Judiciary Accountability Act: A First Person Account

While the judiciary may be more educated now about sexual harassment and discrimination in its midst, and have iterated their internal procedures, complaints by employees of the judiciary continue. Congress held hearings in March on the Judiciary Accountability Act, in which witnesses testified about the continued lack of transparency, due process, and unbiased adjudication. It seems ironic that the very branch that dispenses justice can’t get this policy change right for itself.

Read this first person account of a former clerk who submitted a statement: https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2022/03/judiciary-accountability-act-harassment-lawsuits.html

Celebrate Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson-Call Your Senators, Urge Swift Confirmation

Women Lawyers On Guard Action Network:

Today is a cause for celebration. President Biden has nominated Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as his pick for a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. As you are no doubt aware, Judge Jackson would be the first Black woman on the Court. Among 115 justices, only 3 have been people of color and only 5 have been women.

Judge Brown is not just a distinguished jurist, she also comes to this position with a wealth of litigation experience, most significantly as a Federal Public Defender, but also in private practice, and as a clerk to Justice Stephen Breyer on the U.S. Supreme Court. She is a graduate of Harvard Law School and Harvard University.

She will be a voice for equal justice under the law – for women- and for all people.

Here are some joyous statements on her nomination: From the NAACP; from the National Women’s Law Center; and a video from People For the American Way.

PLEASE CONTACT YOUR SENATORS AND URGE THEM TO SWIFTLY CONFIRM JUDGE JACKSON TO BECOME JUSTICE JACKSON

Cory Amron, President

Photo: Claire Anderson, Unsplash

Forced Arbitration – Sexual Harassment and Assault

Finally, some good news in the fight against sexual harassment and assault.

The Senate (and previously, the House) have passed the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act with bipartisan votes.  The bill was introduced in the Senate 5 years ago by Sen. Kirstin Gillibrand and Sen. Lindsey Graham and will move on to President Biden who has indicated that he will sign it.

No longer will victims be forced to bring their grievances to arbitration, freeing them to go to court if they choose. We also owe a tremendous debt to Gretchen Carlson for this legislation.

We note, however, that forced Non-Disclosure Agreements are not addressed in this legislation.

We also note that Women Lawyers On Guard’s nationwide survey of sexual harassment in the legal profession, Still Broken, determined that 86% of sexual harassment incidents are not even reported.

Read more in these articles:  NPR or Washington Post.

The Pernicious SCOTUS Qualification Questioning

No sooner had President Biden reiterated his pledge to choose a Black woman to the Supreme Court to fill the seat soon to be vacated by Justice Stephen Breyer, then the disinformation machine began churning out cries that the nominee–who has yet to be named–is not qualified to sit on the Court. All of a sudden, being Black and a woman is a “litmus” test that the President is using to elevate someone to the Court who (therefore this message indicates) cannot be the most qualified candidate. The barely veiled racism/sexism underlying this statement is that the “most qualified” candidate necessarily is a white male.

What nonsense. One needs only to review the qualifications of those who might be proposed to see through this pernicious effort.

Let’s be clear: Our Supreme Court needs to look like America and serve ALL in America – with justices who understand how their rulings impact all of our lives and who will defend our civil rights under the law. Of the 115 Supreme Court justices, 108 have been white men, 5 have been women, 1 is a Latina woman, and 2 have been Black men. None has been a Black woman.

Take a look at these op-eds of Fatima Goss Graves, President of National Women’s Law Center [Link HERE] and Michael Gerson, commentator in the Washington Post [Link HERE]. Then, lift up your voice with theirs and, in a chorus, let’s expose this “qualification” disinformation for the utter nonsense that it is.