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Complaint About Judge's Alleged Racist Comments Moved to D.C.

Jones' conduct will be reviewed by D.C. Circuit

By Jordan Smith, 8:38AM, Thu. Jun. 13, 2013

Judge Edith Jones
Judge Edith Jones

U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts on Wednesday removed from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals a complaint alleging that Texas-based federal appeals Judge Edith Jones violated the code of judicial conduct in comments she made during a February law school lecture.

In a brief single-paragraph letter, Roberts wrote that he has selected the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to conduct the review of a complaint filed June 4 by a group of civil rights advocates and legal ethicists and alleging that Jones made biased and racist comments during a lecture she gave earlier this year at the University of Pennsylvania School of Law – including that blacks and Hispanics are more likely to commit violent crime and that Mexican Nationals would rather be on death row in the U.S. than in a Mexican prison. Mexico abolished the death penalty in 2005.

Roberts moved the complaint on a request from Fifth Circuit Chief Judge Carl Stewart – who was responding, in turn, to a request to remove the complaint to another circuit made in the original complaint, filed by the Austin NAACP, Texas Civil Rights Project, and LULAC, among others.

The D.C. court will now be tasked with investigating the complaint "and any pending or new complaints relating to the same subject matter," Roberts wrote.

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