- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 9, 2018

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - A federal prosecutor nominated by President Donald Trump to fill a judicial vacancy in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals apologized Wednesday for the tone of opinion pieces he wrote as a college student that mocked multiculturalism.

Ryan Bounds said at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee that the rhetoric he used in campus politics was often overheated, overbroad and not respectful of opposing viewpoints.

Bounds, a politically conservative assistant U.S. attorney in Portland, received his bachelor’s degree from Stanford in 1995 and his pieces ran in The Stanford Review.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports the committee was split along party lines at Wednesday’s hearing. Republican senators downplayed the significance of the old opinion pieces while Democrats quoted from some of the most alarming passages.

Sen. Christopher Coons, D-Delaware, asked Bounds about one of his college opinion pieces that appeared critical of Stanford for expelling students accused of sexual assault.

Bounds said he was primarily cautioning the university against not affording due process to someone accused of an assault or lowering the standard of proof for such allegations.

“I think that any sexual assault or sexual violence is a crime and should be treated as a crime,” he said. “Survivors should be encouraged to come forward and assure the perpetrators are subjected to the full force of the law.”

Oregon’s two U.S. senators, Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, have opposed Bounds’ nomination. The senators, both Democrats, said he misled a state judicial selection committee that vetted candidates for the vacancy by not divulging the Stanford writings.

The Alliance for Justice, a liberal judicial advocacy group, brought the college writings to light earlier this year.


Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive, http://www.oregonlive.com

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