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We’re asking the Senator to vote against the nomination of Ryan Bounds for a judgeship in federal appeals court (9th Circuit Court of Appeals covering WA, OR, CA, MT, ID, NV, AZ, AK, HI, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands).

Trump and Sen McConnell are going against recent Senate tradition and allowing this nomination to go forward, even though Bounds lacks the approvals of both his Democratic Senators and his state’s bipartisan nominating committee. Under the “blue slip” custom from 2007 to 2015, especially when Obama was President, the Democrats respected the “blue slips” custom for Republican Senators and did not try to force unwanted federal judges on their states. Now the Democrats are down, and the Republicans aren’t doing the same for Democrats. No reciprocity, no respect. The Republicans are ignoring the Democrats’ objections to Trump’s judicial nominees for their states. We feel these actions are adding to the extreme divisiveness between the two political parties, and that it doesn’t have to be this way.

Bounds is a conservative and a leader in his local Federalist Society, with an undistinguished career as a prosecutor. But Trump and McConnell want him to be a judge on this influential and liberal-leaning federal appeals court. His two Democratic Senators disapprove his nomination. His state’s bipartisan selection commission disapproves. We say No too.

Ryan Bounds lacks his Senators’ approvals. Without any experience as a judge nor any other distinction in his legal career, Bounds is also underqualified for this important federal appeals court judgeship. We oppose Bounds’ nomination for these reasons.

We’re asking the Senator to oppose Ryan Bounds’ nomination and to vote against it.

Possible responses from Senator’s staff:

“We still consult with Senators without the blue slip.”  — But this consultation can be meaningless if states cannot disapprove a nominee and make it stick. The Trump administration supposedly “consulted” with Sen Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) about Michael Brennan’s nomination for a federal judgeship. Sen Baldwin felt that the Trump administration went through the motions of the “consultation” and basically ignored her concerns. Brennan was confirmed over her objections by a Republican Senate that goes along with Trump’s wishes.

“The blue slip didn’t give veto power to Senators throughout its history.” — Both sides are going back and forth over the blue slip’s 100-year history to argue who is right. But what makes this situation really toxic: When the Republicans were down during the Obama years, the Democrats honored the Republicans’ blue slip vetoes on judicial nominees. Now the situation is reversed, the Democrats are down, and the Republicans are ignoring their blue slip vetoes. They’re pushing aside the Democrats. No reciprocity, no respect. That’s why this nomination is so divisive.

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