Ninth Circuit Nominee’s California Ties Questioned

In the News

Published in Bloomberg Law

Daniel Bress has insufficient ties to California to fill a top federal judicial vacancy there, Democrats said Wednesday in warning that confirmation “opens the door” to circuit court nominees elsewhere with weak or no local connections.

“Today it’s a Virginia lawyer in California. Next it could be a California lawyer confirmed in Texas,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the Judiciary Committee’s top Democrat, told the panel ahead of testimony by Bress at his confirmation hearing.

Democrats view the appointment to the San Francisco-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit without their consent as another bid by Republicans to dilute their influence in the selection of circuit court judges. They sit regionally in lifetime appointments one rung below the Supreme Court.

President Donald Trump is fulfilling his campaign promise to appoint conservative judges, so far filling more than 40 appeals court vacancies since taking office. Democrats have opposed virtually all of them.

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