SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A former adviser to then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions was nominated for a second time Friday to a position on the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, an effort that has been criticized by California’s two senators.
The White House announced that President Donald Trump would nominate Patrick J. Bumatay, an assistant U.S. attorney in the Southern District of California, to the busy appeals court headquartered in San Francisco. Bumatay was nominated last year but the Senate never took up his confirmation and it expired.
The Ninth Circuit Court handles cases of high interest to the Trump administration, such as immigration and detention. Trump has accused the court of slanting liberal.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California said in a statement when Bumatay was nominated last year that he had “no judicial experience.” Feinstein is the senior Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which confirms judicial nominees.
Sen. Kamala Harris, a Democratic presidential candidate, said in a statement Friday that the White House was trying to “advance a political agenda” in the federal judiciary by nominating Bumatay.
Bumatay is a member of the National Filipino American Lawyers Association and the Tom Homann LGBT Law Association, according to the White House statement.
Trump also wants to place Lawrence VanDyke, a deputy assistant attorney general at the Department of Justice, on the appeals court.
VanDyke is a deputy assistant attorney general in the environmental and natural resources division. He is a former Nevada solicitor general who also waged an expensive campaign for a seat on the Montana Supreme Court in 2014. He lost.