Courthouse News Service reported on Friday that President Donald Trump has named two new judicial appointments to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The court, whose jurisdiction includes the districts of Hawaii, California, Alaska, Oregon and Washington state, is considered perhaps the most liberal of the 13 appellate courts. Under Republican Trump, that is changing.

One of the nominees, Patrick Bumatay, leads the appellate and narcotics sections of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California. He is also a member of the conservative Federalist Society.

“California Senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris, both Democrats who sit on the Senate Judiciary Committee, raised concerns about Bumatay’s lack of judicial experience during his first pass at the Ninth Circuit position. Neither senator immediately commented Friday on his renomination,” said the news service.

Chief United States Circuit Court Judge Sidney Thomas leads hearings in Honolulu, Hawaii. June 15, 2016
Sidney Thomas, chief United States circuit judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit,  led hearings in Honolulu, June 2016. Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

Former Nevada Solicitor General Lawrence VanDyke was also picked to fill a 9th Circuit vacancy. Another Federalist Society member, VanDyke currently serves as deputy assistant attorney general at the environment and natural resources division of the federal Justice Department.

“Nevada Senators Jacky Rosen and Catherine Cortez Masto, both Democrats, criticized the nominations and accused the White House of ignoring “the broad, consensus-based opinion of Nevadans,” according to Courthouse News.

Of the 46 judges appointed to the 9th Circuit since 1971, 25 were appointed by Democratic presidents.

Former Hawaii Attorney General Mark Bennett was appointed by Trump in 2018 to serve as a circuit judge on the 9th. Although he served former Republican Gov. Linda Lingle, Bennett was supported by Hawaii’s Democratic senators to serve on the appellate court.

Senior Circuit Court Judge Rick Clifton of Hawaii was appointed by President George W. Bush in 2002.

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