The U.S. Senate confirmed California state Judge Gabriel Sanchez to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on Wednesday in a 52-47 vote.

An associate justice on the California Court of Appeal, Sanchez previously served as former Gov. Jerry Brown’s deputy legal affairs secretary. During his nomination hearing, Republicans repeatedly pressed Sanchez on his policymaking past and, in particular, his work in Brown’s office overseeing the adoption of regulations implementing California’s Proposition 57. The proposition was passed following a U.S. Supreme Court holding that California’s prison overcrowding constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.