Chief Justice John Roberts used his annual report on the federal judiciary Sunday to vow a cautious analysis of its sexual misconduct insurance policies and to spotlight the work of court docket staff following the yr’s damaging hurricanes.
Roberts touched solely briefly on the difficulty of office sexual misconduct, which has in current months introduced down males in leisure, politics and the media. In December, distinguished federal appeals court docket choose Alex Kozinski retired following accusations by girls that he had touched them inappropriately, made lewd feedback and proven them pornography.
“Occasions in current months have illuminated the depth of the issue of sexual harassment within the office, and occasions previously few weeks have made clear that the judicial department shouldn’t be immune,” Roberts wrote, with out mentioning Kozinski by title.
Roberts had beforehand requested working group study the judiciary’s office conduct insurance policies, with a report anticipated by Could 1. Roberts wrote that the group will study whether or not adjustments are wanted in a lot of areas, from codes of conduct to the dealing with of misconduct complaints.
“I’ve nice confidence within the women and men who comprise our judiciary. I’m positive that the overwhelming quantity don’t have any tolerance for harassment and share the view that victims will need to have clear and fast recourse to efficient treatments,” the chief justice wrote within the 16-page report.
Roberts spent a lot of the report speaking concerning the judiciary’s response to this yr’s devastating hurricanes, which affected Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, and in addition talked about wildfires in California
Roberts praised judges and court docket staff within the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico particularly, saying that after hurricanes Irma and Maria, they “responded in devoted and even heroic vogue,” persevering with to work “even within the face of non-public emergencies.”
He mentioned the judiciary has additionally realized classes from the storms and can develop higher backup communications techniques and do extra to place emergency provides in areas inclined to hurricanes and flooding.
Roberts mentioned the judiciary have to be prepared for a spread of potential disasters, akin to earthquakes, cyberterrorism and terrorist assaults.
“The courts can not present meals, shelter, or medical support, however they have to stand able to carry out their judicial capabilities as a part of the restoration effort,” he wrote.