President Donald J. Trump today nominated Ryan Bounds to fill a vacancy on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Bounds, who grew up in Hermiston, is an assistant U.S. Attorney for Oregon and a graduate of Stanford University and Yale Law School.
Prior to becoming a prosecutor, Bounds served as a White House advisor to former President George W. Bush on criminal and civil justice issues.
If confirmed by the Senate, Bounds would replace a Portlander, Judge Diarmuid F. O'Scannlain, for whom Bounds once served as a law clerk.
The nomination is the first major appointment the Trump administration has made in Oregon.
In his letter to the president, Walden noted that Bounds is a member of the Federalist Society, an organization of conservative lawyers and judges whose members include Trump's first U.S. Supreme Court pick, Justice Neil Gorsuch.
The Ninth Circuit has historically had the reputation of being the nation's most liberal federal court district. (The circuit includes Alaska, Arizona, California, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington)
If Trump succeeds at placing Bounds, 44, in the position, which comes with a lifetime appointment, he can chip away at that reputation and ensure a conservative judge remains in place long after his administration is over.
"Ryan is eminently qualified to serve as a judge on the Ninth Circuit," said his current boss, Billy J. Williams, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon said in a statement. "He is a dedicated public servant and well regarded in the Oregon legal community."
Now that Bounds has secured perhaps the most coveted legal position available to an Oregonian, the question remains who Trump will appoint to be permanent U.S. Attorney for the state.
WW reported last week that Williams, who currently holds the position, and former state Rep. Wally Hicks (R-Grants Pass), the current Josephine County Attorney, are under consideration for that position.