Bench Memos

Law & the Courts

Congrats, Dan Collins!

I am especially delighted to report that the Senate has just confirmed President Trump’s nomination of Daniel P. Collins to the Ninth Circuit.

Dan and I have been good friends since we clerked together for Justice Scalia during the Court’s October 1991 term. In recent years, Dan authored two outstanding amicus briefs on behalf of the Ethics and Public Policy Center—the think tank I head—in the Hobby Lobby and Little Sisters of the Poor/Zubik challenges to the Obama administration’s HHS contraceptive mandate.

Dan is a man of exceptional integrity and intelligence, and I am confident that he will be a great addition to the Ninth Circuit.

When Kenneth Lee and Dan Collins fill their seats, the Ninth Circuit will have 16 Democratic appointees and 11 Republican appointees. When President Trump was inaugurated, the imbalance was 19 D vs. 6 R. Beyond numbers, the fact that Lee and Collins are filling the seats held for decades by arch-activists Stephen Reinhardt and Harry Pregerson, respectively, dramatically signals the stark improvements underway.

Daniel Bress, also a former Scalia clerk, has been nominated to one of the two remaining vacancies and will have his confirmation hearing tomorrow. The other vacancy, to the putative Oregon seat to which Ryan Bounds had previously been nominated, awaits a new nominee.

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