The Senate confirmed attorney Daniel Bress to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday, bringing the number of President Trump’s appointees on the court to seven.
Senators were divided along a party line vote, 53-45, which came after strong objections from California’s Democratic Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris. Neither one returned a blue slip on the nomination.
I’m very disappointed the Daniel Bress nomination is moving forward to fill a California seat on the Ninth Circuit. Both @SenKamalaHarris and I objected to his lack of connections to our state. He’s not the right nominee for this lifetime position. https://t.co/GejvgS76Tr— Sen Dianne Feinstein (@SenFeinstein) July 9, 2019
The Senate just confirmed Daniel Bress’s nomination to a California seat on the Ninth Circuit, despite opposition from both home-state senators. Make no mistake: this is a degradation of Senate institutional norms at the hands of Republican leaders. I voted NO.— Kamala Harris (@SenKamalaHarris) July 9, 2019
“Bress is not a part of California’s legal community,” Feinstein and Harris said in a statement.
While Bress, 40, grew up in California, he has practiced law in Washington since 2008.
His defenders said Bress has California connections — he has been a member of the State Bar since 2008 — and stellar credentials. He graduated with honors from both Harvard University and the University of Virginia law school, was a law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, and has won several professional awards.
He joins a court that has been among the nation’s most liberal appellate circuits for 30 years. Trump has attacked the Ninth Circuit as “biased” and “hostile” for its rulings against his administration on such issues as immigration, birth control and his ban on U.S. entry from a group of mostly Muslim nations.
With Bress’ confirmation, the court will have 16 judges appointed by Democratic presidents, 12 by Republicans and one vacancy. Judges Carlos Bea and Jay Bybee, both Republican appointees with conservative records, have announced plans to transfer to senior status with reduced caseloads — Bea when his successor is confirmed, Bybee by the end of the year — creating two more vacancies for Trump to fill. (San Francisco Chronicle)
"Mr. Bress comes with strong credentials: the academic pedigree, the legal experience and most importantly a demonstrated commitment to the rule of law," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said ahead of the vote.