AsAmNews: Korean American Eumi Lee confirmed as US District Judge

By Matthew Yoshimoto

Alameda County Superior Court Judge Eumi K. Lee, who was appointed by President Joe Biden to fill the vacancy on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in a 50-49 vote Wednesday.

Lee served as a clinical professor at UC Law SF from 2005 to 2018 and was co-founder and co-director of the law school’s Institute for Criminal Justice from 2010 to 2012, UC Law San Francisco reported.

In 2018, she left UC Law SF to serve on the Alameda County Superior Court to which she was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown, becoming the first Korean American to serve on the Alameda County bench, according to a statement from U.S. senator Alex Padilla.

“The proud daughter of parents who survived the Korean War before immigrating to the United States, Judge Lee has consistently worked to mentor women, people of color, and those typically underrepresented in the legal profession, because she knows that public service doesn’t stop at the courtroom doors,” said Padilla in the statement. “In private practice, in the classroom, and in the court room, she’s demonstrated the intellect and objectivity needed to serve the Northern District with distinction.”

UC Law SF Professor Ascanio Piomelli, who co-taught the Individual Representation Clinic and Social Justice Lawyering Concentration Seminar with Lee, said she was a “caring, demanding, and hard-working professor who cared deeply about preparing students for the real world,” UC Law San Francisco noted.

“Being fair minded and even-handed are fundamental to her approach,” said Piomelli to UC Law San Francisco. “She cares about making sure everyone who appears before her understands what’s going on and feels respected.”

Lee, Pleasanton Weekly reported, was one of four prospective federal court nominees announced by President Biden on July 27. The White House described Lee, among the other candidates, as “extraordinarily qualified, experienced, and devoted to the rule of law and our Constitution.”

“I have no doubt that she will champion rule of law while treating every person who comes before her with equal dignity and respect,” said U.S. senator Laphonza Butler in the statement. “Judge Lee brings a wealth of knowledge to the federal bench where she will serve as the latest example of well-qualified, historic nominees confirmed under the Biden Administration.”

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