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Feb 14, 5:16 PM EST

Judicial nominee resigns from bar diversity committee


PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- A federal prosecutor nominated to be a federal judge has resigned as chair of the Multnomah Bar Association's equity, diversity and inclusion committee after opinion pieces he wrote critical of multiculturalism and sexual assault victims surfaced.

Board members pressured Ryan Bounds to step down after news of his past works, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported .

Bounds submitted his resignation on Tuesday, four days after he sent committee members an email apologizing for his "misguided sentiments."

Attorney Andrew Schpak, the board's president, has accepted Bounds' resignation, he said.

In his resignation letter, Bounds writes that he wished the board would judge him based on the work has done with them, instead of writing from decades ago.

"The board dangerously undermines the proposition by insisting that I resign my chair because of regrettable words I used as a college student a quarter-century ago but have since repudiated," he wrote.

The progressive judicial advocacy group Alliance for Justice criticized Bounds' writing pieces published in the Stanford Review, a Stanford University student newspaper, in a report shortly after the Trump administration nominated him to fill a judicial vacancy in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

His articles were racially hostile and belittled campus sexual assault victims, the advocacy group said.

On Monday, Oregon U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley called the pieces inflammatory and alarming and said Bounds wasn't fit to serve as judge.

They were unaware of the writings before they recommended Bounds for the vacancy, they said in a joint statement.

Wyden and Merkley plan to address their concerns over Bounds' nomination to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

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

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