Oregon State Rep. Ann Lininger, D-Lake Oswego, has been appointed by Gov. Kate Brown to serve as a judge on the Clackamas County Circuit Court.
Brown announced the appointment in a news release Tuesday evening, and Lininger confirmed it a few hours later in a post to her Facebook followers.
"I'll work hard to make sure that everyone who enters my courtroom is treated fairly and with dignity," she wrote. "We need a strong, independent judiciary. I'll be honored to be part of that."
Lininger has represented House District 38 since 2014, when she was appointed to fill the District 38 seat after the departure of Rep. Chris Garrett; she was elected to a full term without opposition later that year, and was re-elected by a wide margin over Republican challenger Patrick DeKlotz in November 2016. Her district includes Lake Oswego and part of southwest Portland.
Lininger also served on the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners from 2009 to 2013.
In addition to her role in the Legislature — where she is chair of the House Committee on Economic Development and Trade and co-chair of the Joint Committee on Marijuana Regulation — Lininger currently works as an attorney for Metropolitan Public Defender Services Inc. She previously practiced business law at Buckley Law P.C. in Lake Oswego and worked as general counsel at Oregon Iron Works.
Lininger also has served as co-director of the Community Development Law Center and as director of program-related investing at the Meyer Memorial Trust. She clerked for judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit and the U.S. District Court. She is a graduate of Yale University and the New York University School of Law.
"I am honored that the governor appointed me to be a circuit court judge," she told The Review on Thursday. "I've practiced a wide variety of law — everything from helping small businesses grow to making sure clients in the criminal justice system are treated fairly. I want to use that experience to deliver impartial, just and efficient help to people who use our courts. I'm thrilled to join the strong team at the Clackamas County Circuit Court."
Lininger's appointment to the Circuit Court comes just four days after the end of the 2017 Oregon Legislative Session, where she often said her priorities were to create economic opportunity, improve public education and help vulnerable people
In a recent post on her website, Lininger touted her work during the session on a number of bills, including House Bill 2005, which ensures equal pay; Senate Bill 828, which requires certain businesses to notify employees about their work schedules; and Senate Bill 802, which allows 16-year-olds to pre-register to vote.
Lininger's appointment is one of eight announced by Brown on Tuesday — three on the Oregon Court of Appeals, three on the Multnomah County Circuit Court and two on the Clackamas County Circuit Court. The second Clackamas County appointment went to Ulanda L. Watkins, a managing attorney at the insurance company GEICO, where she has worked since 2011.
Watkins, a former criminal defense attorney, will be the only person of color actively serving on the Clackamas County bench and the third African American woman judge ever to serve on the state court bench.
"These appointments draw from every corner of the legal profession: prosecutors and defenders of the accused, advocates for injured persons, civil defense attorneys, government lawyers and even a state representative," Brown said in a statement. "his group entrusts some of Oregon's finest lawyers with the fair and impartial administration of justice in our state."
All eight appointments take effect on July 17.