Circuit Court nomination pulled moments before vote
The White House withdrew the nomination of Circuit Court hopeful Ryan Bounds on Thursday, moments before the nominee was to face his Senate confirmation vote and after South Carolina Republican Sen. Tim Scott raised concerns.
Multiple sources told CNN that Scott made clear during the Senate lunch Thursday that he couldn’t vote for Bounds and Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio echoed the concerns.
The concerns revolved around the content of his writings while at Stanford and the fact that Bounds did not disclose the writings to a bipartisan committee of attorneys in Oregon that had recommended him for Ninth Circuit job.
One source described there was then a “jail break” of Republican senators with concerns. Once it was clear the vote was going to go down, several other senators also said they didn’t want any part of voting for him, according to the sources, who said calls were made to the White House to let them know.
“The easiest way for me to say what I am trying to articulate is that the information I had was insufficient for me to be a ‘yes’ vote and therefore I was looking for more information that had not been provided,” Scott told reporters after the withdrawal.
Democrats have long been opposed to Bounds.
At issue were controversial writings from his college days that he did not make available to the Oregon judicial screening commission. California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein said that Oregon Democratic Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkey would not have recommended him if they had known of the writings.
Critics say the writings show an insensitivity to racial minorities, among other issues.
Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley supported him and the Iowa Republican said the views expressed were from years ago. The issue came up during his confirmation hearing, and he expressed regret.
“The President withdrew it and the President has the authority to do that,” Grassley said.
This story is breaking and will be updated.