News & Politics

Kamala Harris, Dianne Feinstein Fight to Keep Gay Trump Nominee Off 9th Circuit Court of Appeals

Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) talk as they arrive in the Capitol for a vote on Sept. 7, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via AP Images)

The Washington Blade, an LGBT news outlet, reports that Donald Trump has tried two times “to confirm a gay U.S. prosecutor to a federal appeals court despite objections from Sen. Kamala Harris over his qualifications for a lifetime judicial appointment.”

Patrick Bumatay is a gay Filipino serving as a U.S. attorney in Southern California. He was put on a list of six individuals intended for nominations to the federal bench by the Trump administration.

Bumatay has been nominated to serve on the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. If confirmed, he would become the highest-ranking gay judge serving a lifetime appointment on the federal bench.

Bumatay’s nomination has been stymied by objections from both Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and presidential candidate Kamala Harris (D-Calif.). This disagreement led to the president removing Bumatay’s nomination for the Ninth Circuit and nominating him for a seat on the U.S. District Court in Southern California instead. However, when U.S. Chief Judge Alex Kozinski left the Ninth Circuit Court because of sexual misconduct allegations that included showing pornography to employees in his chambers, the president nominated Bumatay again.

Washington Blade reports that Harris has decided, once again, to fight Bumatays nomination saying,

Once again, the president has put forth a highly flawed nominee to the Ninth Circuit, without the support of California’s senators. I first objected to Mr. Bumatay after his initial nomination to the Ninth Circuit a year ago and again raised concerns about his qualifications and fitness when he was nominated for the district court…A nominee for a lifetime appointment to the federal bench must demonstrate exceptional skill, professionalism and respect for the principle of equal justice under law. Mr. Bumatay does not meet this standard. Mr. Bumatay has a troubling prosecutorial record, lacks the requisite experience, and has drawn criticism from members of California’s legal community, across party lines. It is clear that he lacks the judgment and qualifications to serve on the Ninth Circuit.

The Washington Blade requested specific examples of Bumatay’s unfitness for the job from Harris’s office. No word on when or if Harris will respond.

Megan Fox is the author of “Believe Evidence; The Death of Due Process from Salome to #MeToo.” Follow on Twitter @MeganFoxWriter