July 18, 2018

Feinstein on Bounds, Oldham Nominations

Washington—Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today released the following statement on the nomination of Ryan Bounds for the Ninth Circuit from Oregon and Andy Oldham for the Fifth Circuit from Texas:

“Republican senators are poised to take another step to destroy the judicial nominations process as we’ve long known it by voting to confirm Ryan Bounds to the Ninth Circuit without blue slips from either of his home-state senators.

“The Congressional Research Service found zero instances where a nominee was confirmed without support from at least one home-state senator. Republicans are doing away with a 100-year-old Senate tradition in order to allow President Trump to stack federal circuit courts with young, ideological and right-wing nominees who refuse to protect the rights and freedoms of all Americans.

“The degree to which Republican senators are willing to discard the Senate’s ‘advice and consent’ responsibilities for this president is alarming.

“Republican senators fiercely defended the blue-slip process when they were in the minority, and this about-face harms not only the Senate but also the federal judiciary. As we all know, what goes around comes around and neither party stays in power forever, so it’s likely that Republican senators will come to regret their willingness to discard home-state senators’ input on judicial nominees.

“In addition, the records of both Ryan Bounds and Andy Oldham are deeply troubling. For example, Senator Wyden raised concerns that Bounds purposefully misled the bipartisan committee reviewing his nomination. Bounds was specifically asked whether there was anything controversial in his record. Despite having written about ‘strident racial factions’ on campus, he said ‘there was nothing to worry about’ and instead pointed to his time before college in an attempt ‘to paint a picture of diversity and tolerance.’

“Andy Oldham’s record could not be more extreme and overtly political. He’s defended laws that would harm women’s access to health care. He led an effort to overturn the Affordable Care Act, and he’s fought against a California gun safety laws. Given his lack of judicial experience and blatantly political record, litigants who come before Mr. Oldham in court will understandably question whether they are getting an impartial judge.”

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