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Oregon Senators Split On Vote Confirming Washington County Judge To Federal Seat

<p>Danielle Hunsaker, nominee to be U.S. circuit judge for the 9th Circuit, testifies during her confirmation hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019.</p>

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

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Danielle Hunsaker, nominee to be U.S. circuit judge for the 9th Circuit, testifies during her confirmation hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019.

Oregon Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley announced Friday afternoon that he will vote against confirmation of Washington County Circuit Court Judge  Danielle Hunsaker to a vacant seat on the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Merkley said in a statement that a lifetime appointment to circuit court positions should be reserved for individuals with “more extensive experience to draw upon.”

Hunsaker was appointed to her position in Washington County by Gov. Kate Brown in 2017.

Merkley and Oregon Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden both originally recommended Hunsaker, along with three other finalists, back in August to President Donald Trump for consideration.

Wyden said he intends to vote “yes” on confirming Hunsaker.

In a statement, Wyden’s spokesperson said the senator “believes Judge Hunsaker has displayed the judicial temperament needed for this position in the more than 3,500 cases the Judiciary Committee noted she has presided over.”

The Senate vote on Hunsaker's confirmation is scheduled for Tuesday.

Copyright 2019 Oregon Public Broadcasting

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Meerah Powell is a general assignment and breaking news reporter for OPB. She previously worked as a news reporter and podcast producer for Eugene Weekly in her hometown of Eugene, Oregon. Along with writing and audio work, Meerah also has experience with photography and videography. She graduated from the University of Oregon's School of Journalism and Communication.