Published in Bloomberg Law
One of two Trump nominees likely to be confirmed to the nation’s largest appeals court this week is an openly gay prosecutor who aided efforts to appoint Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court and consulted on the Trump administration’s zero tolerance Southern border.
A confirmation vote is planned Dec. 10 on Patrick Bumatay’s selection to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit after the Senate voted to invoke cloture, or end debate on his nomination.
The Republican-led Senate is in an all-out push to confirm more judges. It cleared eight district judges last week, bringing the total of Trump appointments to district and circuit courts to 170. That total includes Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh to the high court. Trump previously said he aims to have 183 federal judges appointed by the end of the year.
As an openly gay man and Filipino-American, Bumatay brings diversity to Trump’s mostly straight, white judicial nominees. Bumatay’s nomination, though largely overshadowed by controversy surrounding his would-be colleague on the Ninth Circuit, Lawrence VanDyke, has been a long time coming for the White House.
Trump nominated Bumatay to judicial posts on two other occasions: First to the Ninth Circuit and later to a federal district court in California. The Senate didn’t act on either. He was officially renominated to the California-based appeals court in October after Judge Carlos Bea announced he was retiring.