President Donald Trump recently announced another wave of judicial nominees, and among them is an openly gay conservative, Patrick Bumatay.
Trump nominated Bumatay to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, based in San Francisco, the nation’s largest federal appeals court. It hears cases from nine Western states and has 29 judges; there are currently six vacancies.
Bumatay is an assistant U.S. attorney in California handling various criminal issues, including opioid abuse and transnational organized crime, according to the White House. He went to Yale and Harvard Law School, and the White House said Bumatay is a member of the National Filipino American Lawyers Association, the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association and the Tom Homann LGBT Law Association.
Bumatay is the second openly gay person Trump has nominated for the federal bench, according to the Washington Blade. The first was Mary Rowland, a magistrate judge who Trump nominated to be on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in June; she is waiting to be confirmed by the Senate.
There is currently only one openly gay federal appeals court judge in the U.S., according to the Washington Blade: Todd Hughes, who was nominated by President Barack Obama in 2013 to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
Gregory T. Angelo, president of gay conservative group Log Cabin Republicans, applauded Trump’s nomination of Bumatay.
“As someone who has personally known Patrick for the better part of a decade, I can tell you I will have great personal satisfaction to see him seated on the bench on the 9th circuit,” Angelo told NBC News. “Patrick is highly qualified, and the fact that he is openly gay only adds to the historic nature of his nomination.”
California's two senators, both Democrats, Dianne Feinstein, the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Kamala Harris, have come out against Bumatay’s nomination. The Associated Press reported that Feinstein and Harris are opposing the nominations of Bumatay and two other judicial nominees because the California lawmakers were not consulted prior to their nominations.
CORRECTION (5:26 p.m. ET): An earlier version of this article misspelled the last name of the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee. She is Dianne Feinstein, not Feinberg.