US Senate Panel Advances 9th Circuit Nominee Koh

On Thursday, October 28, a US Senate panel advanced the nomination of Lucy Koh to become a judge on the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals over Republican objections to a decision she wrote allowing California to restrict religious gatherings during the pandemic.

The 13-9 vote by the Senate Judiciary Committee cleared the way for the full Senate to consider elevating the San Jose district court judge to the 9th Circuit and make her the first Korean-American woman to serve as an appellate judge.

The committee also advanced the nominations of Jane Beckering and Shalina Kumar to serve as judges in Michigan’s Western and Eastern Districts, respectively, and Armando Bonilla and Carolyn Lerner to serve on the US Court of Federal Claims.

Since taking office, President Joe Biden has nominated 53 federal judges. He has sought to put more women and minorities on the bench and appoint lawyers with more diverse professional backgrounds than has been common in recent decades.

Koh, 53, is one of Biden’s 13 appellate nominees to date and one of four picks for the 9th Circuit, which hears appeals from Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington.

Koh has been a district court judge since 2010 and had previously been nominated by then-President Barack Obama in 2016 to the 9th Circuit.

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