Concerns over a federal judicial nominee’s past writings on race and multiculturalism derailed his confirmation vote at the last minute after multiple senators said they wouldn’t vote for him, according to The Washington Post.
The nominee, Ryan Bounds, had been nominated by President Donald Trump to fill a vacancy on the notably liberal and influential 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
What derailed the vote?
While he was a student at Stanford University, Bounds criticized diversity efforts by student groups, saying that tactics by “racial factions” to build tolerance “always seem to contribute more to restricting consciousness, aggravating intolerance and pigeonholing cultural identities than many a Nazi bookburning.”
Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) was the first to raise objections to Bounds’ nomination leading up to the confirmation vote, and Sen. Marco Rubio followed in opposing the nomination.
“There were some objections raised by Sen. Scott that couldn’t be resolved in the short time we had, so the White House decided to withdraw the nomination rather than have the nominee lose,” Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn said, according to Vox.
What did Bounds write?
Bounds wrote for the Stanford Review, and one topic he seemed particularly passionate about was speaking against multicultural initiatives and cultural organizations on campus:
“I submit that Multiculturalistas, when they divide up by race for their feel-good ethnic hoedowns, engage in nearly all of [the fundamental behaviors of groupthink]. The existence of ethnic organizations is no inevitable prerequisite to maintaining a diverse community — white students, after all, seem to be doing all right without an Aryan Student Union.”
Bounds also wrote about the burden of proof in rape cases on campus, writing “there is nothing really inherently wrong with the University failing to punish an alleged rapist — regardless of his guilt — in absence of adequate certainty” because “expelling students is probably not going to contribute a great deal toward a rape victim’s recovery.”
During a May confirmation hearing, Bounds apologized for his “overheated” tone in his writing, and admitted that he was “not as respectful” as he should have been.
Supreme Court implications?
Some Democrats believe this could be a positive sign in the upcoming battle over Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, as they want to dig deep into the nominee’s past writings to make a case against him being appointed to the Supreme Court.
“Republicans just sank the Bounds nomination based on his college writings,” said Chuck Schumer’s communications director Matt House in a statement. “After that, how are they going to argue that Judge Kavanaugh’s White House papers aren’t relevenat to his nomination to the Supreme Court?
After sinking a lower level judicial nominee based on his college writings, I look forward to the @SenateGOP trying to argue that Judge Kavanaugh's White House papers aren't relevant to his nomination to the Supreme Court of the United States.
— Matt House (@mattwhouse) July 19, 2018