Alison Renee Lee

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Alison Lee
Personal details
Born 1958 (age 56–57)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Alma mater Vassar College
Tulane University

Alison Renee Lee (born 1958) is a South Carolina Circuit Judge in the Fifth Judicial Circuit and former nominee for United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina.


Lee was born in 1958 in Washington, D.C.[1] She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1979 from Vassar College. She received her Juris Doctorate in 1982 from Tulane Law School. She served as a law clerk for Judge Israel M. Augustine, Jr. on the Louisiana Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit from 1982 to 1983 and as a law clerk for Judge C. Tolbert Goolsby, Jr. on the South Carolina Court of Appeals from 1983 to 1984. From 1984 to 1989, she practiced civil litigation with the McNair Law Firm. From 1989 to 1994, she worked as a staff counsel for the South Carolina Legislative Counsel. From 1994 to 1999, she served as an administrative law judge in South Carolina. Since 1999, she has served as a Circuit Judge in South Carolina's Fifth Judicial Circuit. In that role, she presides over both criminal and civil trials and handles appeals in municipal, magistrate and zoning cases.[2]

Failed nomination to district court[edit]

On June 26, 2013, President Obama nominated Lee to serve as a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina, to the seat being vacated by Judge Cameron McGowan Currie, who took senior status on October 3, 2013.[2]

Senators Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott opposed her nomination because of a controversial decision she made involving burglary suspect Lorenzo Young. Lee consolidated bonds and reduced the total from $225,000 to $175,000 for Young, who subsequently was released and then later charged in the July 1 slaying of 33-year-old woman.[3][4]

Due to opposition from her home state senators and a no opportunity of receiving a hearing, President Barack Obama withdrew her nomination on September 18, 2014.[5]