U.S. President Joe Biden nominated Lucy Koh to serve as a federal judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit from California. If confirmed by the Senate, she will be the first Korean-American woman to serve as a federal appellate judge. She is the second Korean-American to be named as a nominee to a federal appellate court, following Herbert Choy who was the first Asian American to serve as a U.S. federal judge under President Richard Nixon.
The White House published a press release on Wednesday and announced that Koh was nominated as a federal judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. “These choices also continue to fulfill the President’s promise to ensure that the nation’s courts reflect the diversity,” said the White House, adding that Koh would be the first Korean-American woman to serve as a federal appellate judge.
Koh who is a second-generation Korean-American born in Washington, D.C. in 1968 majored in sociology at Harvard University and graduated from Harvard Law School. She worked for the Senate Committee on the Judiciary as a Women's Law and Public Policy Fellow and served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Office of the Attorney for the Central District of California. Then, she moved to the private sector and worked as an attorney at the Silicon Valley office of a law firm. She was appointed by then-California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger as a judge on the Santa Clara County Superior Court in 2008. In 2010, she was named to be a U.S. District Judge by President Barack Obama as the first Korean-American. She has two children with her spouse, Justice of the Supreme Court of California Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar.
Koh gained expertise in patents and commercial law while serving as an attorney at a law firm in Silicon Valley dealing with IT giants. She garnered attention as a judge in charge of patent litigations between Samsung and Apple. She accepted the verdict of the jury in 2014, which stated three patent violations by Samsung and one patent violation by Apple.