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Legal Scholars and FTC to Roberts: Third Branch Should Support Sexual Harassment Victims 

Roberts should use his year-end report to assure victims they’ll be heard and that justice will be done


Fix the Court and several legal scholars wrote to Chief Justice John Roberts today to ask that he use his Year-End Report on the Federal Judiciary, which comes out on Dec. 31, to assure those considering coming forward with sexual harassment complaints about members of the judiciary that they will be heard and that justice will be done.

Additionally, the letter asks the Chief Justice to put the topic of preventing and remedying misconduct on the agenda for the next meeting of the Judicial Conference of the U.S. in March.

The letter states in part: “We are familiar with the protocols of the Judicial Conduct and Disability Act and the roles that judicial councils and Congress play in the discipline and potential removal of judges, and we are not asking you to act outside the bounds of due process.

“And yet,” it continues, “it is important that the judiciary be an outspoken champion for justice and equality. There should be clarity in every courthouse on how victims can report such incidents.”

Signatories include Rebecca L. Brown, the Rader Family Trustee Chair in Law at USC Gould School of Law; Jennifer Chacón, a professor of law at University of California, Irvine, School of Law; Sam Erman, an associate professor of law at USC Gould School of Law; Amanda Frost, a professor of law at American University Washington College of Law; Ariela Gross, the John B. and Alice R. Sharp Professor of Law and History at USC Gould School of Law; Deborah R. Hensler, the Judge John W. Ford Professor of Dispute Resolution and associate dean of graduate studies at Stanford Law School; Deborah L. Rhode, the E.W. McFarland Professor of Law at Stanford Law School. Karen Tani, an assistant professor of law at UC Berkeley School of Law; Suja Thomas, the Peer and Sarah Pederson Professor of Law at the University of Illinois College of Law; and Abby Wood, an associate professor of law, political science and public policy at USC Gould School of Law.

Among them, several clerked in U.S. courts of appeals (Brown, Erman, Frost, Rhode, Tani and Wood), including three at the U.S. Supreme Court (Brown, Rhode and Erman). Others are nationally renowned experts and scholars in dispute resolution (Hensler), sociolegal history (Gross) and U.S. legal history (Tani).

A link to the letter is available here.

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