November 01, 2018 Feature

Sexual Harassment and Judicial Discipline

By Cynthia Gray

For almost 40 years, state supreme courts and judicial conduct commissions have found sexual misconduct by judges subjects those judges to disciplinary actions for violating the code of judicial conduct.1 In judicial discipline cases, courts have held that, “[a]lthough undoubtedly all forms of behavior that cross the legal threshold of sexual harassment would constitute judicial misconduct, many forms of offensive interpersonal behavior that would violate the Code of Judicial Conduct would not meet the legal definition of sexual harassment.”2

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