Tobi Merritt Edwards Young

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Tobi Merritt Edwards Young
LBJ Foundation DSC 1669 (24963790430).jpg
Young (at right) in 2016
Tobi Lynn Merritt

Nationality Chickasaw Nation, United States
Alma mater Dartmouth College
George Washington University (BA)
University of Mississippi School of Law (JD)
OccupationCorporate attorney
Known forExpert on civil rights law
Spouse(s) Evan A. Young

Tobi Merritt Edwards Young is a Native American lawyer. An enrolled citizen of the Chickasaw Nation, Young is believed to be the first member of a Native American tribe to serve as a law clerk of the Supreme Court of the United States. [1] [2]


Early life and education

A native of Midwest City, Oklahoma, Young is the daughter of Nancy Edwards and Rick Merritt. She graduated from Dartmouth College and George Washington University. [2] [3] In 2003, she received a JD degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law. [4] Prior to attending law school, she was press secretary for U.S. Representative J. C. Watts. [2]


After graduation, Young worked as a lawyer with the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice from 2003 to 2006. [5] She worked on school desegregation issues, voter rights such as ensuring Choctaw tribe members received voting instructions in their native language, and was a delegate to Human Rights conventions on torture in Geneva, Switzerland. She then clerked for Judge Jerome A. Holmes of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. [4] She worked as associate counsel for President George W. Bush in the Office of the White House Counsel from 2007 to 2008, and was general counsel and board secretary for the George W. Bush Presidential Center from 2009 to 2018. [5] [6] [7]

In 2018–19, Young served as a law clerk for Justice Neil Gorsuch of the Supreme Court of the United States. She is believed to be the first Native American tribal member to serve in that position. She first met Gorsuch when they were both working at the Justice Department. [1] [2] [5] In September 2019, Young helped lead a public conversation with Justice Gorsuch at Pepperdine University School of Law. [8]

Currently, she is a vice president of legal and government affairs at Cognizant. [5] [9] She has taught law as an adjunct professor at Ole Miss. [10]

Personal life

She is married to Evan A. Young, an associate justice on the Supreme Court of Texas since 2021. He is a former law clerk for Justice Antonin Scalia. [11] [12]

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  1. 1 2 Stern, Mark Joseph (April 2018). "The Supreme Court Is Terrible at Hiring Diverse Law Clerks, but Neil Gorsuch Is Surprisingly Good at It". Retrieved July 27, 2018.
  2. 1 2 3 4 "Meet the First-Known Native American SCOTUS Clerk". April 16, 2018. Retrieved July 27, 2018.
  3. "Alumni Newsmakers-The 1990s". George Washington University Magazine. Fall–Winter 2008. Retrieved July 27, 2018.
  4. 1 2 "Chickasaw Woman Selected to Clerk for Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch". Office of the Governor, the Chickasaw Nation. Retrieved March 3, 2022.
  5. 1 2 3 4 "Tobi Merritt Edwards Young". Retrieved March 3, 2022.
  6. "George W. Bush Personnel Announcement". The American Presidency Project. Univ of California, Santa Barbara. March 6, 2008. Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  7. Gerstein, Josh (April 2014). "George W. Bush surprises on White House records". Politico. Retrieved July 31, 2018.
  8. "US Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch Visits Pepperdine School of Law". Yahoo Finance. GlobeNewswire. September 11, 2019. Retrieved February 18, 2020.
  9. "Birthday of the Day: Tobi Young, VP of legal and government affairs at Cognizant". February 13, 2020. Retrieved February 18, 2020.
  10. "Faculty Bio-Tobi Young". University of Mississippi School of Law. Retrieved July 26, 2018.
  11. Lat, David (May 17, 2018). "Supreme Court Clerk Hiring Watch: Two Firsts At One First Street". Retrieved July 31, 2018.
  12. Svitek, Patrick (November 1, 2021). "Evan Young, former clerk to conservative U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, appointed to Texas Supreme Court". The Texas Tribune . Retrieved March 3, 2022.

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