Trending Topics

GOP Sen. Tim Scott Tanks Trump’s Appeals Court Nominee Over Racist College Essays

Sen. Tim Scott

Sen. Tim Scott blew the whistle on court nominee Ryan Bounds earlier this week, citing his offensive college writings about race. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Republican Sen. Tim Scott (S.C.) on Wednesday was among those who refused to support Trump appeals court nominee Ryan Bounds, helping to tank his nomination altogether.

Bounds was well on his way to being confirmed, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) withdrew his nomination Thursday after Scott, the Senate’s lone Black Republican lawmaker, raised concerns about some of Bounds’ college writings on race, according to Politico.

It takes only one Republican to sink the confirmation of a judicial nominee, and several Senate aides said it was Scott who voted “no.”

“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 told the news site.

Scott reportedly took issue with multiple writings Bounds had penned during his time at Stanford University, including essays that contained demeaning statements about campus diversity and multiculturalism. The congressman took his concerns to fellow legislator Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who agreed to oppose the nomination as well.

Bounds’ college writings as an undergrad lamented campus organizations that “divide up by race for their feel-good ethnic hoedowns,” arguing that such “race focused” groups should not continue on campus.

“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,” he wrote in an op-ed opposing multicultural student groups.

A report by the Alliance for Justice unearthed several other offensive writings by the ex-judicial nominee, including one that accused so-called “race-thinkers” of slandering Black Americans as “oreos,” “Uncle Toms” or “sell-outs” if they refused to accept a “victimhood status.” In yet another essay, Bounds called for a higher burden of proof when examining cases of campus sexual assault, arguing that expelling alleged rapists would not do their victims much good.

“… There is nothing really inherently wrong with the University failing to punish an alleged rapist—regardless his guilt—in the absence of adequate certainty; there is nothing that the University can do to objectively ensure that the rapist does not strike again,” he wrote.

Bounds’ failed confirmation dealt a huge blow to President Donald Trump, who’s been scrambling to fill the federal courts with conservative justices. Had he been confirmed, Bounds would’ve served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

“After talking with the nominee last night and meeting with him today, I had unanswered questions that led to me being unable to support him,” Scott said in a statement after the nomination was pulled from the Senate floor.

Democrats rejoiced at news of Bounds’ failed confirmation and lauded Republicans for doing what was right.

“Today, the integrity of our courts and of a 101-year tradition of consulting home state Senators on judicial appointments was preserved,” Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley said in a statement. “… I am pleased that President Trump and my Republican colleagues have recognized what Sen. Ron Wyden and I have known all along — that Ryan Bounds should never have been nominated in the first place.”

Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois also weighed in, saying “Bounds never deserved a seat on the federal bench. I’m glad his judicial nomination was just withdrawn.”

Back to top