Lucy Koh, a nominee to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, testifies before a Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, October 6, 2021. U.S. Senate/Handout via Reuters

9th Circuit nominee Lucy Koh defends COVID-19, antitrust rulings

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Oct 6 – Federal appeals courtroom nominee Lucy Koh on Wednesday, showing for her U.S. Senate affirmation listening to, defended a key ruling she wrote upholding pandemic-related restrictions in California regarding spiritual exercise.

Koh, nominated to serve on the 9th U.S. Circuit Courtroom of Appeals, confronted criticism from U.S. Senate Republican members of the judiciary committee over her February ruling that stated California might ban small spiritual gatherings in properties as a measure to cease the unfold of the COVID-19 virus. A divided U.S. Supreme Courtroom later struck down that call as an improper curb on in-home spiritual companies.

Senate Democrats broadly praised Koh’s lengthy profession within the legislation and her service on the federal trial bench. Koh would change into the primary Korean-American girl to serve on a federal appeals courtroom if she is confirmed.

“The right to religious liberty is one of the most fundamental, foundational rights in our country,” Koh stated in alternate with U.S. Senator Mike Lee, the Utah Republican, who questioned whether or not Koh had given extra deference to permitted industrial actions than she did to non secular train rights.

The Supreme Courtroom, ruling 5-4 in April, overturned California’s restriction in spiritual gatherings in personal properties. Koh, who has served on the San Jose, California, federal courtroom since 2010, stated she would comply with the choice “faithfully, fully, fairly” in future instances.

Committee Democrats stated Koh’s nomination represented the Biden administration’s bid to spice up the skilled and private variety of judges serving on federal trial and appellate courts. Greater than half of Biden’s judicial nominees have been ladies, and 5 ladies thus far have received affirmation to federal appeals courts.

“Diversity on the bench serves two really important functions,” Koh testified on Wednesday. “One is to just enhance confidence in the justice system. And the second is to reaffirm the American dream — anyone can become a judge. That is a very powerful message to send the world, and to send our own community.”

Koh confronted a sequence of questions from Senate Republicans about her ruling for the Federal Commerce Fee in an antitrust lawsuit towards chipmaker Qualcomm Inc accusing it of anticompetitive licensing agreements.

The 9th Circuit final yr overturned Koh, saying her choice “went beyond the scope” of federal antitrust legislation. Koh stated she was following precedent when she issued her ruling for the FTC.

“You say that you’re following 9th Circuit precedent. It’s the 9th Circuit that reversed you and didn’t say it was a close call,” U.S. Senator Tom Cotton, R-Arkansas, stated.

Koh was an mental property trial accomplice at McDermott Will & Emery in Menlo Park, California, from 2002 to 2008. She earlier was a senior affiliate at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and labored as an assistant U.S. legal professional in Los Angeles.

Former President Barack Obama nominated Koh in 2016 for the 9th Circuit, however Senate Republicans didn’t act on her nomination and she or he was not confirmed.

The Senate on Tuesday confirmed Biden’s fifteenth decide, Lauren King, who grew to become solely the third lively Native American on the federal bench.

Learn extra:

U.S. Senate confirms solely sixth Native American ever to federal bench

Biden nominates 10 extra federal judges amid variety push

Biden judicial picks win Senate backing at tempo not seen since Nixon

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