President Donald Trump on Wednesday renominated six Californians for federal judgeships who had been left off a long list of renominations the administration forwarded to the Senate earlier this month, and made a new nomination for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Among the nominees are two tapped for the Ninth Circuit: Daniel Collins of Munger, Tolles & Olson, and Kenneth Lee of Jenner & Block. Both California senators had opposed the White House’s California-based Ninth Circuit nominations, claiming that the administration hadn’t sufficiently consulted with them. Don McGahn, White House counsel at the time of the initial nominations, defended the process, but has since been replaced by Pat Cipollone.
Also renominated for the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California on Wednesday were Stanley Blumenfeld, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge assigned to the Felony Trial Court; Jeremy Rosen, an L.A.-based partner at Horvitz & Levy; and Mark Scarsi, managing partner of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy’s Los Angeles office. Federal prosecutor Patrick Bumatay, who had previously been nominated for a Ninth Circuit seat, on Wednesday was nominated instead to serve as a U.S. District Judge in the Southern District of California,
Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris said they were disappointed Trump renominated Collins and Lee for the Ninth Circuit.
The two Democratic senators also opposed the new nomination of Kirkland & Ellis partner Daniel Bress for the Ninth Circuit, saying he lives in Washington, D.C., is too young, and lacks judicial experience. Bress focuses on complex trial and appellate litigation, and previously worked in the San Francisco offices of Munger, Tolles & Olson.
“Chairman Graham has said he wants to protect senators’ role in the nominations process,” Feinstein said in a statement. “Historically, the greatest protection for home-state senators has been the blue-slip tradition. When he was chairman, Senator Leahy ensured that no nominee had a hearing unless Republican senators returned their blue slips. We hope Chairman Graham will honor the same standards Republicans were afforded when a Democratic president held the White House.”
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Patrick Bumatay had been renominated for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, a position he had previously been tapped for in October. He was instead nominated to serve as a U.S. District Judge in the Southern District of California.