Update on Bumatay - Vote Monday, December 9
Here's a quick update on our opposition to the confirmation of Patrick Bumatay to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Last night, the Senate scheduled a vote on Bumatay’s confirmation for Monday, December 9.
Recommended action: Please ask Senators to oppose this confirmation based on the serious concerns expressed in this Letter co-signed by twenty-six conservative and constitutionalist leaders. Below are some of my updated thoughts - not those of the above leaders.
For review, it is important to remember that even the best of Presidents occasionally err. As a group, President Trump's judicial nominees are excellent. The team advising him, inside and outside the White House, deserve great credit for their monumental achievements. However, there are still occasional legitimate concerns with some nominees, such as Halil Suleyman Ozerden (5th Circuit) who is unlikely to be confirmed, and now Patrick Bumatay (9th Circuit).
As I have shared before, there are at least two major problems with this nomination.
First, there is little evidence in his written record that, if confirmed, he would be an originalist. Perhaps, Bumatay's greatest arguments in favor of his confirmation are his endorsements. I know some of his endorsers and respect them.
These endorsements are not unhelpful. To be fair, they do have some positive weight, but they are simply of insufficient weight to tip the balance in favor of a lifetime post on the powerful federal bench - especially in light of the shocking information in his record that is shared below.
Consider the infamous endorsement of White House Chief of Staff John Sununu who promised that David Souter "was a home-run," and "would offer a strong conservative voice on the Court." Sununu's claim would be laughable were it not so utterly tragic.
Sununu's endorsement literally bred death and destruction.
Now, I'm not comparing Bumatay's endorsers to John Sununu - that would be very unfair. However, the Sununu tragedy shows the flimsy nature of endorsements, and explains why we have learned from experience and now insist on judicial nominees with a demonstrable, affirmative, written record.
We've been burned before - many, many, many, many, many times before. And every time - after we're burned - we get on our knees and pray we won't get fooled again. So, let's not.
Second, while Bumatay has a rather thin written record, it does contain some shockingly concerning elements. He has been a member – on and off over the last twelve years – of three liberal organizations that enjoy the use of judicial activism to implement their political agendas: the Log Cabin Republicans, DOJ Pride, and the Tom Homann LGBT Law Association.
And, Bumatay remains a member of the Tom Homann LGBT Law Association ("THLA") - right now - while his nomination is still pending. You can read the letter from twenty-six conservative and constitutionalist leaders that discusses the THLA's truly radical agenda to place judges on the bench to implement their political agenda through the anti-constitutional use of judicial legislation.
I can't think of one constitutionally conservative Senator who has been a member of even one similarly activist organization - much less three in the last twelve years. Yet, conservative Senators are supposed to believe that Bumatay is a constitutional conservative? It reminds me of the Marx Brothers quip: "who are you gonna believe, me or your lying eyes?"
So, I respectfully ask you, conservative Senator: what are you going to rely on: endorsements or Bumatay's written record complete with three memberships in radical organizations that promote the anti-constitutional practice of legislating from the bench?
President Trump is a great President, but he erred in this nomination. Thankfully, the founders created a constitutional system with "separation of power" and "checks and balances" that empowers the Senate with the final say on judicial nominations. The President nominates judges and the Senate confirms them. It will only take four conservative acting Senators to stop this confirmation. I say "acting" because "conservative" Senators that don't act conservative are about as useful as unsalty "salt."
Really, this is not a tough call.
Senators now know it is unwise to confirm Bumatay to a near lifetime judgeship on the most dangerous circuit in the Nation. But whether they know it or not, the tens of millions of voters who voted for them know it and we will remember how they vote on this matter.
Recommended action: Please ask Senators to oppose this confirmation based on the serious concerns expressed in the Letter co-signed by twenty-six conservative and constitutionalist leaders.
Respectfully, Phillip L. Jauregui
Judicial Action Group