The White House is considering four finalists to fill the vacant Oregon seat on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Oregon Democratic Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden forwarded the names of four applicants to the White House Monday: Bruce Campbell, a partner at Portland based law-firm Miller Nash Graham & Dunn; James Egan, chief judge with the Oregon Court of Appeals; Danielle Hunsaker, a presiding judge with the Washington County Circuit Court; and Erin Lagesen, a presiding judge with the Oregon Court of Appeals.
To arrive at these jurists, Wyden and Merkley, along with Rep. Greg Walden, R-Hood River, appointed a bipartisan committee of attorneys who narrowed down the pool of candidates to four.
The finalists are vying to fill the shoes of Diarmuid O’Scannlain, who assumed senior status in September 2016, a version of semi-retirement for federal judges.
President Donald Trump had initially nominated conservative federal prosecutor Ryan Bounds to fill O’Scannlain’s vacancy, despite vocal opposition from both of Oregon’s senators. They called him an “unqualified nominee” after writing from his college days surfaced, revealing inflammatory views on gay rights, race and university responses to sexual assault.
Traditionally, the president only holds confirmation hearings for judges who have the support of their home state senators. At the time, Merkley called it a break with a “100-year tradition of comity in the U.S. Senate.”
The nomination eventually imploded after Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pulled Bounds’ nomination, minutes before the vote, when it was clear there wasn’t support to confirm him.