Congressman Greg Walden

Representing the 2nd District of Oregon

Hermiston’s Bounds would be voice for rural Oregon on the Ninth Circuit

September 7, 2017
Op-Eds

The President’s nomination of Ryan Bounds to serve on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is welcome news for rural Oregon. Born and raised in Hermiston, Ryan has never lost touch with his roots and understands well the way of life in our communities. He knows firsthand the dominant role federal decisions can make in our region where a majority of land is managed by the federal government. Ryan is also a highly talented and accomplished legal practitioner, with a breadth of experience before both trial and appellate courts. I was glad to offer my strong recommendation of Ryan earlier this year.

Across our part of Oregon, federal court decisions have an outsized influence on many facets of our lives. From operations of Columbia River hydropower and transportation systems to federal land management decisions, the function of vital pieces of our economy are often greatly hampered by judicial and biological decisions issued from the bench. Litigation and judicial injunctions against forest management projects to reduce fuel loads and improve forest health have a real impact on the health of our economies and our communities. The summer of 2017 has once again choked Oregon with smoke from catastrophic fires, the risk of which could be prevented through better management, efforts that are often negatively impacted by the courts.

Rural Oregon deserves both a chance for a more balanced judicial approach and a talented legal practitioner who understands the impact these decisions have on our way of life. Ryan’s deep roots in rural Oregon, respect for tradition, precedent, and deference to the political branches of the state and federal governments will provide rural Oregon with that important voice on the bench. He is uniquely qualified for this judgeship. His commitment to the rule of law, liberty and self-government are, in my mind, beyond question. I strongly support his nomination and look forward to the Senate moving promptly to confirm him for this seat on the Ninth Circuit.

Rep. Greg Walden (R-Hood River), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, represents Oregon’s second congressional district, which includes 20 counties in central, southern and eastern Oregon.