When Senior District Court Judge Richard Kopf wrote the “dirty old man” post at his blog, Hercules and the umpire, I cringed. Not because I didn’t get his point, but because I knew, with absolute certainty, that most people wouldn’t, and would instead hang on the words of an old joke* in an effort to hang Judge Kopf. And so I leapt into the fray, not because I agreed with his choice of words, but because the castigation he would (and did) receive was misguided.
Here, I do so again.
“[All female] Law Clerks for Workplace Accountability launches a web site, a Twitter account, and issues its ‘Response to the Federal Judiciary Workplace Conduct Working Group’s Report.’”
New Spanish Inquisition by SJWs? Thank goodness for Article III.
— Richard G. Kopf (@JudgeKopf) July 20, 2018
Oh boy. And on twitter, Judge, where depth of thought and nuance always prevails? This would not have been the way I would have advised Judge Kopf (no, he didn’t ask for my advice) to say so, and certainly wouldn’t have been the platform to do so. But there it was.
Following Judge Alex Kozinski’s spectacular fall from grace, Chief Justice John Roberts created a working group to address the problem of sexual misconduct in the federal judiciary. It was the right thing to do, and he did it. But a small, very discrete, group was dissatisfied, not because the group was formed, but because they were left out of the group. This small cadre believed themselves entitled to be involved in the formation of policy for the federal judiciary.
No, they had never been confirmed by the Senate. No, they were of little experience in the law and possessed of no notable accomplishments. They had but two attributes, they were hired to be a federal law clerk and they felt themselves sufficiently woke to dictate to the federal judiciary how they should behave.
Now they’ve formed a group to promote their cause. This, alone, wouldn’t have been sufficiently noteworthy to mention as far as I am concerned, but Judge Kopf, who follows Howard Bashman’s How Appealing** more closely than I do, picked up on it. And his twit followed.
There was no question, none, that Judge Kopf’s twit would be immediately viewed as promoting and apologizing for sexual harassment by the federal judiciary. And indeed, that’s exactly what happened.
Are you saying that although they have endured sexual harassment & sexism at work, they haven’t worked there long enough to demand that sexism and harassment in the workplace stop?
Of course, that wasn’t at all what he was saying, and as is twitter’s wont, the assumption that these are women who have “endured sexual harassment & sexism at work” is exactly why Judge Kopf raised the issue.
This group of undistinguished lawyers who are demanding the right to have a significant say in federal judicial policy aren’t claiming to have “endured sexual harassment & sexism at work.” Not one of them, as far as I’m aware, has as yet come forward to allege they were the victim of sexual impropriety. But they have established themselves as sexual vigilantes, tone and language policing in the name of the most woke and sensitive feminist righteousness.
Consider the “solutions” to the as-yet undefined cries about sexual “harassment.”
A mechanism for anonymous complaints about judges
- A duty for judges to snitch on other judges who might utter words the law clerks deem “sexist”***
- The authority of one judge’s clerks to anonymously complain about another judge’s work choice
- Protection of law clerks from “retaliation” no matter whether their complaints are real and legitimate or infantile crap
- Assurance of punishment of judges if a law clerk’s feelings are hurt by the use of words she feels are offensive
The obvious defense of these demands is Judge Kozinski’s conduct. The similarly obvious problem is that this will create a campus Title IX climate within the federal courthouse, where clerks a year or two out of law school are capable of conducting the Spanish Inquisition against federal judges to shame them for such outrages as using the word “hysterical.”
There is nothing in Judge Kopf’s “message” questioning the Chief Justice’s working group creating a mechanism to address sexual misconduct in the federal judiciary. What he challenges is the demand of these law clerks to take it from the allegations of Judge Kozinski to the anonymous shaming by the feminist tone and word police with the hours of legal experience.
And the reactions to Judge Kopf’s twit prove his point:
His day and time have passed him by. This is a new era when sexual harassment is no longer accepted anywhere no matter how long someone has been on the job! And yes, those who have been harassed have a stake in the policies set.
There was no suggestion that sexual harassment would, or should, be tolerated, even if no one has a clue what constitutes sexual harassment anymore. But the baby SJWs desperately want to recreate the Spanish Inquisition for the federal judiciary so they can impose their righteousness on the judges.
Because this bunch of clerks have 1 to 2 years experience with the federal judiciary. That know and understand very little.
And yet, these are the scolds demanding the authority to tell federal judges how they should be allowed to speak? Then again, knowledge and experience are no longer the virtues they once were. Now, they’re more often viewed as weapons to silence the brilliance of the woke. And the woke won’t be silenced, at least not on twitter, no matter how little they grasp about what’s being said.
Did Judge Kopf expect anything better would come from his twit? His point may be valid, but far too nuanced and dangerous in this atmosphere of infantile righteousness and roaming bands of simplistic tone vigilantes to say aloud. This wasn’t a battle that needed to be fought, and even if it was, twitter wasn’t the battleground for it. And yet, here we go again.
You’re killing me, Judge.
*Every old joke is now officially offensive. Ladies lingerie, anyone?
**On a humorous note, Judge Kopf was taken to task for prefacing his twit with “How Appealing,” which some genius took to imply “women are meant to be seen and not heard” rather than the name of Howard Bashman’s blog.
***For the hard-of-thinking, the significance of this idea is that the judge who hears another judge utter words that some law clerk within earshot finds “sexist,” but the listening judge, who’s inadequately woke to take umbrage, will be subject to anonymous complaint and discipline for not ratting out the speaking judge.