President Obama originally nominated Judge Lucy Haeran Koh to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on February 25, 2016. If confirmed, Judge Koh will become the first Korean-American woman to serve on a federal appeals court. Judge Koh has served as a United States District Judge for the Northern District of California since her unanimous Senate confirmation in 2010, and she previously served as a California Superior Court Judge for Santa Clara County from 2008 to 2010. Announcing her nomination, President Obama described Judge Koh as a “first-rate jurist with unflagging integrity and evenhandedness.”
On September 15, 2016, the Senate Judiciary Committee reported her nomination to the full Senate by a bipartisan vote of 13-7 (with the support of Republican senators Chuck Grassley, Orrin Hatch, Lindsey Graham and Jeff Flake). The full Senate never considered her nomination, and her nomination was returned to the White House with the expiration of the 114th Congress. Over the objections of both of California’s home state senators, the Senate later confirmed President Trump’s nominee, Daniel Collins, to fill Pregerson’s seat.
On September 20, 2021, President Biden nominated Judge Lucy Haeran Koh, who currently sits on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Before her decade-long service on the District Court, Judge Koh had a distinguished career in public service and in private practice as a trailblazer in the technology and intellectual property field. If confirmed, Judge Koh would be the first Korean-American woman to serve as a federal appellate judge and the third AAPI woman to serve on any U.S. Circuit Court