Federal court will investigate leak of survey describing alleged bias and bullying by judges

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The federal court in Washington, D.C., will investigate the leak of a confidential workplace survey that revealed allegations of bullying and discrimination by some trial-level and appeals judges.

The Washington Post published a story on the survey Monday. The publication now reports on news of the investigation, revealed in an announcement to colleagues by Chief Judge Sri Srinivasan of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Srinivasan said Thursday the former and current clerks and staff members who took the survey were told that their responses would be kept confidential.

“The leak of a confidential document compiling the responses was a serious breach of that understanding and must be investigated,” he said in a statement.

More than 90% of survey respondents said they had not personally experienced, witnessed or heard about instances of misconduct. But those who reported misconduct complained of gender discrimination, bullying and racial insensitivity.

The survey included comments about D.C. Circuit Judge Karen L. Henderson, who has hired only one female clerk since 1990, when she was nominated to the appeals court. All the other 70-plus clerks were men, the Washington Post confirmed.

The House Judiciary Committee told court officials on Thursday that it wants information on the survey as part of its investigation into workplace misconduct in the federal judiciary.

Hat tip to How Appealing.

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