Carolyn McHugh

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Carolyn McHugh
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Court Information:
United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
Title:   Judge
Appointed by:   Barack Obama
Approval vote:   98-0
Active:   3/12/2014-Present
Chief:   2012-2014
Preceded by:   Michael R. Murphy
Past post:   Judge, Utah Court of Appeals
Past chief:   2012-2014
Past term:   2005-2014
Past post 2:   Attorney, private practice
Personal History
Born:   1957
Hometown:   Salt Lake City, Utah
Undergraduate:   University of Utah, 1978
Law School:   University of Utah College of Law, 1982

Carolyn B. McHugh is a federal judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. Prior to joining the court she was a judge on the Utah Court of Appeals. She was appointed to the Utah Court of Appeals by Governor Jon Huntsman in August of 2005.[1] McHugh became presiding judge on January 1, 2012, and served in the position until December 31, 2013.[2]

On May 16, 2013, McHugh was nominated by President Barack Obama to fill a vacancy on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit.[3] On March 12, 2014, McHugh was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on a vote of 98-0. She is the first female from Utah to be judge on the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.[4]


McHugh attended University of Utah, graduating magna cum laude with a B.A. in 1978 and her J.D. in 1982. She graduated from law school as Order of the Coif and served on the editorial board of the Utah Law Review.[1]


  • 2012-2014: Presiding judge
  • 2010-2011: Associate presiding judge
  • 2005-2009: Judge
  • 1991-1992, 2011: Adjunct professor, S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah
  • 1986: Adjunct professor, College of Social and Behavioral Science
  • 1983-2005: Parr Brown Gee & Loveless
  • 1987-2005: Shareholder
  • 1983-1986: Associate

Judicial career

Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals

Nomination Tracker
 Candidate:Carolyn McHugh
 Court:Tenth Circuit
 Progress:Confirmed 300 days after nomination.
ApprovedANominated:May 16, 2013
ApprovedAABA Rating:Unanimously Well Qualified
ApprovedAHearing:September 25, 2013
ApprovedAQFRs:(dead link) QFRs
ApprovedAReported:January 16, 2014 
ApprovedAConfirmed:March 12, 2014
 Vote: 98-0

On May 16, 2013, President Barack Obama nominated Carolyn B. McHugh to the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit to fill the vacancy left by Michael Murphy.[7] President Obama commented on the nomination

Judge Carolyn B. McHugh has displayed exceptional dedication to the legal profession through her work and I am honored to nominate her to serve the American people as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals. She will be a diligent, judicious and esteemed addition to the Tenth Circuit bench.[8][9]

McHugh was rated Unanimously Well Qualified by the American Bar Association. You can find her Committee Questionnaire available here.[10]

McHugh is the first woman from Utah to sit on the Tenth Circuit.[4]

McHugh's nomination was returned by the Senate on January 3, 2014 and she was renominated on January 6th by President Obama.[11]

On January 16, 2014, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved McHugh's nomination on a voice vote.[12] McHugh was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on March 12, 2014 on a vote of 98-0.[13]

Senator Orin Hatch speaking about McHugh:

Judge McHugh received praise for many things, but perhaps the most common description was simply that she works harder than anyone else. Her former law partners said it, judges said it. Over and over the same thing came up – she works incredibly hard.[14][9]

Awards and association


  • 2009: Dorathy Merrill Brothers Award for the Advancement of Women in the Legal Profession, Utah State Bar
  • 2001: Christine M. Durham Woman Lawyer of the year, Women Lawyers of Utah
  • 1997: Young Alumnus of the Year, S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah
  • 1996: Distinguished Committee Award, Needs of Children Committee, Utah State Bar
  • 1981-1982: Utah Law Review Editorial Board, S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah
  • 1981-1982: Eccles Merit Fellowship, Eccles Family Charitable Trust


  • 2004-2005: Trustee, Legal Aid Society of Salt Lake
  • 1994-2005: Catholic Community Services of Utah
  • 2003-2005: Long Range Planning Committee
  • 2002-2003: President, Board of Trustees
  • 1999-2003: Executive Committee
  • 1996-2003: Resource Development Committee
  • 1996-2003: Trustee
  • 1994-1998: Awards Banquet Committee
  • 1982-1986: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Salt Lake
  • 1984-1986: Executive Committee
  • 1982-1984: Trustee[15]

See also

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Utah Courts, "Official biography of Judge McHugh," accessed January 27, 2015
  2. Utah Courts, "Press Release: Court of Appeals Names New Presiding Judge," January 5, 2012
  3. The Salt Lake Tribune, "Obama names Utah state judge to 10th Circuit bench," May 16, 2013
  4. 4.0 4.1 The Salt Lake Tribune, "Utahn lauded as 10th Circuit appeals court pick," September 25, 2013
  5. Utah Courts Press Release, "Supreme Court Appoints Judge McHugh to Conduct Commission," December 17, 2009
  6. Deseret News, "Utah Appellate Judge Carolyn McHugh to serve on Judicial Conduct Commission," December 17, 2009
  7., "Presidential Nominations Sent to the Senate" May 16, 2013
  8. "President Obama Nominates Judge Carolyn B. McHugh to Serve on the United States Court of Appeals," May 16, 2013
  9. 9.0 9.1 Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  10. U.S. Senate Website, "113th Congress Nomination Materials," accessed January 27, 2015
  11. White House, "Presidential Nominations Sent to the Senate," January 7, 2014
  12. The Salt Lake Tribune, "Senate Judiciary Committee OKs Utah appeals judge, again," January 16, 2014
  13., "On the Nomination (Confirmation Carolyn B. McHugh, of Utah, to be U.S. Circuit Judge for the Tenth Circuit)," March 12, 2014
  14. KCSG, "Hatch on Confirmation of Judge Carolyn McHugh to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals," March 12, 2014
  15. Senate Judiciary Committee, "Questions for Judicial Nominees," accessed November 14, 2013
Political offices
Preceded by:
Michael R. Murphy
Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals
Succeeded by:

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