• Sexual Harassment and the Judiciary
  • March 3, 2018
  • As everyone knows from the recent scandal in Hollywood and subsequent stories from a wide range of industries, sexual harassment is a huge problem throughout this country. It is despicable enough when those in power use their authority to take advantage of others, but it may reach a whole other level of repugnance when the accused is a judge; someone with the privilege and obligation of judging the guilt or innocence of others. It was recently reported that a former chief judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit was accused by multiple women of sexual harassment. The women worked as clerks or externs on the court.

    Those who have experienced sexual harassment in this kind of setting know that it has been an open secret for quite some time. They also know that their circumstances are unique. There are nearly 900 federal judges who sit on trial and appellate courts. They have the power and the authority to interpret the law as it relates to the same type of sex-based offenses they are accused of.

    More than 1000 complaints are filed against judges annually. There is a wave of secrecy surrounding them. A recent analysis found that:

    Cases against judges are rarely deeply investigated
    Very few judges are disciplined
    Judicial orders are entered on circuit court websites as numbered files, with no reference to allegations, complainant, or outcome, making it difficult to discover even minimal information about the complaint
    The only way to remove a judge from office is through impeachment and conviction, and it almost never happens. Judges have aggressively fought efforts by Congress to place an Inspector General to oversee potential judicial wrongdoing.

    If you have experienced sexual harassment at work, please call the Philadelphia sexual harassment lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. at 215-569-1999, or contact us online for a free consultation. We offer guidance toward righting the wrongs and obtaining financial compensation for your suffering.