A bipartisan selection committee is reviewing Ryan Bounds’ application for the Ninth District Court of Appeals after he was re-nominated for the seat by President Donald Trump last week.
A spokesperson for Sen. Jeff Merkley’s office confirmed Monday that the committee — appointed by Merkley, Sen. Ron Wyden and Rep. Greg Walden — is reviewing multiple applicants.
The Hermiston native and well-regarded conservative attorney has spent time as a federal prosecutor and assistant domestic policy advisor to the president. He was first nominated by Trump in September to replace Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain, who entered semi-retirement on Jan. 1, 2017.
The nomination was blocked by Merkley and Wyden, both Democrats, because they argued Bounds had not gone through a bi-partisan review process that has been standard practice in Oregon. While states do not reserve certain seats on the court, Oregon has traditionally had two sitting judges.
The spokesperson for Merkley’s office said the senator will wait for the committee’s recommendation before considering a nomination or submitting a candidate of his own.
If his nomination is approved this time around, Bounds would require a confirmation hearing from the Senate Judiciary Committee before joining the Circuit Court.