Judge Stephen Reinhardt became an icon on the historically liberal Ninth Circut Court of Appeals on which he served from 1990 until his death in 2018.
Now, a former clerk is accusing the deceased judge of sexual misconduct in testimony before Congress. (Daily Caller)
Olivia Warren, who clerked for the judge from May 2017 until his death in March 2018, testified that Reinhardt regularly belittled her physique, scrutinized the physical appearance of female clerk applicants, and exhibited obsessive and paranoid behavior following the retirement of former Judge Alex Kozinski for workplace misconduct. Former President Jimmy Carter appointed Reinhardt to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 1980.
“Judge Reinhardt routinely and frequently made disparaging statements about my physical appearance, my views about feminism and women’s rights, and my relationship with my husband, including our sexual relationship,” Warren said. “Often, these remarks included expressing surprise that I even had a husband because I was not a woman who any man would be attracted to.”
“I would like to emphasize that it is not my intention to destroy Judge Reinhardt’s legacy, to erase his significant contributions to the law, or to condemn him,” Warren said elsewhere in her testimony. “I was drawn to the practice of law by an interest in indigent defense work, and, especially as a capital defense attorney, I believe it is essential to see the enormous capacity for both good and bad in all people.”
Warren described a generally degrading work environment. She alleged that Reinhardt dedicated a particular shelf in his chambers to pictures of former clerks he found especially good-looking and asked her to evaluate photos from the social media accounts of two women applying to positions in his chambers. On one occasion, the judge allegedly drew two dots on top of a sine curve, such that the chart resembled breasts. He then asked Warren whether the image resembled her own breasts.