I loved the discussion in my last post concerning the judge and his former clerk. Thank you all for stimulating my brain, and making me examine issues.
While we had lively comments on both sides of whether this judge can (and should be allowed to) separate his personal failings from his performance on the bench, this readership went pretty solidly in the “no” category. Here are the results:
IS HE FIT FOR THE BENCH?
WOULD YOU WORRY THAT THESE PERSONAL FAILINGS WOULD INFLUENCE HIS DECISIONS IN DIVORCE CASES?
Some of you feel that this love/sex thing is a “gray area” in the realm of professional misconduct and ethics. Others see it as black-and-white.
Now, of course, you must know that this only spurred my overactive mind to more thinking (my favorite past time which probably explains my tendency toward the porcine). And these are the questions that I wonder about:
What are the “failings” that, in your opinion, would disqualify one from serving on the bench? Does it require a technically “criminal” act? See question in the survey on the right and mark all items you feel would justify a finding of unfitness for office. I’m looking for those “black and white” issues.
Would it have mattered if the “affair” had begun when the Judge was her employer/superior? (No evidence that this was the case).
I realize that some of you may not have been as riveted as was I to the Clarence Thomas Supreme Court nomination hearings almost twenty years ago. Let me recap:
In those proceedings (1991), Anita Hill, a lawyer and former co-worker of Thomas’, testified that he had made inappropriate sexual remarks to her. As I recall, she specifically mentioned his talk of pornography he had viewed and a few other disgusting remarks. Her assessment: that this did not rise to “sexual harassment” but it did create tension and I recall her saying she had to receive medical treatment at the emergency room (huh??) for the stress it caused. This was, by the way, while they were both on staff at the EEOC—the agency charged with enforcing federal employment discrimination laws.
For the purposes of this discussion, let’s assume we all believe Anita Hill’s testimony…
If you believe that Justice Thomas is unfit but the Judge I wrote about who has an affair with his form law clerk is okay, then are we saying that Justice Thomas’ “blue” remarks to Anita Hill were worse than the actual act of adultery? (Please be honest here, I am probing minds and want to know what you think).
Take a minute and click on that little survey to the right for me…I love probing your brains, and I love discovering this little widget!!
Now, for my feelings on Anita Hill (then and now, they remain the same). I was embarrassed for her and I felt she was an embarrassment to women attorneys. Sorry, just the way I feel. Let me explain: As a woman attorney, I have had to put up with many off-color remarks (more earlier, I can assure you, when I was younger). Some of them were from judges. Not one single time did this cause me to seek medical attention. I considered the source (geezers) and went on about my business.
And it gets worse: Anita Hill was a lawyer for the EEOC! I am all about getting rid of sexual harassment on the job—and that was exactly what Anita Hill’s job was at the time she was apparently experiencing it. She was specifically charged with guarding against sexual harassment on the job. She knew what to do about it, and yet she did nothing but, apparently, suffer angst. What kind of weenie lawyer was she, anyway? If she thought it was that bad, she should have wired herself, gathered the evidence and gotten the rat fired. If we can’t count on an EEOC lawyer to know what to do about this situation, who can we count on?
SEE new poll on the right….c’mon,vote on these and comment. I love the discussion! C