Susan P. Graber

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Susan Graber
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
Assumed office
April 1, 1998
Appointed by Bill Clinton
Preceded by Edward Leavy
Associate Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court
In office
May 2, 1990 – April 1, 1998
Appointed by Neil Goldschmidt
Preceded by Robert Jones
Succeeded by William Riggs
Personal details
Born (1949-07-05) July 5, 1949 (age 69)
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, U.S.
Alma mater Wellesley College
Yale Law School

Susan Pia Graber (born July 5, 1949) is an American attorney and jurist. She is a circuit judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. A native of Oklahoma, she was the 90th Associate Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court, and served on the Oregon Court of Appeals.

Early life

Susan Graber was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, on July 5, 1949.[1][2] After high school Graber attended Wellesley College in Wellesley, Massachusetts.[1] She graduated from Wellesley with a Bachelor of Arts in 1969, Phi Beta Kappa.[1] Graber went to law school at Yale where she earned her Juris Doctor in 1972.[1] She attended Yale with Hillary Rodham (now Clinton) and Bill Clinton.[3]

Legal career

Upon graduation Graber became an assistant attorney general for the New Mexico Bureau of Revenue, where she continued until 1974.[1] That year she entered private law practice in Santa Fe, New Mexico, until 1975.[1] In 1975 she moved to Ohio where she returned to private practice, this time in Cincinnati, until 1978.[1] Then in 1978 Graber moved to Portland, Oregon, where she became an associate at Stoel Rives Boley Jones and Grey (now Stoel Rives LLP).[1][4] In 1981 she became a partner.[1] In 1986, the Northwest Women’s Law Center gave her their Founder’s Award to recognize her pro bono service.[4]

In 1983, while she was a practicing attorney, Graber was designated to serve occasionally as a state district court judge on a temporary or pro tempore basis when the regular judges of the court were unavailable.[5] She also served as a mediator for the U.S. District Court from 1986 to 1988.[4]

Judicial career

Graber began her career as a judge when Oregon Governor Neil Goldschmidt appointed her to the Oregon Court of Appeals. She was appointed on February 11, 1988, to replace judge Thomas F. Young, who had died in office. Graber served on the court of appeals until May 2, 1990.[6] While on the bench she served as president of the Oregon Appellate Judges Association.[4]

On May 2, 1990, Graber was appointed to the Oregon Supreme Court by Governor Goldschmidt to replace Robert E. Jones.[7][8] However, Jones, prior to resigning his position, filed for re-election and won the election.[7] Thus Jones resigned a second time and Goldschmidt appointed Graber a second time on January 7, 1991.[7] She became the second woman to serve on that court, following Betty Roberts.[3] Graber then won election to a full six-year term in 1992, but resigned on April 1, 1998, before the term expired.[7] While on the court she was considered to be a candidate for appointment to the United States Supreme Court.[3]

Graber resigned because, on July 30, 1997, President Bill Clinton nominated her to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to replace Edward Leavy, who assumed senior judge status.[1] She was subsequently confirmed by the United States Senate in a 98-0 vote on March 17, 1998, and received her commission two days later.[1] With her appointment she became the first female judge to serve on that court from the state of Oregon.[9]

In 1998, the Classroom Law Project named her Legal Citizen of the Year, and in 2001 she received the Oregon For Country Award from Yale University. Graber was selected to be chairperson of the American Bar Association’s Committee on Appellate Practice in 2001.[10] She has served on two committees of the U.S. Judicial Conference: Committee on State-Federal Jurisdiction (2010-13) and Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure (2013-16).


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 Susan P. Graber. Federal Judicial Center. Retrieved on January 25, 2008.
  2. Who's who in American law. Marquis Who's Who, Inc. 1998. p. 292. ISBN 978-0-8379-3513-3.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1/Identifiers at line 47: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Press Release May 11, 1999. University of Oregon. Retrieved on January 25, 2008.
  5. "U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit: Federal Judge Profiles" (PDF). BerkeleyLaw. pp. 23–26. Retrieved 11 December 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Judges of the Oregon Court of Appeals. Oregon Secretary of State. Retrieved on January 25, 2008.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Oregon Blue Book: Supreme Court Justices of Oregon. Oregon Secretary of State. Retrieved on January 25, 2008.
  8. Oregon Blue Book: Oregon Governors. Oregon Secretary of State. Retrieved on January 25, 2008.
  9. Firsts. OWLS Foundation. Retrieved on January 25, 2008.
  10. Moot Court Board: The Honorable Susan P. Graber. Cornell Law School. Retrieved on January 25, 2008.
Legal offices
Preceded by
Robert Jones
Associate Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court
Succeeded by
William Riggs
Preceded by
Edward Leavy
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit