Mitch McConnell Was Just Forced to Withdraw a Trump Nominee: Here's Why It Matters

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July 19, 2018

Today, Sharon McGowan, Legal Director and Chief Strategy Officer of Lambda Legal, issued the following statement after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was forced to withdraw Ryan Bounds, Donald Trump’s nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit:

“Throughout the Trump administration, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley have discarded longstanding Senate procedures and abandoned even the pretense of conducting any meaningful review in order to confirm Trump’s dangerous judicial nominees at a breakneck pace. But from his first day in office, Lambda Legal has been fighting to stop every anti-LGBT judge nominated by this administration. The withdrawal of Ryan Bounds should be proof that more scrutiny, more transparency, and more time must be given to review every single one of Trump’s judicial nominees, especially Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

“In a series of inflammatory articles written while serving as the opinions editor at the Stanford Review, Mr. Bounds used his bully pulpit to ridicule students of color, sexual assault victims and the LGBTQ community. In one piece, Mr. Bounds criticized LGBTQ students for being ‘overly-sensitive’ and chastised non-white students for ‘divid[ing] up by race for their feel-good ethnic hoedowns.’ Donald Trump, and all 11 Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee thought Mr. Bounds was qualified for a lifetime appointment to the federal bench. In the face of his colleagues’ total abdication of their responsibility, Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) deserves praise for demanding better from his colleagues.

“The fact that someone like Ryan Bounds got as close as he did to a lifetime appointment on the federal bench shows just how broken the Senate has become under Mitch McConnell’s leadership.   We urge more Republicans to put people before politics in the way that Senator Scott did today.  The American people are entitled to lawmakers who will defend our courts and our constitution from the threat posed by Trump and his judicial nominees.  Whether it’s Ryan Bounds or Brett Kavanaugh, Trump is trying to pack the courts with people who will be loyal to him and his dangerous agenda, at the expense of LGBT people and the country as a whole. The damage Trump is inflicting on our courts and to our democracy cannot be overstated.”