The Senate should unanimously confirm Ryan Bounds. He is a brilliant attorney with one of the sharpest legal minds I have known. More importantly, he is compassionate, thoughtful and fair. Ryan is an open listener, willing to hear and consider every perspective and struggle to fully understand an issue from all sides. That is why his college writings are such a preposterous way to judge the man he is today. They were written by a kid who was in the process of becoming this man. I have seen Ryan work on some of the most challenging cases that come before the federal bench. From International Terrorism, to advocating for an inmate assaulted in prison, what has always impressed me is his ability to connect to people – to really SEE each of us as individuals – flawed as we may be.
I had the privilege of interviewing and hiring Ryan into his current position. As a left-leaning feminist dedicated to improving the diversity of the US Attorney’s Office (USAO), I prided myself on hiring and promoting diverse candidates. As it turns out, Ryan was one of only a few sis-gendered, straight, white, able-bodied males I hired during my ten-year, and I never had a single regret. His measured and methodical approach to his work was well-known by his colleagues on both sides of counsel table and he was trusted and respected by the judiciary. I personally relied on his counsel on some very important and difficult matters in the office and found him eager to assist and engage in furtherance of finding the best path forward.
When I left the US Attorneys Office, I became a pariah in the circles of power and politics where I had once been a darling. Ryan did not follow suit. The first time I saw him after departing the office, he warmly greeted me without reservation. Since that day every contact I have had with Ryan confirms that he is a man of character, and grace. Watching the confirmation hearing today I was reminded of how painful that process was for me, and I didn’t even have to appear in person. When I was being vetted by Judiciary it was Grassley pushing back and Wyden pushing me forward. It highlights how ridiculous and sensational politics makes this process and why so few truly good people (like Ryan) chose to serve. I wish my friends who are opposing his nomination would show some grace now and support him. It’s hard to imagine a better nominee coming out of this white house.