’s nomination, although West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin sided with Republicans against her, the only member of his party to do so. 
  • Republicans opposed her nomination for her decision to sentence a child pornography defendant to a shorter prison term than suggested by federal sentencing guidelines. In response to questions during the committee process, de Alba said the sentence was in line with a probation officer’s recommendation based on an individualized assessment of the defendant. 

The backstory: De Alba earned her law degree in 2007 and joined Fresno law firm Lang, Richert & Patch, where she would go on to become a partner. 

  • In 2018 former Gov. Jerry Brown appointed de Alba to the Fresno County Superior Court. 
  • Last year President Joe Biden nominated her to the federal court for the Eastern District of California. 

What they’re saying: “Judge Ana de Alba has dedicated her career to public service and improving our legal system,” said Rep. Jim Costa (D–Fresno) in a statement. “A native of Dos Palos and an experienced jurist, she brings a wealth of knowledge and experience, which will be an asset to the Ninth Circuit Court. Her story will continue to inspire young aspiring lawyers in the San Joaquin Valley who hope to make a difference in their community.”

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