Supreme Court To Review Sexual Harassment Protections For Court Employees

Supreme Court To Review Sexual Harassment Protections For Court Employees”

In December, prominent federal appeals court Judge Alex Kozinski retired after accusations by women that he had touched them inappropriately, made lewd comments and shown them pornography. What happens in the judge's chambers are confidential and, as some clerks told the Post, there is a "natural reluctance" to complain about any inappropriate behavior because it might jeopardize their career.

"The courts can not provide food, shelter, or medical aid, but they must stand ready to perform their judicial functions as part of the recovery effort", Roberts wrote.

Chief Justice Roberts said he had assembled a task force to examine whether the court system's procedures for addressing inappropriate conduct were adequate.

Roberts said he is confident the "overwhelming number" of men and women in the judiciary "have no tolerance for harassment and share the view that victims must have clear and immediate recourse to effective remedies". He apologized for his actions, but he also defended his "broad sense of humor".

"I may not have been mindful enough of the special challenges and pressures that women face in the workplace", Kozinski said in a statement. The judicial branch is not immune'.

James Duff, who oversees the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, sent a memo to federal courts detailing that Roberts had ordered him "to establish a working group to examine the sufficiency of safeguards now in protect court employees, including law clerks, from wrongful conduct in the workplace", CNN reported earlier this month.

As the Washington Post notes, the relationship that is the most concerning is between a judge and their law clerks; clerks are recent law school graduates and a year clerking for a judge is often a big boost for their career.

"We can not forget our fellow citizens in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands who are continuing to recover from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, and those in California who continue to confront historic wildfires and their smoldering consequences", Chief Justice Roberts wrote. Although courts "cannot provide food, shelter, or medical aid", he observed, "they must stand ready to perform their judicial functions as part of the recovery effort". And Roberts outlined some of the lessons that the judiciary had learned from this year's catastrophes, including the need to "pre-position essential equipment, such as satellite telephones, batteries, generators, and emergency supplies on islands and other areas susceptible to hurricanes and flooding".

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