Pending Regs

Federal judiciary to make harassment complaints against judges public

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The federal judiciary will make data on sexual harassment complaints against judges public following concerns from officials regarding the judiciary’s policies on sexual misconduct. 

U.S. Courts Director James C. Duff wrote in a letter that the judicial branch has taken steps to address inappropriate workplace conduct. A working group is in place to further evaluate the judiciary’s policies, and has already made several recommendations, according to the letter, published Wednesday by The Washington Post.

Among the immediate changes are altering the judiciary’s confidentially provisions in its employee handbooks and creating a comment mailbox for comments and suggestions.

{mosads}The letter was written in response to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and ranking member Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.). The two senators wrote Duff earlier in the month to express concern that sexual misconduct was widespread in the judicial branch. 

Concerns over sexual misconduct in the judiciary were sparked after several women came forward to accuse Alex Kozinski, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, of sexual misconduct.

Kozinski resigned, but many current and former law clerks came forward afterward to urge Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts to further address the issue within the branch. Roberts said late last year the judiciary would review its policies.

Changes in the judiciary branch follow a wave of sexual misconduct allegations against men in the media and in politics. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) and Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas) are among those who have resigned or announced their retirement after such accusations were made against them.

Tags Al Franken Blake Farenthold Chuck Grassley Chuck Grassley Dianne Feinstein Dianne Feinstein Federal judiciary of the United States John Conyers Sexual harassment Sexual misconduct

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