Judge Lucy Koh Latest Circuit Court Nominee Headed To Floor Confirmation Vote

Press Release

Press Contact

Zack Ford

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 28, 2021 – This morning the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 13–9 to advance the nomination of Judge Lucy Koh to serve on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. This is the second time Koh has received the Committee’s bipartisan support. She was previously nominated to the Ninth Circuit by President Obama, but Mitch McConnell refused to let the full Senate vote on her confirmation. This time, however, the full Senate is expected to complete her historic confirmation process and seat Judge Koh on one of the nation’s most important courts of appeals.

Judge Koh has extensive experience as a jurist, and she is widely respected for her subject matter expertise in the realms of privacy, technology, and intellectual property. She has served as a federal district judge for over ten years, issuing approximately 3,250 opinions on a wide range of issues and only being reversed in 1.3% of her decisions. Prior to joining the bench, Judge Koh had a distinguished career in public service and private practice, where she demonstrated a tremendous commitment to equal justice for all. This includes several years Judge Koh spent at the Department of Justice, including as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, before going into private practice, where she worked on intellectual property issues for two of Northern California’s leading law firms.

If confirmed, Judge Koh would be the first Korean-American woman to serve as a federal appellate judge and just the third woman from the AAPI community to serve on any U.S. Circuit Court.

The Senate Judiciary Committee also advanced the nominations of Jane Beckering (Western District of Michigan), Shalina Kumar (Eastern District of Michigan), Carolyn Lerner (U.S. Court of Federal Claims), and Armando Bonilla (U.S. Court of Federal Claims) — all exceptionally qualified, demographically and professionally diverse nominees that are also deserving of confirmation by the full Senate.

Alliance for Justice President Rakim Brooks issued the following statement:

“Judge Lucy Koh has an exceptional record as a federal jurist and a committed public servant. In fact, Judge Koh has even more experience as a judge now than when Mitch McConnell previously denied her a fair vote. So the American people can rest assured she will be a fair and impartial judge on the Ninth Circuit. This is an exciting day for the federal judiciary.

“While it’s encouraging to see Judge Koh’s nomination advanced with bipartisan support, it’s disappointing that some Senate Republicans put their own partisan considerations above the public interest. After four years of unqualified nominees being confirmed, our federal judiciary desperately needs the Senate to continue confirming every exceptionally qualified judicial nominee it can as quickly as it can. We are confident that Judge Koh will be swiftly confirmed by the Senate, and that there are many more judges like her that follow. The fair administration of justice depends on an efficient and fair process.”