Feinstein and Harris aren’t happy. Perhaps this is the reason why.
The announcement regarding the 9th Circuit nominees comes after the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board said Tuesday morning the White House Counsel’s Office, led by Pat Cipollone, was on the verge of making concessions to Democratic California Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris over nominees to the court that would fill California’s three seats.
Feinstein and Harris had urged the White House last year to work with them on finding agreement on a “consensus package of nominees.”
“A concession to them now on nominees would rightly be seen as political weakness,” the Journal’s editorial board said of the two senators. “It would concede influence that neither senator has earned and set a precedent for other Democrats who would demand similar consideration.”
It seems that President Trump was listening.
The White House on Wednesday announced a trio of nominees to fill vacancies on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, a move that comes after conservatives warned that the White House Counsel’s Office was attempting to cut a deal with California’s Democratic senators over picks to the court.
President Trump intends to nominate Daniel Bress, Daniel Collins, and Kenneth Lee to the San Francisco-based appeals court, considered to be the country’s most liberal, the White House announced.
Collins and Lee were tapped to fill vacancies on the 9th Circuit last year, but their nominations were returned at the end of the last Congress. Bress, meanwhile, was on the White House’s initial list of candidates for the appeals court.
The president also plans to nominate four others to federal district courts in California, including Patrick Bumatay, whom Trump nominated to the 9th Circuit last year, the White House said.