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New Revelations Underscore Need for Formal Process When Misconduct Occurs

ThomasThis week the National Law Journal published a story in which a woman, now 41, recounted how Justice Clarence Thomas groped her in 1999. A follow-up story in NLJ discussed how, nearly two decades later, “there is still no formal process within the judiciary for complaining about a justice’s conduct off the bench.”

Our comment in the story is as follows:

Gabe Roth, executive director of Fix the Court, a national nonpartisan organization seeking greater transparency and accountability at the Supreme Court, noted there have been proposals to create some type of ethical office—whether it is an inspector general or some other individual or body—that would have jurisdiction over ethics issues involving the justices.

“I think it’s important to have some sort of independent watchdog to look over these claims,” said Roth, adding, “Unless we have a formalized structure, nothing is going to change.”

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