Two federal magistrate judges from San Francisco and San Jose were nominated by President Obama today to become U.S. district judges in the San Francisco-based Northern District of California.

Magistrate Judges Edward Chen, 56, of San Francisco, and Richard Seeborg, 52, of San Jose, were recommended for the lifetime appointments by U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California.

Their nominations must be approved by the Senate.

Chen, who will become the first Asian-American federal trial judge in San Francisco, said, “I am deeply honored to have been recommended by Senator Feinstein and nominated by President Obama to the district court. I look forward to the confirmation process.”

Chen has been a magistrate judge since 2001. He previously worked for the American Civil Liberties Union from 1985 to 2001 and for a private law firm from 1982 to 1985.

Seeborg has been a magistrate judge in San Jose since 2001. He previously worked for the law firm of Morrison and Foerster in San Francisco and Palo Alto and as a federal prosecutor in San Jose.

The Northern District court has positions for 14 judges in San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose. In addition to the two vacancies that would be filled by Chen and Seeborg, the court has two other vacancies that will be filled by judges recommended by Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-California.

Obama also today nominated a third Californian, Los Angeles lawyer Dolly Gee, to fill a vacancy on the Los Angeles-based Central District of the federal court.

The president said the three nominees “exemplify the best in American jurisprudence and they will serve the people of California with integrity and fairness.”

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