FTC’s Gabe Roth released this statement following news that District of Kansas Judge Carlos Murguia offered his resignation, effective Apr. 1:
In October, Fix the Court called on the Judicial Conference to recommend that charges of impeachment against Judge Murguia be brought before the House of Representatives. Instead, the Conference sat on the allegations for four-and-a-half months and was only pushed into reexamining the judge’s rampant misconduct after four members of the House Judiciary Committee sent a letter asking for more information.
But this isn’t a time to be satisfied with the result and move on. As we again learned during Olivia Warren’s testimony last week, so much remains wrong with how the judiciary handles complaints, and too many institutional barriers for those seeking to report impropriety persist.
We need a national, anonymized misconduct reporting system and an internal ombudsman to oversee complaint intake. We need third-party workplace climate surveys of judiciary staff. We need a clear understanding of how the judiciary will protect its employees from retaliation. And law clerks, past and present, need a consistent seat at the table as reform efforts proceed.
Given all the stonewalling from the Judicial Conference, I believe it now falls to Congress to step in and pass laws that do for the third branch what it has been unwilling to do for itself.