Loading...

Lawmakers Accuse US Judges of Bias in Hiring Law Clerk Accused of Racism

November 11, 2021 by Tom Ramstack
Lawmakers Accuse US Judges of Bias in Hiring Law Clerk Accused of Racism
Chief Justice John Roberts arrives for the State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON — Democratic members of Congress are asking for an investigation of two federal judges who hired a law clerk they say has a “history of nakedly racist and hateful conduct.”

Seven members of the House Judiciary Committee wrote a letter this week to Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts calling into question whether the judges could be considered unbiased after they hired the clerk.

The clerk is the former national field director for the conservative student activist group Turning Point USA who is known to have texted a colleague with the message, “I hate Black people.”

Although the letter called the law clerk only “the individual,” previous news reports about Turning Point USA identified her as Crystal Clanton, a law student at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School.

She recently was hired by U.S. District Judge Corey Maze and appeals court Judge William Pryor for a prestigious clerkship at the federal court in Birmingham, Alabama, beginning in 2023.

“That these judges hired her therefore creates both the appearance of and risk of actual bias in their chambers and their decisions as well as other potential problems,” says the letter led by Reps. Jerrold Nadler and Hank Johnson.

They argue that minorities could not trust they would receive equal justice before Pryor and Maze, particularly in civil rights cases.

Other allegations against Clanton in the congressmen’s letter say:

  • She would “exchange racist remarks regularly” with her coworkers.
  • She sent a photo to at least two coworkers of a man with brown skin with the caption, “[j]ust thinking about ways to do another 9/11.”
  • She and her coworkers would often send similar anti-Muslim messages that included remarks like “a bacon a day keeps the Islams away” and “Ramadan bombathon,” as well as tak[e] pictures of their heads wrapped in towels to mock head coverings commonly worn by Arabs, according to sources who received the messages.
  • She fired her organization’s only Black employee on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  That employee later stated that Turning Point USA was a “racist” workplace and that she felt “very uncomfortable working there because I was Black.”

When The New Yorker magazine published a story about Turning Point USA in 2017 and the hateful messages Clanton allegedly wrote, it quoted her saying she could not recall them and that they “do not reflect what I believe or who I am.”

In addition to Roberts, the congressmen’s letter was addressed to Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Charles Wilson. The Eleventh Circuit includes Alabama.

The letter signed by seven lawmakers requested a response by Dec. 1. Turning Point USA describes itself on its website as a “nonprofit organization whose mission is to identify, educate, train, and organize students to promote freedom.”

Tom can be reached at tom@thewellnews.com

In The News

Health

Voting

In The News

December 9, 2022
by Dan McCue
WHO Report Suggests Resistance to Antibiotics Growing

GENEVA, Switzerland — Bacteria responsible for common infections are showing an increasing resistance to the antibiotics used to treat those... Read More

GENEVA, Switzerland — Bacteria responsible for common infections are showing an increasing resistance to the antibiotics used to treat those infections, a new report from the World Health Organization says. In addition, the report, based on data collected in 87 countries in 2020, reports high levels... Read More

December 9, 2022
by Tom Ramstack
Congressional Report Blames Commanders’ Owner for Toxic Workplace and Cover-Up

WASHINGTON — A congressional report Thursday saying Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder misled Congress while trying to cover up a... Read More

WASHINGTON — A congressional report Thursday saying Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder misled Congress while trying to cover up a toxic workplace is renewing calls for legislative reform to clamp down on sexual harassment in employment. Snyder has been checking into possibilities for selling his football... Read More

December 9, 2022
by Dan McCue
Sinema Declaration of Independence Seen as Act of Self-Preservation

WASHINGTON — “Kyrsten is independent; that’s how she’s always been,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Friday morning as... Read More

WASHINGTON — “Kyrsten is independent; that’s how she’s always been,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Friday morning as D.C. continued to chew over the news that Sen. Krysten Sinema had decided to quit the Democratic Party. But in switching to become an independent, not... Read More

December 9, 2022
by Dan McCue
White House to Host 50 African Leaders in Three-Day Summit

WASHINGTON — The White House will host representatives from 50 African nations at a three-day summit next week intended to... Read More

WASHINGTON — The White House will host representatives from 50 African nations at a three-day summit next week intended to “advance shared priorities,” while recognizing that the continent “is a key geopolitical player” that is “shaping the present and will continue to shape the world’s future.”... Read More

December 8, 2022
by Tom Ramstack
Minister Says He Successfully Lobbied Supreme Court Justices for His Causes

WASHINGTON — An evangelical minister who on Thursday claimed to be a whistleblower on conflicts of interest at the Supreme... Read More

WASHINGTON — An evangelical minister who on Thursday claimed to be a whistleblower on conflicts of interest at the Supreme Court told Congress that for years he recruited “stealth missionaries” to advocate conservative causes to the justices. The wealthy couples Robert L. Schenck said he used... Read More

December 8, 2022
by Dan McCue
House Passes Annual Defense Authorization Bill With Strong Bipartisan Support

WASHINGTON — The House on Thursday afternoon passed the National Defense Authorization Act, sending the $847 billion, 4,000-page measure on... Read More

WASHINGTON — The House on Thursday afternoon passed the National Defense Authorization Act, sending the $847 billion, 4,000-page measure on to the Senate for consideration before the end-of-year deadline. After months of negotiation, the annual defense authorization bill passed in a bipartisan vote of 350-80. The... Read More

News From The Well