- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 11, 2018

The top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee blasted the White House Thursday for picking nominees for the West Coast’s appeals court without consulting her, and saying one of the three doesn’t have any judicial experience.

President Trump named a new slate of court picks Wednesday, including three judges to sit on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

But Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California objected, saying she had tried to consult with the White House but was rebuffed.

She said she would withhold her blue slip, in a signal that she doesn’t acquiesce to the picks. Blue slips are a Senate courtesy that, at times, has given home-state lawmakers a chance to express acceptance of a nominee.

Democrats say the committee shouldn’t move ahead without both home-state senators returning their blue slips.

“The decision to move forward with these nominees without consultation or responding to my acceptance of the White House offer reflects President Trump’s desire to remake the court,” Mrs. Feinstein said. “I expect my blue slips to be honored as I was acting in good faith.”

The Constitution assigns the Senate the duty to give “advice and consent” on nominations, including judges. Senators have frequently complained over the years that presidents skimp on the consultation.

The 9th Circuit nominees were Patrick J. Bumatay, Daniel P. Collins and Kenneth Kiyul. They were among five circuit and eight district judges Mr. Trump announced he would submit.

Ms. Feinstein said she met with White House counsel Don McGahn in June to express opposition to Mr. Collins. She said Sen. Kamala Harris, California Democrat, also opposed him.

“I also told him Kenneth Lee had problems because he failed to disclose to our judicial selection committees controversial writings on voting rights and affirmative action,” Ms. Feinstein said in her press statement.

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