Trump’s 5 Appeals Court Judge Nominees: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

trump judges

Getty Donald J Trump swearing the presidential oath.

The appointments are for life.

Pres. Donald J. Trump Wednesday announced his nominations for five new circuit court judges to serve on two particular judicial circuits; the 9th and the 2nd. Politically, Trump may be attempting to reconfigure these two courts, the 9th in particular, as both have ruled against him on at least one huge Trump administration policy: the travel ban. There are three pending 9th Circuit nominations; Trump has one judicial pick left.

Trump recently described the 9th Circuit as “unfair” for its rulings against his administration on a number of matters.

According to reporting by Zoe Tillman of Buzzfeed, California Sens. Kamala Harris and Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris were provided Trump’s shortlist this summer but have been working on their own list.

The five appeals court judicial nominees are Joseph F. Bianco, Michael H. Park, Patrick J. Bumatay, Daniel P. Collins and Kenneth Kiyul Lee.

Trump also offered nominees for U.S. district courts for a total of 13 judges.

All are men. Three are Asian.

The nominations must be approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee before going to a full Senate vote.

Here’s what you need to know about Trump’s judicial nominees:


1. Joseph F. Bianco of New York, Nominated to Serve as a Circuit Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit is Already U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of New York

Joseph Bianco

US District Court for the Eastern District of New York Judge Joseph Bianco

Bianco, appointed by Pres. George W. Bush, has been a judge for new York’s Eastern District since 2006. Bianco, who teaches upper level law course at St. John’s University School of Law and also taught law classes at Fordham, Hofstra and Touro universities; law schools, served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice, where he oversaw counterterrorism and fraud efforts.

Bianco served for nine years as an assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, including for two years as Chief of the Organized Crime and Terrorism Unit. Bianco, who earned his B.A., magna cum laude, from Georgetown University and his J.D. from Columbia Law School, clerked for former Judge Peter K. Leisure of the SDNY.

That’s the bio information the White House provided. There’s a lot more to know about Bianco.

Born in Queens, New York, he is a married father of six adult children and a devout Roman Catholic, and to the latter point, Bianco was ordained as a deacon and serves at a Long Island-based parish where, according to an article about Bianco written for the Federal Bar Association, his Saturdays include visiting a nursing home, “spending three hours administering prayers and Communion to the home-bound. And, each weekend since being ordained, he preaches at Mass.”

Bianco also teaches local high school students about the federal court system in his own courtroom where he holds mock trials. Bianco also started a ‘justice camp’ at the Eastern District. It was modeled by the Administrative Office of US Courts in D.C. However, it appears based on the website, the program’s last initiative for high school kids was in 2016.


2. Michael H. Park of New York, Nominated to Serve as a Circuit Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, Park is Currently a Partner in a NY Law Firm

Michael H Park

Attorney Michael H. Park was nominated by Pres. Trump as a lifetime appointment as judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Michael Park is a partner in the New York City office of Consovoy McCarthy Park PLLC where he focuses on securities, criminal, commercial, administrative, and constitutional law, The White House said. Park served as an Attorney-Adviser in the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Legal Counsel, where he advised the White House and other Executive Branch officials on a variety of complex matters, including national security issues, constitutional questions, and congressional investigations, his bio reads.

Park clerked for Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito, for whom he also clerked on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

Park was named one of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association’s ‘2013 Best Lawyers Under 40.’

He’s an adjunct professor at the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University, a member of the Board of Trustees of the Supreme Court Historical Society, the Board of Directors of Operation Exodus Inner City, and the Asian American Bar Association of New York.

Park earned his B.A., magna cum laude, from Princeton University and his J.D. from Yale Law School, where he served as managing editor of the Yale Law Journal.


3. Patrick J. Bumatay of California, Nominated to Serve as a Circuit Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit

Patrick J Bumatay

Patrick J Bumatay

Bumatay, a Filipino-American, is an Assistant United States Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California, where he is a member of the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Forces Section. He is currently detailed to the Office of the Attorney General Jeff Sessions, where he serves as advisor to Sessions on the national opioid crisis and transnational organized crime.

Bumatay has also served in other positions in the DOJ, his bio reads, including the Office of the Deputy Attorney General, the Office of the Associate Attorney General, where he was responsible for overseeing various aspects of the Department’s civil enforcement programs, and the Office of Legal Policy. After graduating from law school, he served as a law clerk for Judge Timothy M. Tymkovich of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit Court. He also clerked for Judge Sandra L. Townes of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

Bumatay received his B.A., cum laude, from Yale University and his J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a member of the National Filipino American Lawyers Association (NFALA), the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, the Tom Homann LGBT Law Association, and the Federal Bar Association. Bumatay is also a member of the Federalist Society.


4. Daniel P. Collins of California, Nominated to Serve as a Circuit Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit

Daniel P. Collins

Attorney Daniel P Collins

Daniel Collins is a partner in the Los Angeles office of Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP, where his practice focuses on appellate litigation in the Supreme Court, 9th Circuit – he’s argued 36 cases in the 9th – and the California Supreme Court.

Before joining Munger Tolles, Collins served as an Associate Deputy Attorney General at DOJ where he worked extensively on the Prosecutorial Remedies and Other Tools to End the Exploitation of Children Today (PROTECT) Act of 2003, which included provisions to combat child pornography and child abuse and to reform federal sentencing laws, his bio reads.

Collins served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California and as an Attorney Advisor in the Office of Legal Counsel. After law school, Collins clerked for Judge Dorothy W. Nelson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, and he later clerked for SCOTUS Justice Scalia.

Collins earned his A.B. from Harvard College, summa cum laude, and his J.D., with distinction, from Stanford University and worked on the Stanford Law Review.


5. Kenneth K. Lee of California, Nominated to Serve as a Circuit Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit

Kenneth K Lee

Kenneth K Lee

Lee is a partner in the Los Angeles office of Jenner & Block LLP, where his practice focuses on appellate litigation and internal investigations, and where he serves on the firm’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee. He has briefed and argued appeals in multiple federal courts of appeals, including the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 2nd, 5th and 9th circuits. Lee provides pro bono, or free, legal representation to indigent and incarcerated clients, his bio reads.

Lee also once served as Associate Counsel to Pres. George W. Bush, according to his bio.

After law school, Lee clerked for Judge Emilio M. Garza of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit. Lee earned his A.B. from Cornell University, summa cum laude, and his J.D., magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School.