The Senate confirmed another of President Trump’s picks to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday, the sixth seat he’s filled on the famously liberal appeals court.
Daniel Collins cleared the Senate by a party line vote, 53 to 46.
He is filling a seat claimed by California, and both that state’s senators objected, saying Mr. Trump ignored their wishes in nominating Mr. Collins.
“Collins has a history of undermining civil and reproductive rights, even working to restrict access to birth control. California deserves better,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, said in a tweet as lawmakers began debating the confirmation.
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, New York Democrat, said Mr. Collins filed a brief in support of Hobby Lobby in its challenge to the contraceptive mandate within the Affordable Care Act and also defended pro-life pregnancy clinics from being forced to disclose abortion service information to patients.
“He’s a longtime donor and member of the Federalist Society, and he’s ensconced himself in one of the most anti-choice organizations in the entire country,” Mr. Schumer said.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, though, said the nominee has clerked at the 9th Circuit, the Supreme Court, served in the Justice Department as well as worked in private practice.
He received a well-qualified rating from the American Bar Association.
“Mr. Collins has developed a reputation for legal excellence,” Mr. McConnell said.
Democrats on Tuesday tried to connect the vote on Mr. Collins to strict abortion restriction laws passing in GOP-led states.
Mr. Schumer said Republicans in Washington are distancing themselves from laws such as Alabama, which outlaws abortion except in cases where the life or health of the mother is endangered — yet the judges the GOP is advancing could undercut the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that established a national right to abortion.
“They’re fooling people bc at the same time they say they don’t want to eliminate Roe or curtail Roe, they vote for judges who would do just that,” he said.
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