Know a Nominee: Dan Collins to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
Do you support or oppose Collins' nomination?
by Countable | 5.21.19
(Updated 5/21/19) The Senate confirmed Dan Collins to be a judge on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals with a party-line vote of 53-46 on Tuesday.
(Updated 5/20/19) The Senate advanced Collins' nomination on a party-line 51-43 vote, setting up a confirmation vote as early as Tuesday.
The Senate is expected to consider the nomination of Dan Collins to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals this week, starting with a procedural vote Monday. Here’s what you need to know about the nominee:
Who is he?
- Daniel P. Collins, 55 (approximate), is a partner at the Los Angeles, California office of Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP whose practice focuses on appellate and complex commercial litigation. He has argued 36 cases before the Ninth Circuit, including three before the en banc court, and four cases in the California Supreme Court, in addition to preparing more than 100 appellate briefs.
- Before joining the firm, he worked as a federal prosecutor for the Central District of California. After that he worked as an attorney-advisor in the Dept. of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel and an Associate Dept. Attorney General, a role in which he helped draft the PROTECT Act of 2003 (an anti-child exploitation bill).
- Collins earned his undergraduate degree with honors from Harvard College and his law degree from Stanford Law School, where he served on the law review. After law school Collins clerked for Judge Dorothy Nelson of the Ninth Circuit and Associate Justice Antonin Scalia of the U.S. Supreme Court.
What’s the outlook for his confirmation?
- The Senate Judiciary Committee advanced Collins’ nomination on a party-line 12-10 vote, with Republicans in favor and Democrats opposed.
- Collins’ home state Democratic senators and Judiciary Committee members, Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein and presidential contender Sen. Kamala Harris, refused to return a “blue slip” to signal their support for the nomination. However, the lack of a returned blue slip no longer gives home state senators the power to stop a nomination.
- Democrats have taken issue with numerous legal positions Collins advocated during his time at the DOJ and in private practice representing clients like Wells Fargo Bank and tobacco companies. They also believe him to be an ideological conservative based on his membership in the Federalist Society and past donations to Republicans, and oppose his nomination on those grounds.
- The American Bar Association’s judicial nomination rating board gave Collins a unanimous rating of “well qualified”.
What does it mean for the Ninth Circuit?
- Collins’ confirmation would fill a position on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that became vacant when Judge Harry Pregerson (a Jimmy Carter appointee) assumed senior status on December 11, 2015. Pregerson’s duty station was in Woodland Hills, California.
- The Ninth Circuit has 29 active judgeships. Of the judges on the bench, nine were appointed by Bill Clinton, five by George W. Bush, seven by Barack Obama, and five by Donald Trump. Collins’ confirmation would fill one of the three vacancies.
— Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: iStock / imaginima)
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