- The Washington Times - Friday, September 20, 2019

President Trump announced Friday two judicial nominees for the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, where he has already placed seven judges since taking office in an attempt to remake what’s been dubbed the country’s most liberal federal appeals court.

Patrick Bumatay, an assistant U.S. attorney in California, and Lawrence VanDyke of Nevada, who works for the Justice Department, have been tapped to fill two of the court’s vacancies.

Both nominees enjoy support from the president’s conservative base, including from Mr. Trump’s former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who cheered the nomination of Mr. Bumatay.

“Patrick’s many fine qualities, including his integrity, intellect and collegiality, make him exceedingly worthy of this position,” Mr. Sessions said. “And his fidelity to the text of the Constitution is exactly what this country needs.”

Meanwhile, Carrie Severino, chief counsel for the Judicial Crisis Network, which backs the president’s judicial nominees, said Mr. VanDyke would protect vital interests facing the people living within the 9th Circuit’s jurisdiction.

The court hears appeals from Washington, Montana, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, California, Arizona, Alaska and Hawaii.

“With deep roots in the West, Lawrence is very familiar with the challenges faced by states in the Ninth Circuit, and, as solicitor general for Montana and Nevada, he was on the front lines of the legal challenges to the overreach by the Obama administration and its job-killing EPA,” Ms. Severino said.

Before Mr. Trump took office, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had 16 Democrat-appointed active judges, compared to only five appointed by Republicans. Since then, the breakdown has changed to 12 GOP-appointed.

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