Published on: Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Leaders of the House Judiciary Committee had asked U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts to open an investigation into the Eleventh Circuit chief judge’s and a Northern District of Alabama federal district judge hiring of a law clerk with “a history of nakedly racist and hateful conduct” (previous coverage available here).

The judicial council of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit dismissed the misconduct complaints in a Jan. 13 order (article available here).

The judges had hired Crystal Clanton, now a student George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School, despite the past accusations against her of making racist statements while working as the national field director at the conservative student group Turning Point USA. Clanton was in college most of the time that she worked at the group.

The judges had told the judicial council that they were aware of the allegations of racist messages, but they had information that the allegations were false.

“In rendering this decision to affirm, we need not and do not consider whether the information the judges elicited and received regarding their hiring decisions was accurate but only that they committed no misconduct in performing due diligence and then determining to hire the candidate based on the information before them,” the judicial council said.

One of the lawmakers who sought the investigation said in a statement the decision dismissing the ethics complaint was “nothing more than a rubber stamp that gives two influential federal judges cover for hiring a law clerk with a reported history of racist conduct.”