Bench Memos

Law & the Courts

Outstanding Ninth Circuit Nominations

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.

Most Popular


It’s Time for Colin Kaepernick to Move On

Colin Kaepernick. Remember him? Below-average quarterback. Above-average poseur. Not “activist,” not really. Activists actually say stuff. Kaepernick almost never says anything. He’s like the Queen or most popes — you have to read the deep-background musings of supposed members of his inner circle to get ... Read More

What The 1619 Project Leaves Out

“The goal of The 1619 Project, a major initiative from The New York Times that this issue of the magazine inaugurates, is to reframe American history by considering what it would mean to regard 1619 as our nation’s birth year,” The New York Times Magazine editors declare. “Doing so requires us to place ... Read More

Trump and the Black Vote

"Donald Trump is a racist, white supremacist, white nationalist. So are his supporters." Some version of that refrain is heard almost hourly somewhere in mainstream media. Democratic politicians seem to proclaim it more often than that. Listening only to the Left, you'd conclude that more than half a ... Read More
PC Culture

Courage Is the Cure for Political Correctness

This might come as some surprise to observers of our campus culture wars, but there was a time, not long ago, when the situation in American higher education was much worse. There a wave of vicious campus activism aimed at silencing heterodox speakers, and it was typically empowered by a comprehensive regime of ... Read More

The Age of Miscalculation

On August 7, 1998, more than 200 people were killed in terrorist attacks on U.S. embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya. Americans learned three names most of them never had heard before: Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden, and al-Qaeda. On August 20, 1998, President Bill Clinton ordered a ... Read More