Alleged Sexual Harassment by Judge Reinhardt

Recently, a law clerk for the late Ninth Circuit Judge Stephen Reinhardt named Olivia Warren provided testimony relating to sexual harassment she endured during her clerkship.

from her testimony:

[T]he harassment that I experienced shaped my view of both the judiciary and the law more generally. The harm and pain that sexual harassment causes, and the aggravation of that harm when victims have no recourse and feel they cannot say or do anything about it, has long-term costs to the profession. I hope that my testimony today will result in law clerks (both current and former) and judiciary employees feeling less silenced and more capable of seeking accountability and redress for any harassment or other misconduct they may have suffered.

She describes, among other things, the judge’s modifying a drawing to resemble breasts (and questioning her about it), his evaluating clerkship candidates by their attractiveness and which “had nicer or longer legs”, and his keeping photos of his female “pretty” clerks.

This is a stark example and reminder that sexual harassment comes in all forms, and – more importantly – that the universe of sexual harassers can include esteemed members of the legal profession, who, literally, ought to know better.

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