President Trump saw the first major signs of discontent on the Senate floor from Republicans over his judicial picks Tuesday as a majority of GOP senators voted against his nominee for a seat on a federal appeals court.
Mark Jeremy Bennett was still confirmed, 72-27, to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. But all 27 opponents were Republicans, while all Democrats voted for him.
Republican defectors said Mr. Bennett is hostile toward gun rights and free speech.
Mr. Bennett, a former Hawaii attorney general now nominated to the 9th Circuit, had backed a limited interpretation of Second Amendment rights — an interpretation that was later rejected by the Supreme Court.
During Mr. Bennett’s confirmation hearing in April, Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican, also questioned Mr. Bennett over his criticism of Citizens United, the Supreme Court case that overturned campaign-finance restrictions and helped pave the way for the current system.
“You took positions, taking a very narrow view of what the First Amendment protects,” Mr. Cruz told him.