WASHINGTON – Idaho Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch today praised the nomination of Ryan Nelson, an attorney from Idaho Falls, to serve as a judge on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. When confirmed, Nelson will take the seat of Judge N. Randy Smith, who announced he will take senior status later this year.
“Ryan has a demonstrated background of diverse legal service and a deep understanding of the legal issues before our nation. Much like Judge Smith, Ryan brings the experience that comes from living and working in a rural state like Idaho,” said Crapo, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which will consider Nelson’s nomination. “He has extensive experience in appellate work and appreciates that the proper role of a judge is to respect and be a servant of the law, responsible for interpreting and applying the Constitution and laws of the land as they are written, and not to be a maker of laws from the bench. I salute Ryan for his willingness to serve our country in this important position.”
“Throughout his diverse legal career, Ryan developed the necessary tools to serve the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals as a sound and principled jurist,” said Risch. “A native Idahoan, Ryan will bring a valuable perspective to the Court—upholding our way of life, respecting the rule of law, and rejecting judicial activism. I thank President Trump for nominating Ryan Nelson to the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate to bring his nomination to the floor for a vote.”
Since 2009, Ryan Nelson has served as general counsel of Idaho Falls-based Melaleuca, Inc. Before joining Melaleuca, Mr. Nelson served in the Federal government as Special Counsel for Supreme Court nominations to the Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee; as Deputy General Counsel to the White House Office of Management and Budget; and as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ). At DOJ, Mr. Nelson argued 13 cases in the U.S. Courts of Appeals and was division counsel for 50 briefs filed in the Supreme Court. Before joining DOJ, Mr. Nelson practiced in the Washington, DC, office of Sidley Austin LLP, where he was a member of the firm’s appellate, litigation, products liability, and religious liberties practice groups. Upon graduation from law school, Mr. Nelson served as a law clerk to Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and to Judges Charles Brower and Richard Mosk of the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal at The Hague. Mr. Nelson earned his B.A. from Brigham Young University and his J.D., with honors, from BYU Law School, where he was inducted into the Order of the Coif and served as a lead articles editor of the BYU Law Review.
The Senate Judiciary Committee is responsible for scheduling Nelson’s hearing, which has yet to be determined. That announcement will be posted at judiciary.senate.gov.