CNN: Judges rarely face discipline for sexual harassment complaints
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Federal judges rarely face discipline for sexual harassment complaints filed against them, a new investigation by CNN has found. 

The 5,000 judicial orders related to sexual misconduct of judges reviewed in the investigation by CNN's Joan Biskupic, pointed to a common practice by courts of burying misconduct allegations and withholding key information from the public.  

While more than 1,000 such complaints are filed against judges annually, none are released publicly. Open records of the cases on court websites often do not reveal the name of the judge or the allegations against them. 

Over a yearlong period ending in September 2016, CNN learned that only four of 1,303 complaints against federal judges, who serve for life when confirmed to the bench, were referred to a committee for further investigation. 

Circuit judges were found to sometimes simply retire instead of face discipline over accusations. The investigation found a number of cases were dismissed by the chief justice on the court. 

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The report noted that judges can only be forced off the bench by impeachment, a rare process that requires formal proceedings held by the House and Senate. 

In six of the past 11 years, no federal judge faced any kind of discipline over cases of sexual misconduct. 

The report comes as lawmakers in Congress have faced massive backlash over reports of settling accusations of sexual misconduct with taxpayer money behind closed doors, leading to the resignation of Rep. John ConyersJohn James ConyersDemocrats seek cosponsors for new 'Medicare for all' bill Virginia scandals pit Democrats against themselves and their message Women's March plans 'Medicare for All' day of lobbying in DC MORE Jr. (D-Mich.) and to Rep. Blake FarentholdRandolph (Blake) Blake FarentholdFemale Dems see double standard in Klobuchar accusations Lawmaker seeks to ban ex-members from lobbying until sexual harassment settlements repaid Former Texas lawmaker Blake Farenthold resigns from lobbying job MORE (R-Texas) announcing he is not seeking reelection.