Senators dismiss Donald Trump’s judicial nominee for 9th Circuit
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell withdrew one of President Trump’s judicial nominees for the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Thursday after failing to get the majority of the Senate to back the president’s pick.
Ryan W. Bounds, an assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon, faced pushback from both of his home state senators, who said the nominee withheld controversial writings when he was being vetted for the federal bench.
One of his home state senators said Mr. Bounds defended vandalizing a gay-pride monument, argued against measures to protect sexual assault survivors and compared campus groups promoting multiculturalism in America to Nazis while writing for his college newspaper.
“Mr. Bounds misrepresented — in my view really lied — as he covered up disturbing intolerant writings from his past,” said Sen. Ron Wyden, Oregon Democrat.
The writings were discovered after Oregon’s bipartisan committee, which handles judicial nominees, vetted Mr. Bounds.
But Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley, Iowa Republican, said Mr. Bounds‘ college writings from 25 years ago should not be a reason to reject him, criticizing both Mr. Wyden and Sen. Jeff Merkley, Oregon’s other senator, for refusing to meet with the nominee during the confirmation process.
“Interestingly, none of them cite anything Mr. Bounds has done in his legal career as a reason for opposing his nomination,” Mr. Grassley said.
With the Republican’s slim 51 to 49 majority and Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican out due to his illness, the GOP faced pushback from at least one of its senators, Tim Scott of South Carolina, on Mr. Bounds‘ nomination.
“After talking with the nominee last night and meeting with him today, I had unanswered questions that led to me being unable to support him,” Mr. Scott said.
The top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California was surprised when the nomination was withdrawn moments before the scheduled confirmation vote.
“These are hard things, you know, you learn things as you go along in the process and sometimes it changes, and I think that’s one of those,” she said as she left the chamber floor.
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