Ryan Bounds has been nominated by Trump for the influential 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Both of Bounds’ senators from Oregon have refused to return “blue slip” approvals for his nomination. Against Senate tradition, Trump and Senators McConnell and Grassley are forging ahead as if Oregon’s senators don’t matter.

The states should have a say in their federal judges. The “blue slip” tradition allows the nominee’s Senators, often with their state’s bipartisan committee, to say No to a possible federal judge they don’t want in their state. The states should be able to do this regardless of which political party is in power. That’s what the “blue slip” process does when it’s working–it stops a nomination that the state doesn’t want.

Trump and the Republicans are forcing a federal judge on Oregon against the wishes of Oregon’s senators and the state’s bipartisan nominating commission. We oppose Bounds’ nomination for this reason. Please call your U.S. Senators to vote NO on Bounds. Oregon–and every state–should have a say on their federal judges.

Remember, it takes 51 votes to delay or stop a nomination. Oregon activists need the votes of out-of-state Senators to help stop this nomination.


Hi, my name is [name] and I’m a constituent from [zip code]. I’m calling to ask the Senator to vote No on the nomination of Ryan Bounds for a lifetime judgeship on the federal appeals court. Bounds doesn’t have the approval of his two Senators or his state’s bipartisan selection committee. A state should have a say in its federal judges. I would want federal judges for our state to be approved by you. I don’t like what’s happening with Bounds’ nomination and I’m asking you to oppose it.

Note: What is a “blue slip“? It is literally a blue piece of paper. When the president makes a nomination to federal court, the nominee’s Senators are sent blue slips. If the Senator approves the nomination, he/she returns the blue slip. If the Senator disapproves the nomination, he/she does nothing and the nomination proceeds no further. This was the custom most recently from 2007 to 2015, during much of the Obama era. The Democrats honored the blue slips from Republican senators and did not force unwanted federal judges on Republican states. Now that the Democrats are down, the Republicans are not doing the same for Democrats. No reciprocity, no respect. The Republicans are ignoring the Democrats’ objections to Trump’s judicial nominees for their states.

To find your senators, see https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members.

Additional Talking Points for Office Visits or E-mails here.

More Information:

Return to Federal Judiciary