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Nevada Senators Criticize Trump's Court Of Appeals Nominee

RENO, Nev. (AP) — President Donald Trump's nomination for an open seat on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is being criticized by Nevada's U.S. senators.

Democratic Sens. Jacky Rosen and Catherine Cortez Masto were not happy that Trump did not consult with them before announcing the nomination of 46-year-old Lawrence VanDyke, the Reno Gazette-Journal reported Monday.

 

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Trump's nomination comes days after the senators began forming a bipartisan commission to vet potential candidates for the appeals court seat, the newspaper reported.

 

"We're frustrated the White House is choosing to ignore the bipartisan work undertaken by our offices in concert with Nevada's legal community to identify and recommend qualified Nevadans for the Ninth Circuit," Rosen and Cortez Masto said in a statement. "The administration's decision to put forward this nominee ignores the broad, consensus-based opinion of Nevadans. Instead, the White House has chosen to move forward on their extreme judicial agenda."

 

Presidents typically consult with senators before announcing appointments, the newspaper reported.

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VanDyke has served as a Nevada solicitor general from 2015 to 2019 and is currently a deputy assistant attorney general.

 

The Montana State University graduate is also a member of the conservative Federalist Society and supports Trump's efforts to expand oil and gas exploration on public lands.

 

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"As the former attorney general of Nevada, I can assure you there is no more qualified person for our Ninth Circuit seat than Lawrence VanDyke," said Adam Laxalt, VanDyke's former boss.

 

The open seat is currently held by Judge Jay Bybee of Las Vegas who plans to step down later this year.

 

Trump's nomination needs to be confirmed by the Senate.