|Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California|
|Assumed office |
June 9, 2010
|Appointed by||Barack Obama|
|Preceded by||Ronald Whyte|
Lucy Haeran Koh
August 7, 1968
|Education||Harvard University (BA, JD)|
Lucy Haeran Koh (born August 7, 1968) is a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California and is a nominee to be a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. She is the first Asian American United States district court judge in the Northern District of California, the first district court judge of Korean descent in the United States, the first female Korean American Article III judge, and the second Korean American federal judge, after Herbert Choy of the Ninth Circuit.
Early life and education
Born in Washington, D.C. and raised in Maryland, Mississippi, and Oklahoma, Koh graduated from Norman High School in 1986. She was an officer of her high school's chapter of the National Honor Society. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard College in Social Studies in 1990 and a Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School in 1993.
From 1993 until 1994, Koh worked for the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary as a Women's Law and Public Policy Fellow. From 1994 until 1997, Koh worked for the United States Department of Justice, first as a Special Counsel in the Office of Legislative Affairs (1994–1996) and then as a Special Assistant to the United States Deputy Attorney General (1996–1997). From 1997 until 2000, Koh served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Office of the United States Attorney for the Central District of California. From 2000 until 2002, she worked as a Senior Associate at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, a Palo Alto, California law firm. From 2002 until 2008, Koh worked as a litigation partner at the Silicon Valley office of the law firm McDermott Will & Emery representing technology companies in patent, trade secret and commercial civil matters. In January 2008, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed Koh a judge on the Santa Clara County Superior Court, a position she held until becoming a U.S. District Judge in 2010.
Federal judicial service
District court service
On January 20, 2010, President Barack Obama nominated Koh on the recommendation of California Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein to a seat on the United States District Court for the Northern District of California vacated by judge Ronald M. Whyte, who assumed senior status in 2009. On March 4, 2010, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to move her nomination to the full Senate. The Senate confirmed Koh in a 90–0 vote on June 7, 2010. She received her commission on June 9, 2010.
Expired nomination to court of appeals under Obama
On February 25, 2016, President Obama nominated Koh to serve as a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, to the seat vacated by Judge Harry Pregerson, who took senior status on December 11, 2015. On July 13, 2016 a hearing on her nomination was held before the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary. On September 15, 2016 her nomination was reported out of committee by a vote of 13–7. Her nomination expired on January 3, 2017, with the end of the 114th Congress. President Donald Trump would later appoint Daniel P. Collins to the same seat in 2019.
Renomination to court of appeals under Biden
On September 8, 2021, President Joe Biden announced his intention to renominate Koh to be a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. On September 20, 2021, her nomination was sent to the Senate. President Biden nominated Koh to the seat to be vacated by Judge Richard Paez, upon confirmation of a successor. Her nomination is pending before the Senate Judiciary Committee. If confirmed, Koh would be the first Korean-American woman to serve as a federal appellate judge and the second Asian Pacific American woman to serve on the Ninth Circuit from California, after Jacqueline Nguyen.
Notable cases as a district court judge
Koh has presided over notable litigation, including Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co., High-Tech Employee Antitrust Litigation, FTC v. Qualcomm (finding antitrust liability for conduct in licensing standard-essential patents, later reversed), and multidistrict litigation, including the Yahoo and Anthem data breaches and Apple and Google privacy litigation.
In 2020, Koh presided over a case in which a coalition of local governments, activist groups, and American Indian tribes sued the commerce department over early completion of the 2020 census. She issued a ruling that ultimately resulted in extending the once-a-decade count from September 30 to October 15.
- List of Asian American jurists
- List of first women lawyers and judges in California
- List of first women lawyers and judges in the United States
- Hillary Clinton Supreme Court candidates
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- President Obama Nominates Five to Serve on the United States District Court Bench Archived 2017-02-16 at the Wayback Machine, whitehouse.gov (January 20, 2010).
- "Koh, Lucy Haeran – Federal Judicial Center". www.fjc.gov.
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- "Kagan Nomination Not Stopping Other Nominees". The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times. June 7, 2010. Retrieved 2012-12-24.
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- "Presidential Nominations Sent to the Senate". whitehouse.gov. 25 February 2016 – via National Archives.
- "United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary". www.judiciary.senate.gov.
- Roll Call Vote 116th Congress - 1st Session United States Senate Vote Summary: Vote Number 118, United States Senate, May 21, 2019
- "President Biden Names Seventh Round of Judicial Nominees" (Press release). Washington, D.C.: The White House. September 8, 2021. Retrieved September 8, 2021. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
- "Nominations and Withdrawal Sent to the Senate" (Press release). Washington, D.C.: The White House. September 20, 2021. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
- "President Biden Makes Judges Koh And Thomas First Korean-American And African American Female Appeals Court Judges In California". Oakland News Now. September 8, 2021. Retrieved September 8, 2021.
- "National Urban League, et al v. Wilbur Ross, et al". DocumentCloud. Retrieved November 15, 2020.
- Wang, Hansi Lo (September 30, 2020). "Appeals Court Rejects Push To End Census Early By Trump Administration". NPR. Retrieved October 3, 2020.
- Wang, Hansi Lo (October 13, 2020). "Supreme Court Allows Trump Administration To End Census Counting On Oct. 15". NPR. Retrieved November 15, 2020.
- Howard Mintz, Santa Clara County judge becomes first Asian-American federal judge in Bay Area history, San Jose Mercury News (June 7, 2010).
- Kristen V. Brown: In Silicon Valley, Lucy Koh is the law, SFGate, August 10, 2014