Friday, 26 October 2018

Trump Nominates Gay Man for 9th Circuit Court; Feinstein, Harris Upset

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On October 10 President Trump announced that he would nominate openly homosexual U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Bumatay to fill a vacancy on the ultra-liberal 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Not surprisingly, response from liberal, pro-homosexual voices and leadership has ranged from passive or mildly supportive to downright antagonistic.

Bumatay is currently an assistant U.S. attorney in Southern California, “where he serves as Counselor to the Attorney General on various criminal issues, including the national opioid strategy and transnational organized crime,” according to Bumatay’s bio in the official White House announcement. Bumatay, who is a Filipino-American, is a graduate of Harvard Law School. And while gay activists might well be happy at his membership in the Tom Homann LGBT Law Association, The Advocate, the flagship publication of the homosexual community, reported with some concern that Bumatay is also “a member of the right-wing Federalist Society, which has recommended judges to the Trump administration, including newly confirmed Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.”

The Advocate also noted that if confirmed, Bumatay “would be the second openly gay judge on a federal appeals court, the first one being Todd Hughes, a judge on the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit … nominated by President Barack Obama and confirmed to the court in 2013.”

For those keeping score, Trump has selected one other LGBT individual for a federal court position, openly lesbian Mary Rowland, whose nomination for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois advanced in mid-October to the full Senate. By contrast, President Obama nominated nearly a dozen homosexuals to federal courts.

While Bumatay’s nomination should have elicited a modicum of applause from the homosexual lobby, only the pro-homosexual group Log Cabin Republicans offered a guarded thumbs-up. “Patrick would make an excellent addition to the court,” said the group’s president, Gregory Angelo. “The historic nature of his nomination as an openly gay man adds an additional layer of prestige to what by all counts is an exceptional career in law.”

On the flip side, USA Today reported that Trump’s nomination of Bumatay “angered California’s Democratic Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris, who did not include Bumatay’s name among those they recommended for the vacancies on the 9th Circuit. Both Feinstein and Harris sit on the Senate Judiciary Committee.”

Feinstein blasted Trump in a prepared statement: “I repeatedly told the White House I wanted to reach an agreement on a package of 9th Circuit nominees, but … the White House moved forward without consulting me, picking controversial candidates from its initial list and [apparently referring to Bumatay] another individual with no judicial experience who had not previously been suggested.”

The Los Angeles Times reported that Senators Feinstein and Harris will try to block all of President Trump’s nominations for the 9th Circuit Court, which, in addition to Bumatay, include California attorneys Daniel P. Collins and Kenneth Kiyul Lee, both of whom deal with the 9th Circuit in their private practices.

As for conservative perspective, Trump’s nomination of Bumatay has garnered almost none. Only pointed out that over the past nearly two years “Trump has nominated a variety of pro-homosexual officials to various government posts and continued a number of Obama-era pro-LGBT policies, such as an executive order on ‘gender identity nondiscrimination’ and U.S. support for international recognition of homosexual relations at the United Nations Human Rights Council.”

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