Trump appeals court nominee withdraws amid outcry over college writings

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A federal prosecutor nominated by President Trump to sit down on the Ninth Circuit Courtroom of Appeals was withdrawn from consideration Thursday after Republican senators expressed issues over his school writings about race, sexual assault and different points.

Senate Majority Chief Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., introduced that the nomination of Ryan Bounds had been pulled by the White Home minutes earlier than his affirmation vote was anticipated.

Judicial nominations are not often pulled at such a late stage, except a nominee doesn’t have the help to go.

Fox Information has discovered that Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., had decided he would oppose Bounds’ nomination and spoke out in opposition to it on the GOP Senate luncheon Thursday. Republicans maintain a slim 50-49 edge within the Senate, which means that one defection could be sufficient to sink a nomination.

“After speaking with the nominee final evening and assembly with him immediately, I had unanswered questions that led to me being unable to help him,” Scott informed reporters.

The White Home mentioned Bounds had withdrawn his nomination and didn’t elaborate.

The controversy round Bounds, an assistant U.S. legal professional in Oregon, centered on articles he wrote whereas an undergraduate at Stanford College. In one in every of them, Bounds criticized what he known as “race-focused teams” on the college, which he mentioned “divide up [students] by race for his or her feel-good ethnic hoedowns.”

The “existence of ethnic organizations is not any inevitable prerequisite to sustaining a various group—white college students, in any case, appear to be doing all proper with out an Aryan Pupil Union,” Bounds wrote.

In one other article, one discussing campus sexual assault, Bounds wrote, “There may be nothing actually inherently fallacious with the College failing to punish an alleged rapist — no matter his guilt — within the absence of enough certainty” and “expelling college students might be not going to contribute an incredible deal towards a rape sufferer’s restoration.”

The writings weren’t initially turned over as a part of Bounds’ affirmation course of.

Throughout his affirmation listening to Wednesday, Bounds informed senators that his rhetoric was “overheated” and admitted that his views had been “not as respectful” as they might have been.

Bounds’ nomination was opposed by Oregon’s two Democratic senators, Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley.

Wyden tweeted Thursday that he was “gratified the Senate got here to its senses immediately.”

“Ryan Bounds flagrantly misrepresented his background, mendacity to cowl up disturbing, illiberal writings from his previous & in my opinion, which means he’s disqualified from sitting on the federal bench,” he wrote.

The Senate offers lawmakers an opportunity to weigh in on a judicial nominee from their dwelling state by submitting so-called “blue slips,” designed to generate session between the manager department and Congress. A constructive blue slip alerts the Senate can transfer ahead with the nomination course of. Wyden and Merkley signaled their objections by returning a destructive blue slip, which up to now has typically stalled a nomination.

If Bounds had been confirmed, it might have been the primary time since not less than 1956 nominee had been confirmed with each dwelling state senators returning destructive blue slips.

A spokesman for Senate Minority Chief Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., used the Bounds withdrawal to name for Supreme Courtroom nominee Brett Kavanaugh to show over papers from his days working within the George W. Bush administration.

“Republicans simply sunk the Bounds nomination based mostly on his school writings. After that, how are they going to argue that Choose Kavanaugh’s White Home papers aren’t related to his nomination to the Supreme Courtroom?” Matt Home mentioned in a press release. “A decrease court docket nominee’s school writings are related however a Supreme Courtroom nominee’s White Home writings aren’t? I don’t suppose so.”

Fox Information’ Chad Pergram, Invoice Mears, Kelly Chernenkoff and The Related Press contributed to this report.

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