Federal judge (yes, he's still on the payroll) Samuel Kent is going to prison. He sexually assaulted his law clerks. Had Judge Edith Jones and the rest of the Fifth Circuit had their way, Judge Kent would still be a federal judge. Here is my post explaining what those judges did to help a colleague.
Now that Kent is one his way to prison, some questions remain:
* Why did Edith Jones, known for being tough-on-crime, treat Judge Kent so gingerly? Is Judge Jones unable to treat people who appear before her equally? Is she unable to apply the same standards to judges that she would apply to other litigants?
* Edith Jones, who led the disciplinary matter for The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, did not have the power to remove Judge Kent from office. She - and the rest of the Court - had the power to refer Judge Kent to the House of Representatives for impeachment. Why didn't she?
* Judge Kent is going to prison for sexual assault. Read that again, please. In light of this, why aren't the judges who covered up his misconduct being held accountable for their own misconduct?
* Why did Judge Jones claim that Samuel Kent "sexually harassed" his law clerks, when interviews with the victims clearly established that Kent committed sexual assault.
* Does Edit Jones and the rest of the Fifth Circuit understand the difference between "sexual harassment" and "sexual assault." If not, why not? If they do understand the difference, why was Judge Kent's conduct characterized as mere harassment?
Remember Arthur Anderson? Everyone is fond of saying: "The cover-up was worse than the crime." Here, Judge Kent sexually assaulted at least two women. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals covered this up. Here, perhaps the cover-up was not worse that the crime. The cover-up was still pretty bad.
As Congress considers what it will do to Judge Kent, it should also consider what it should do about Judge Edith Jones; the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals; and judicial misconduct proceedings more generally.
When judges give a free pass to a judge who committs sexual assault, something is rotten. Does the stinch come from the individual judges? Or is it the natural stenceh of a system of review that allows judges to decide how to punish other judges?