President Trump scored a judicial victory as the Senate confirmed another of his nominees for the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Despite objections from California’s Democratic Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris, the party line vote of 53-45 confirmed attorney Daniel Bress to the historically liberal court on Tuesday, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
There were no votes cast by 2020 candidates, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, and neither Harris nor Feinstein returned a blue slip on the nomination.
“Bress is not a part of California’s legal community,” the pair of California lawmakers said in a statement.
Harris slammed the confirmation following the vote as a “degradation of Senate institutional norms at the hands of Republican leaders.”
The Senate just confirmed Daniel Bress’s nomination to a California seat on the Ninth Circuit, despite opposition from both home-state senators. Make no mistake: this is a degradation of Senate institutional norms at the hands of Republican leaders. I voted NO.
— Kamala Harris (@SenKamalaHarris) July 9, 2019
Feinstein had expressed her disappointment ahead of Tuesday’s vote.
I’m very disappointed the Daniel Bress nomination is moving forward to fill a California seat on the Ninth Circuit. Both @SenKamalaHarris and I objected to his lack of connections to our state. He’s not the right nominee for this lifetime position. https://t.co/GejvgS76Tr
— Sen Dianne Feinstein (@SenFeinstein) July 9, 2019
The women had contended that the seat should be filled by another eligible Californian after it was vacated by Alex Kozinski last December after he was accused of sexual misconduct by at least 15 female staffers. Though Bress was born in the state, he has reportedly been practicing law in Washington since 2008.
— Herman Cain (@THEHermanCain) July 10, 2019
Neither of the home-state senators had supported the confirmations of Daniel Collins and Kenneth Lee either to California seats on the 9th Circuit where Bress just became Trump’s seventh judge on that bench. The president has frequently criticized the“biased” and “hostile” Ninth Circuit court which has ruled against him on issues such as immigration, birth control and his travel ban.
With the addition of the 40-year-old attorney, the court will now be made up of 16 judges appointed by Democratic presidents, 12 by Republicans and one vacancy.
With the transfer of two other Republican appointees by the end of the year, Trump will have two more seats to fill, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., “will do everything possible to ensure that those seats are filled,” Carl Tobias, a University of Richmond law professor, told the publication. Republicans have been aggressively filling judicial seats and Bress becomes the 42nd circuit court nominee by Trump since 2017 to be confirmed by the Senate.
Bress has been a member of the State Bar since 2008, having graduated with honors from Harvard University and the University of Virginia law school. Bress served as a law clerk for the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Sen. Lindsey Graham called Bress a “fine man,” and said he was “very pleased” that he was confirmed.
Ahead of Tuesday’s vote, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell touted Bress’s qualifications.
“Mr. Bress comes with strong credentials: the academic pedigree, the legal experience and most importantly a demonstrated commitment to the rule of law,” the Kentucky Republican said.