Ryan D. Nelson

Hon. Ryan D. Nelson

Judge, United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

Judge Nelson was confirmed to the Ninth Circuit in October 2018, as the youngest Circuit Judge to serve from Idaho and he has chambers in his hometown of Idaho Falls. Prior to his confirmation, Judge Nelson served for nine years as General Counsel of Idaho Falls-based Melaleuca, Inc., a consumer goods company. He previously worked in Washington, DC, where he served in all three branches of the federal government, including as Special Counsel for Supreme Court nominations to the Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee; Deputy General Counsel to the White House Office of Management and Budget; Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the United States Department of Justice; and a law clerk to Judge Henderson of the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. He has argued in most of the federal courts of appeals and worked on dozens of Supreme Court briefs. He started in the Washington, DC office of Sidley Austin as an appellate lawyer, after clerking for Judges Mosk and Brower of the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal at The Hague, and for now-Judge Tom Griffith, then-Senate Legal Counsel, during the impeachment trial of President Clinton. Judge Nelson earned his B.A. from Brigham Young University and his J.D., with honors, from BYU Law School. Judge Nelson has been a member of the Federalist Society since 1998.


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