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Obama Picks Koh for|Ninth Circuit Seat

SAN JOSE, Calif. (CN) - After weeks of speculation, President Barack Obama on Thursday nominated U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh for a seat on the Ninth Circuit bench.

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.

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 as a Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger appointee before being nominated to the Northern District of California by the Obama administration in 2010.

Koh's nomination requires Senate confirmation. If confirmed, she will fill a judgeship vacant since this past December, when Circuit Judge Harry Pregerson assumed senior status.

The nation's largest federal appeals court, the Ninth Circuit had 11,870 case filings in fiscal year 2015. The court is allowed 29 judgeships, one of which is currently vacant.

Two more vacancies will occur later this year when Circuit Judges Barry Silverman and Richard Clifton assume senior status.

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