I have known Arizona attorney Roopali H. Desai for a number of years, through my wife’s involvement with the ACLU, and Desai’s representation of Democratic Party interests in court. She is very smart, and she has been very successful.

Now the Senate has confirmed her as the newest circuit judge on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Congratulations Roopali!


Press Release from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals:

Senate Confirms Roopali H. Desai to Seat on U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

SAN FRANCISCO – The United States Senate today voted to confirm President Joseph R. Biden, Jr.’s, nomination of Roopali H. Desai to serve as a U.S. circuit judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Desai, whose parents were born in India, will become the first South Asian person appointed to the court upon taking her oath. Confirmation came by a vote of 67-29.

Desai was nominated for the judgeship on June 15, 2022, and had her hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on July 13, 2022. Her nomination was reported to the Senate floor on July 28, 2022. Upon the president’s signing of her judicial commission, Desai will occupy a seat made vacant by Circuit Judge Andrew D. Hurwitz’s assumption of senior status.

Desai has been a partner since 2013 at Coppersmith Brockelman PLC in Phoenix, where she has practiced since 2007. Previously, she was an associate at Lewis & Roca in Phoenix from 2006 to 2007.

Born in Toronto, Desai received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Arizona Honors College in 2000; her master’s degree in public health from the University of Arizona, Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, in 2001; and her Juris Doctor from the University of Arizona, James E. Rogers College of Law, in 2005. While in law school, Desai was a legal intern for the Office of the Federal Public Defender in the District of Arizona. Following law school, she clerked for then Chief Judge Mary M. Schroeder of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit from 2005 to 2006.

Desai has been a member of the American Law Institute since 2021. She has served on numerous community boards, including the Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest where she served as president of the board of directors from 2015 to 2017.

The Ninth Circuit encompasses Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Washington state, the U.S. Territory of Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. It includes the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the federal trial and bankruptcy courts in the 15 judicial districts within the circuit. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit had 9,141 new filings in calendar year 2021. All 29 authorized judgeships are currently filled. There are two future vacancies with a date to be determined.

Appointed under Article III of the U.S. Constitution, federal circuit judges are nominated by the president, confirmed by the Senate and serve lifetime appointments upon good behavior.

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