PORTLAND — A federal prosecutor nominated to fill a judicial vacancy in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is under fire after opinion pieces he wrote as a college student mocking multiculturalism surfaced.
Liberal judicial advocacy group Alliance for Justice said Ryan Bounds’ writings “reveal strong biases that call into question his ability to fairly apply the law and to maintain confidence in the justice system’s ability to dispense even-handed justice to all,” The Oregonian/OregonLive reported .
Bounds, who wrote for the student-run newspaper The Stanford Review while attending Stanford University, apologized Friday for his “misguided sentiments.”
Bounds, a politically conservative assistant U.S. attorney in Portland who now chairs the Multnomah Bar Association’s equity, diversity and inclusion committee, disavowed the pieces in an email he sent to committee members.
Bounds said he wanted to assure the committee “the objectionable words and views recited from three or four of my college op-eds do not reflect the views I have hewn to as a lawyer, and frankly, as a grown-up.”
The Alliance for Justice pulled excerpts from Bounds’ pieces for The Stanford Review, in which he mocks what he described as “race-think,” student ethnic groups and the university’s response to alleged sexual assaults.
Bounds also wrote about sexual assault and university punishments of students accused of rape.
The Alliance for Justice cited the excerpts and said Bounds “must be held accountable” for the articles “in which he belittles allegations of campus sexual assault and rape and supports making it more difficult to hold perpetrators of campus sexual assault accountable; derides multiculturalism on campus; mocks student affinity organization, calling their gatherings ‘feel-good ethnic hoedowns.’”
Bounds, in his email, said his mindset significantly shifted once he was in the working world.
Bounds, reached Saturday, referred to his email and declined further comment.
In September, the White House nominated Bounds to fill a seat on the 9th Circuit vacated by Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain, who assumed senior status in December 2016. An administration official declined comment Saturday.
In a letter to be submitted to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday, the vice president of Western Oregon University, an emergency department physician at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center and three others from the corporate and medical field — all of whom attended middle school with Bounds — cite their continued support for him. They argue that Bounds has grown since his writings for the alternative conservative college paper, the Stanford Review.