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Newest Trump Judicial Picks Include Openly Gay Nominee

by Kilian Melloy
Wednesday Oct 17, 2018

President Donald Trump's newest cohort of judicial nominees includes one openly gay pick, reports NBC News reports.

The nominee in question, Patrick Bumatay, has been recommended to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, which is the nation's biggest federal appeals court, NBC News noted. That same court has been viewed by conservatives as a liberal bastion, and has been the focus of the president's ire. In 2012, the Ninth Circuit found California's Proposition 8 unconstitutional. That was the ballot initiative that stripped the state's gay and lesbian families of their right to marry six months after they had gained matrimonial parity. (In 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court overrode all such state restrictions in finding that same-sex couples have a Constitutionally protected right to marry.)

A report by the San Francisco Chronicle cited a conservative organization, the Judicial Crisis Network, as saying that Bumatay is associated with the right-wing Federalist Society.

The 9th Circuit comprises 29 judges and currently has six vacancies. Though the court's bench is largely occupied by appointees from Democratic presidents, but if confirmed Bumatay and two other Trump nominees to the 9th Circuit, Danielk Collins and Kenneth Lee, "would go a long way toward moving the court to the right," University of Richmond law professor Carl Tobias told the media.

In a rundown of Bumatay's resume, the Chronicle noted that he worked in the Justice Department during the George W. Bush administration. During the Obama years he became an assistant U.S. Attorney.

Trump nominated a lesbian, Mary Rowland, for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois last summer, NBC News noted. Rowland has yet to be confirmed.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.


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