The speculation over who will fill California vacancies on the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals shifted into a higher gear Tuesday, after the Obama administration made its first appellate pick.

The president selected Judge David Hamilton from Indiana’s Southern District — said to be a well-liked moderate — for a seat on the Seventh Circuit in Chicago. In California, three Northern District judges are seen as contenders for the Ninth Circuit. But the district court bench is hardly the only Northern California constituency eyeing a spot on the bench.