Senate confirms Lee as Ninth Circuit judge
Thursday, May 16, 2019
Posted by: Joe Menden
The U.S. Senate has confirmed Los Angeles attorney Kenneth Kiyul Lee as a judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Senators voted 52-45 Wednesday on a party-line vote to confirm Lee over Democratic objections that Lee’s writings in college disparaged minorities and women. He is expected to maintain chambers in Pasadena, Calif.
Lee is the fifth Trump appointee on the San Francisco-based Ninth Circuit. The others are Mark J. Bennett of Honolulu, Hawaii, Ryan D. Nelson of Idaho Falls, Idaho, Eric D. Miller of Seattle, and Bridget Shelton Bade of Phoenix. There are now 16 Democratic appointees and 10 Republican appointees on the circuit.
Lee fills a judgeship vacant since Judge Stephen Reinhardt of Los Angeles died March 29, 2018. He becomes the nation’s first Article III judge who was born in the Republic of Korea.
Prior to his appointment, Lee had been a partner at the law firm of Jenner & Block since 2009. He served as an adjunct faculty member of Pepperdine Law School from 2010 to 2011. He was an associate counsel and special assistant to President George W. Bush from 2006 to 2009, and special counsel in 2005 to Sen. Arlen Specter.
Lee received his juris doctorate, magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School in 2000 and his bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from Cornell University in 1997. He clerked for Judge Emilio M. Garza of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit from 2000 to 2001.