Washington, DC – After months of unsuccessful negotiations with California Democratic Senators Kamala Harris and Dianne Feinstein, President Donald Trump moved ahead without their support, and nominated three conservative judges to the liberal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
On Wednesday night, the White House announced that President Trump nominated Kenneth Kiyul Lee, Daniel Collins, and Patrick Bumatay to the circuit court, FOX News reported.
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals covers the states of Alaska, Hawaii, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Arizona, and California, according to the government’s website.
It is the same court that has ruled against the President’s travel ban and the limits on funding for “sanctuary cities,” FOX News reported.
The President’s nominations came after months of negotiations with Senators Harris and Feinstein – negotiations that never produced a consensus.
“We have spent nearly two years attempting to engage constructively with the Senators regarding the growing number of judicial vacancies tied to California,” White House Counsel Don McGahn said in a letter to Chairman Chuck Grassley on Oct. 10, according to CNN.
McGahn noted that he met with Feinstein on “multiple occasions,” and said that “Senator Harris has refused to engage with the White House at any level, whatsoever on the issue,” according to the letter.
Consequently, the President opted to “exercise his prerogative to nominate his own well-qualified nominees,” McGahn wrote.
Feinstein immediately blasted the President for making the nominations without her permission.
“The White House moved forward without consulting me,” she said in a news release, according to CNN.
Feinstein expressed outrage that she had already told McGahn she did not approve of Collins and Lee, and said she provided him a list of three nominations she recommended earlier this month.
“The decision to move forward with these nominees without consultation…reflects President Trump’s desire to remake the court,” she said.
Historically, presidents have collaborated with home state senators when selecting who to nominate to federal judgeship positions, and traditionally have agreed not to nominate those who are not approved up by the home state senators, The Sacramento Bee reported.
But that is a courtesy – not a requirement – and the President acted within his power when he nominated the three attorneys.
As outlined in the Appointments Clause of the U.S. Constitution, the Senate will conduct confirmation hearings before any of President Trump’s nominees are appointed.