On April 25, 2022, President Joe Biden nominated Judge John Z. Lee to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit to the seat being vacated by Judge Diane P. Wood, who took senior status.
Judge Lee has been a judge on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois since 2012. He was the first Korean American ever to serve as an Article III federal judge in the Northern District and only the second Korean American to serve as a federal district court judge. Prior to joining the bench, Judge Lee was a trial attorney in the Environmental and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and worked for 18 years in private practice. When confirmed to the Seventh Circuit on September 7, 2022, Judge Lee became the first Asian American judge in the court’s history.