A nominee for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit faced scrutiny from Republican senators Wednesday over his policymaking background and involvement in California’s Proposition 57, a 2016 initiative passed by the state’s voters that increased parole chances for people convicted of nonviolent crimes.

Gabriel Sanchez, an associate justice on the California Court of Appeal, served for seven years as former Gov. Jerry Brown’s deputy legal affairs secretary, where he oversaw the adoption of regulations implementing Proposition 57. The proposition was passed in accordance with a U.S. Supreme Court decision that found California’s prison overcrowding constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.