Know a Nominee: Judge Danielle Hunsaker to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
Do you support or oppose Judge Hunsaker's nomination?
by Countable | 11.6.19
UPDATED - 11/6/19: The Senate voted 73-17 to confirm Judge Danielle Hunsaker to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
UPDATED - 11/5/19: The Senate voted 75-18 to limit further debate on Hunsaker's nomination. A confirmation vote is expected tomorrow.
The Senate is expected to consider the nomination of Judge Danielle Hunsaker to serve as a judge on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals this week. Here’s what you need to know about the nominee:
Who is she?
- Judge Danielle J. Hunsaker, born 1977, is the Presiding Judge of the Washington County Circuit Court (Washington County is the second most populous county in Oregon and is located west of Portland). She was appointed to the bench by Gov. Kate Brown (D) in 2017.
- Prior to her appointment to the bench, Hunsaker was a partner in the Portland, Oregon law firm of Larkins Vacura Kayser LLP focused on civil and appellate litigation in both state and federal court.
- Additionally, Hunsaker served as an adjunct professor at Lewis & Clark Law School from 2011-2016, where she taught Advanced Civil Procedure. She clerked for Judge Paul Kelly of the U.S. Tenth Circuit, Judge Michael Mosman of the U.S. District Court for Oregon, and Judge Dairmuid O’Scannlain of the U.S. Ninth Circuit.
- Hunsaker received her bachelor’s degree with honors from the University of Idaho and graduated with honors from the University of Idaho College of Law, where she was lead articles editor of the law review.
What’s the outlook for her confirmation?
- The Senate Judiciary Committee advanced Hunsaker’s nomination on a bipartisan vote of 16-6, in which all Republicans and four Democrats supported her nomination while six Democrats opposed.
- Hunsaker’s home state senators ― Oregon Democrats Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley ― are split on her nomination, even though both originally recommended her to President Donald Trump.
- Wyden is in favor of her nomination and “believes she has displayed the judicial temperament needed for this position” because she has already presided over more than 3,500 cases. Merkley said he would now prefer a nominee with more experience.
- The American Bar Association’s judicial nomination rating board gave Hunsaker a unanimous rating of “well qualified”.
What does it mean for the Ninth Circuit?
- Hunsaker’s confirmation would fill a position on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that became vacant when Judge Dairmuid O’Scannlain (a Ronald Reagan appointee) assumed senior status on December 31, 2016. O’Scannlain’s duty station was in Portland, Oregon.
- The Ninth Circuit has 29 active judgeships. Of the judges on the bench, nine were appointed by Bill Clinton, five by George W. Bush, seven by Barack Obama, and seven by Donald Trump. Hunsaker’s confirmation would fill the only current vacancy.
— Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: iStock / imaginima)
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