Bench Memos

Law & the Courts

Who is Patrick Bumatay?

(Leah Millis/Reuters)

Patrick Bumatay is President Trump’s nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit from California. Currently, he is a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California in San Diego — a position he has held since 2012. Earlier this year, President Trump nominated Bumatay to be a district judge in the Southern District of California.

 41 years old, Bumatay graduated cum laude from Yale University in 2000, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He graduated from Harvard Law School in 2006, where he was articles editor of the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy — a leading law journal for conservative and libertarian legal scholarship. Harvard Law School awarded Bumatay a Heyman Fellowship in 2008 for his academic excellence and commitment to public service.

Following law school, Bumatay clerked for the Honorable Timothy Tymkovich of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. After clerking, Bumatay joined Department of Justice as a political appointee — first in the Office of Legal Policy, where he worked on the confirmations of Chief Justice John Roberts, associate Justice Samuel Alito, and former attorney general Michael Mukasey — and later in the Office of the Associate Attorney General, where he assisted in the oversight of criminal and civil matters in the Antitrust, Tax, Civil, Civil Rights, and Environmental & Natural Resources Divisions.

Following a second federal clerkship for the Honorable Sandra Townes of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York from 2009–2010, Bumatay spent several years in private practice, at the law firm of Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason Anello & Bohrer, P.C. There, Bumatay represented clients in criminal, regulatory, and civil matters involving allegations of market manipulation, credit ratings fraud, procurement fraud, collateralized debt obligation fraud, mortgage-backed securities fraud, insider trading, and obstruction of justice.

In 2012, Bumatay joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California, his current post, where he is a federal prosecutor in the Criminal Enterprises and Narcotics sections. Bumatay has participated as lead counsel or second chair in at least nine bench and jury trials. He has also argued before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

In 2017, Bumatay was detailed to the Office of the Deputy Attorney General at the Department of Justice, where he worked on national opioid strategy and prison and reentry policies. In 2018, he moved to the Office of the Attorney General, advising the attorney general on criminal matters, national opioid strategy, transnational organized crime, and prison and reentry policies. In that role, Bumatay assisted in the management of the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms & Explosives, and Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces. He also supported the confirmations of Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. Bumatay returned to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Diego earlier this year.

Bumatay has been an active member of The Federalist Society since law school. He is also a member of the Federal Bar Association, the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, and the National Asian Pacific Islander Prosecutors Association. He is the author of “Causes, Commitments & Counsels,” published in the Journal of the Legal Profession in 2007.

Carrie Severino is chief counsel and policy director to the Judicial Crisis Network.

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