Daniel Bress, a Kirkland & Ellis litigation partner and former clerk to Justice Antonin Scalia, defended his ties to California on Wednesday, as a hearing on his federal appeals court nomination almost entirely devolved into a debate over geographic roots.

The Trump administration nominated Bress in January to a California-based seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, selecting him to fill the vacancy left by Judge Alex Kozinski. Kozinski, who faced allegations of sexual misconduct, retired in late 2017.

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