Amidst concerns that many of us had that the White House was striking a bad deal with California’s Democratic senators, I am delighted to report that President Trump has announced an outstanding slate of Ninth Circuit nominees to three vacancies in California. Specifically, the president will renominate Daniel P. Collins and Kenneth K. Lee, and he will nominate Daniel A. Bress.
Bress is being nominated in lieu of Patrick J. Bumatay, who is in turn being nominated to a district-court vacancy. I don’t know what the behind-the-scenes story is here, but I will attest that Bress, who, like Collins, is a former Scalia clerk, is by all accounts outstanding. Bress was in the running for a nomination last year, and there is zero reason to view his nomination as some sort of concession to Senator Feinstein or Senator Harris (who have jointly declared their opposition to all three nominees).
As for Bumatay, I hope that he’s not too disappointed by the change in the seat to which he is being nominated. His experience, including as a federal prosecutor, arguably makes him especially well suited to a federal district judgeship.