SAN JOSE, Calif. (CN) – One of the most influential federal judges in the Silicon Valley may soon be tapped by the White House for a judgeship at the Ninth Circuit, the San Jose Mercury News has reported.
The Obama administration is expected to nominate U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh, 47, to the nation’s largest federal appeals court later this month, according to lawyers and judges familiar with the vetting process.
Over nearly six years on the Bay Area’s federal bench, Koh has presided over several high-profile cases including the seemingly never-ending Apple-Samsung patent spat and a sprawling set of cases involving no-poaching agreements among both Silicon Valley tech giants and Hollywood studios.
The newspaper reported that the FBI is currently conducting a routine background check for federal appointees and the American Bar Association is preparing an evaluation of Koh for the White House.
If nominated, Koh must be confirmed by the Republican-controlled Senate. And thanks to election-year politicking, leaders on both sides of the aisle have been known to sit on nominations until after a presidential election in hopes their side wins and selects someone else.
Born in Washington in 1968, Koh received her undergraduate degree from Harvard in 1990 and her law degree from Harvard Law School in 1993.
After working as special counsel for the Justice Department’s Office of Legislative Affairs and then as special assistant to the deputy attorney general, Koh spent eight years in private practice in Palo Alto, California.
She spent two years on the bench in the Santa Clara County Superior Court before being nominated to the Northern District of California by the Obama administration in 2010.
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