WASHINGTON, D.C. (Feb. 25, 2016) — President Barack Obama on Thursday announced the nomination of Judge Lucy H. Koh to serve on the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. If confirmed, Judge Koh would become the first Korean American woman and the second Asian Pacific American (APA) woman to serve on a federal appeals court, and would become the fifth active APA federal appellate judge.
“We applaud the nomination of Judge Koh to serve on the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit,” said Jin Y. Hwang, president of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA). “Judge Koh has demonstrated her ability as a fair and adept jurist in her almost six years on the federal bench, and we strongly encourage the Senate to confirm her to the Ninth Circuit.”
U.S. Sen. Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI) applauded Obama’s nomination of Koh. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ jurisdiction includes Hawaii, California, Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands.
“Lucy Koh’s experience on the federal bench, in private practice, and as a prosecutor make her a qualified candidate to serve on the Ninth Circuit, whose jurisdiction includes Hawaii, and I look forward to supporting her confirmation in the United States Senate,” said Senator Hirono. “I support President Obama’s continued commitment to ensuring that our nation’s federal courts are fully staffed with quality individuals who reflect the diversity of our country.”
In 2010, Judge Koh was unanimously confirmed to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California by a unanimous 90-0 vote. Her nomination received bipartisan support from California Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, former Massachusetts Governor William Weld, and Viet Dinh, former assistant attorney general under President George W. Bush.
Previously, Judge Koh served on the Superior Court of California for Santa Clara County, having been appointed to the bench in 2008 by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. She has been a partner at the law firm McDermott Will & Emery in Silicon Valley and an assistant U.S. attorney in the Central District of California. She also has held positions in the U.S. Department of Justice, notably as a special assistant to the U.S. deputy attorney general. Judge Koh is a graduate of Harvard University and Harvard Law School.