Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks On The Vote To Confirm Judge Lucy Koh As A Circuit Judge For The Ninth Circuit

December 13, 2021

Washington, D.C.   Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding the upcoming vote to confirm Judge Lucy Koh to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Senator Schumer also highlighted the historic diversity of the judges the Senate has confirmed to the federal bench. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

This week, the Senate has a lot to get done as we approach the end of the year.

Over the course of the week, we expect to hold a number of votes to confirm more of President Biden’s nominees to serve lifetime appointments to the federal bench.

On that front, we will vote later this afternoon on the confirmation of Judge Lucy Koh to serve as a Circuit Judge for the Ninth District Court of Appeals. Her nomination was favorably reported out of the committee with bipartisan support.

If confirmed, Judge Koh would be the first-ever Korean American woman to sit on any Circuit Court in the country. The daughter of immigrants, her background is an inspiring testament to the American dream: Lucy’s mom escaped as a child on foot from the oppression of North Korea, eventually coming to the States. Lucy spent the majority of her own upbringing in rural Mississippi, graduating from both Harvard and Harvard Law School.

For the last 11 years, Lucy Koh has served admirably as a District Judge for the District of Northern California. She’s authored over 3,000 opinions, presided in 270 cases. Everything from the rights of criminal defendants in seeking legal representation, to the protection of online consumer data in the hands of tech companies, to ensuring that the Trump Administration did not prematurely end its completion of the 2020 census. She did all those things. She wrote on all of those things and offered opinions.

All the while, she has conducted herself with impartiality, excellence, and–above all—with fidelity to the constitution and the rule of law.

I have no doubt she will continue building on her excellent judicial record as an appellate judge on the Ninth Circuit, and I look forward to voting in favor of her confirmation later today.

And later this week, we will hold votes on other nominees as well, including Samantha Elliot to serve as judge for the District of New Hampshire and Jennifer Sung to serve as Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit.

Once we confirm all three nominees—Koh, Elliot, and Sung—the Senate will have confirmed a total of thirty-one judges to the federal bench, eleven to the Circuit Courts, twenty to the District Courts.

I'm proud to say over half of them are women.

Over half of them are people of color.

All of them are outstanding, highly-qualified, and they bring sorely-needed diversity to the bench—not just personal diversity, but professional diversity as well.

Decades past, it would have been hard imagining many of these nominees getting a serious look in this chamber. But one by one, Senate Democrats are working with President Biden to expand the possibilities of who can and who should serve as a judge in this country. And we will keep working.

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