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November 11, 2007

Does Clinton Case Rule Out Impeachment, Removal Of Judge Samuel Kent?

The actions of US District Court Judge Samuel Kent towards a female court employee are, to say the least, outrageous. I'd go so far as to say they are criminal. is it grounds for impeachment?

The federal court employee at the center of a sexual misconduct complaint against U.S. District Judge Samuel Kent first went to her boss about the judge allegedly touching her inappropriately in 2003 four years before the March incident that led to his reprimand by the 5th Circuit judicial council.

In mid-2003, case manager Cathy McBroom told her supervisor that the judge lured her into an office used as an exercise room and groped her, according to interviews with McBroom's friends, her mother and other sources.

But her female supervisor advised that McBroom could lose her job if she made a formal complaint, and no further action apparently was taken.

The alleged assault in March prompted McBroom to request an immediate transfer and file a judicial misconduct complaint. It resulted in a rare reprimand of the judge for sexual harassment and "inappropriate behavior" toward other employees.

* * *

This is McBroom's account of what happened in March as told to friends and her mother in conversation and in written notes:

McBroom was summoned to the judge's chambers on Friday, March 23, at about 3 p.m.

Her hands were full of legal papers when the judge a former high school athlete who is more than 6 inches taller and at least 100 pounds heavier asked for a hug.

She told him she didn't think that was appropriate, but reluctantly approached.

The judge grabbed McBroom, pulled up her blouse and her bra and put his mouth on her breast. Then, Kent forced her head down toward his crotch.

As McBroom struggled, Kent kept telling the married mother of three what he wanted to do to her in words too graphic to publish. The papers fell to the floor. The pet bulldog Kent kept in his chambers began to bark.

The incident was interrupted by the sound of footsteps from another staff member in the corridor, and the judge loosened his grip. As she left, the judge said McBroom was a good case manager and then made suggestions about engaging in a sexual act.

McBroom ran out crying.

Terrible stuff. As one local columnist writes, this is not sexual harassment -- it is sexual assault.

Some folks are calling for impeachment.

I regret that I cannot, despite my disgust with the conduct in question.

After all, precedent indicates that the conduct alleged to have been committed is not an offense for which an individual should be removed by impeachment.

You disagree? Let me toss out some names.

Paula Jones.

Juanita Broderick.

Kathleen Willey.

Monica Lewinski.

The accusations related to these women included sex with a subordinate, unwanted sexual conduct, unwanted sexual suggestions, and sexual assault. Impeachment proceedings were brought against the perpetrator of those acts. The US Senate determined that the offenses, which were clearly proven, did not merit removal from office as high crimes or misdemeanors. And thus Bill Clinton was permitted to remain in office, on the basis that the charges were just about sex.

So tell me, how does the case of Judge Kent really differ in substance? It doesn't. To remove him from office would be to commit a grave injustice against him, by applying a different standard to him than is applied to officers of the executive branch.

Either that, or it would require the United States Senate to admit that it was wrong when it refused to remove Bill Clinton from the presidency less than a decade ago.

Although on the other hand, from a purely partisan perspective it could be quite fun to watch this impeachment proceeding play out in the US Senate. After all, it would require several Democrats currently seeking the White House to take a stand on whether the sexual abuse of subordinates is morally and legally wrong, and merits removal from office. Having defended her husband to the hilt, wouldn't you love to see how Senator Hillary Clinton handled a Kent impeachment trial, and how she would vote?

Democrats set the standard for impeachment on sexual misconduct. Now they need to live with it -- or concede that they were wrong to put politics before principle in 1999, and that they are therefore unfit to govern America.

OPEN TRACKBACKING AT Outside the Beltway, Stop the ACLU, Perri Nelson's Website, Rosemary's Thoughts, Stix Blog, Right Truth, The Populist, Shadowscope, Stuck On Stupid, Leaning Straight Up, Adeline and Hazel, third world county, The Uncooperative Radio Show!, Pirate's Cove, The Pink Flamingo, CommonSenseAmerica, Right Voices, Church and State, Blog @ MoreWhat.com, A Blog For All, 123beta, Adam's Blog, Grizzly Groundswell, The Bullwinkle Blog, Big Dog's Weblog, Cao's Blog, , Nuke's, Diary of the Mad Pigeon, Faultline USA, The Crazy Rants of Samantha Burns, The World According to Carl, Walls of the City, Blue Star Chronicles, Wolf Pangloss, Gone Hollywood, and The Yankee Sailor, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.





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I'll be glad to agree with you -- as soon as Hillary denounces Bill and withdraws from the presidential race.

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