Ryan D. Nelson

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Ryan Nelson
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
Assumed office
October 18, 2018
Appointed byDonald Trump
Preceded byN. Randy Smith
Personal details
BornRyan Douglas Nelson
(1973-12-31) December 31, 1973 (age 44)
Idaho Falls, Idaho, U.S.
ResidenceIdaho Falls, Idaho
EducationBrigham Young University (BA, JD)

Ryan Douglas Nelson (born December 31, 1973)[1] is a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He was previously nominated to become Solicitor of the United States Department of the Interior, but was never confirmed.[2][3]

Education and legal career[edit]

Nelson earned his Bachelor of Arts from Brigham Young University and received his Juris Doctor, with honors, from the J. Reuben Clark Law School. He clerked for Judge Karen L. Henderson of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and for Richard M. Mosk and Charles N. Brower of the Iran–United States Claims Tribunal in The Hague. Nelson worked as an associate at Sidley Austin. He argued 13 federal court of appeals cases on environmental and constitutional issues before becoming a judge.[4]

Nelson previously served as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the United States Department of Justice and as Deputy General Counsel for the Office of Management and Budget. He also served as special counsel for the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary and as a law clerk for the Senate Legal Counsel.[4]

From 2009 to 2018, Nelson was General Counsel of Melaleuca, Inc.[4]

Federal judicial service[edit]

On May 10, 2018, President Trump announced his intent to nominate Nelson to serve as a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. On May 15, 2018, his nomination was sent to the Senate. He was nominated to the seat that was vacated by Judge N. Randy Smith, who assumed senior status on August 11, 2018. On July 11, 2018, a hearing on his nomination was held before the Senate Judiciary Committee.[5] On September 13, 2018 his nomination was reported out of committee by a 11–10 vote.[6] On October 11, 2018, his nomination was confirmed by a 51–44 vote.[7] He received his judicial commission on October 18, 2018.


Nelson has been a member of the Federalist Society since 1997.[8]

Personal life[edit]

Nelson is married to Barbara Baer and they have seven children.[9]."[10]


  1. ^ "Ryan Nelson (D), 44 - Idaho Falls, ID". www.mylife.com. Retrieved 2018-11-10.
  2. ^ Hancock, Ben (May 10, 2018). "Trump Nominates Ryan Nelson to Fill Ninth Circuit Vacancy". The Recorder. Law.com. Retrieved May 11, 2018.
  3. ^ Phillis, Michael (August 1, 2017). "Trump Names Ex-DOJ, Sidley Austin Attorney As DOI Solicitor". Law360. Retrieved September 1, 2017.
  4. ^ a b c "President Donald J. Trump Announces Intent to Nominate Personnel to Key Administration Posts". The White House. July 31, 2017. Archived from the original on August 12, 2017. Retrieved September 1, 2017. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  5. ^ United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary: Nominations for July 11, 2018
  6. ^ Results of Executive Business Meeting – September 13, 2018 Senate Judiciary Committee
  7. ^ "On the Nomination (Confirmation Ryan Douglas Nelson, of Idaho, to be U.S. Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit)". United States Senate. October 11, 2018. Retrieved October 11, 2018.
  8. ^ "Questionnaire for Judicial Nominees" (PDF). judiciary.senate.gov. Retrieved June 30, 2018.
  9. ^ "Trump selects local attorney as Solicitor for Department of Interior – East Idaho News". August 1, 2017.
  10. ^ "Swift Justice: New Appellate Judge Courts Trouble With Traffic Cops – Wall Street Journal". October 19, 2018.

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
N. Randy Smith
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit