The ethics complaint filed against 5th Circuit Judge Edith Jones is available in Adobe .pdf format. Other documents filed with the complaint are also available from the Texas Tribune.
"Judge in hot water: Allegedly said minorities are prone to violence," is by Ben Brumfield and Marlei Martinez at CNN.
Civil rights groups filed a complaint this week against a federal judge in Houston after she allegedly said during a lecture that some minorities are prone to violence.
Judge Edith Jones, who serves on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and was a Bush-era Supreme Court frontrunner, allegedly made the comment while speaking on the death penalty to The Federalist Society at the University of Pennsylvania in February.
Jones was on President George W. Bush's short list for the U.S. Supreme Court in 2005, though legal observers remarked at the time that her reputation has a staunch conservative -- firmly upholding the death penalty and vocally critical of the Roe v. Wade decision, among other issues -- hurt her odds.
"The decision for which Judge Jones is really best known is her opinion saying, 'While I'm a lower court judge, I will apply Roe v. Wade, but I think it was wrongly decided and should be overruled,'" Supreme Court expert Tom Goldstein told CNN. "That really typifies her role as a lower court judge but signals what she would do if she became a Supreme Court justice."
Bloomberg News posts, "Texas Judge Accused of Misconduct for Remarks on Race," by Sophia Pearson.
Edith Hollan Jones, a federal appeals judge in Texas, is the subject of a judicial misconduct complaint from a coalition of civil rights groups over comments she made about race and the death penalty.
During a February event at the University of Pennsylvania Law School in Philadelphia, Jones said black and Hispanic people are “predisposed to crime” and “prone to commit acts of violence,” according to the complaint filed in New Orleans by the League of United Latin American Citizens, the Texas Civil Rights Project and the Austin, Texas, chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
Jones, 64, also allegedly said death sentences provide a positive service to capital defendants, who are likely to “make peace with God” when facing imminent execution. She said that capital defendants who raise claims of “mental retardation” abuse the system and that claims of racism, arbitrariness or innocence are “red herrings” used by death-penalty opponents, according to a copy of the filing supplied by the groups.
The complaint was filed with Chief Circuit Judge Carl Stewart, who must review it and decide whether it should be dismissed or referred to a special committee. Stewart may conduct a limited inquiry in determining what action should be taken under rules established by the Judicial Conduct and Disability Act.
John Council writes, "Complaint: Judge Edith Jones's Speech Showed 'Racial Bias'," for Texas Lawyer.
The complaint arises primarily from a lecture Jones gave on Feb. 20 entitled "Federal Death Penalty Review" at the University of Pennsylvania School of Law.
The complaint alleges Jones made the following points during her lecture:
• The U.S. system of justice provides a positive service to capital-case defendants by imposing a death sentence, because the defendants are likely to make peace with God only in the moment before imminent execution;
• Certain "racial groups like African Americans and Hispanics are predisposed to crime," and are "prone to commit acts of violence," and get involved in more violent and "heinous" crimes than people of other ethnicities;
• Claims of racism, innocence, arbitrariness and international standards are simply "red herrings" used by opponents of capital punishment; and
• Mexican nationals would prefer to be on death row in the United States rather than in prison in Mexico.
The complainants have been unable to locate a video or audio recording of Jones' lecture, says Chuck Herring, a partner in Austin's Herring & Irwin. Herring says he advised the Texas Civil Rights Project in drafting the complaint, in cooperation with other lawyers.
You guys, have we ever turned you on to Fifth Circuit Judge Edith Jones? We mean, have you ever really listened to her, man? She’s a trip. Such big hits like “Scream At Fellow Judges During Oral Arguments,” the evocative “Supreme Court is the Source of Moral Decay,” the ear-worm “If You’re Not Actually Raped No Way is it Sexual Harassment,” and her biggest number to date: “It’s Cool if Your Attorney Sleeps Through Your Trial Because Fuck You.” All of these really pale in comparison to her latest work, though, which we’re calling “Blacks and Hispanics, You So Criminal!”
"A Tale of Sound & Fury (But No Transcript): In Defense of Judge Edith Jones," is Tamara Tabo's Above the Law post.
Full disclosure before I go further: I interned with and clerked for Judge Jones. I didn’t attend the event in Philadelphia, and I haven’t spoken with her about this situation, but I don’t claim to be a fully impartial observer. I could be the first among many to attest to her dignity, intellect, and impeccable ethical standards. I could even tell you how generous with her time and supportive she’s been of my law school, a historically (and still predominantly) black institution.
But I don’t need to do that.
I don’t need to offer a character reference in order to rebut the accusations made in this complaint. I don’t even need to contest many of the facts that the complaint alleges.
Earlier coverage of the ethics complaint begins at the link.