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June 6th, 2013
02:13 PM ET

Judge in hot water: Allegedly said minorities are prone to violence

By Ben Brumfield and Marlei Martinez, CNN

(CNN) - Civil rights groups filed a complaint this week against a federal judge in Houston after she allegedly said during a lecture that some minorities are prone to violence.

Judge Edith Jones, who serves on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and was a Bush-era Supreme Court frontrunner, allegedly made the comment while speaking on the death penalty to The Federalist Society at the University of Pennsylvania in February.

The Federalist Society describes itself on its website as "a group of conservatives and libertarians interested in the current state of legal order."

In her remarks, Jones also is alleged to have said race plays no role in the administration of the death penalty, but certain ethnic groups commit certain types of crimes more often than others.

Civil rights groups, including the J.L. Turner Legal Association, say Jones' comments reveal a strong ethnic bias. They are pushing for an investigation that could lead to her removal from the bench.

The J.L. Turner Legal Association is an African-American bar association in Dallas. Its president, Mandy Price, told CNN that some attendees were shocked at what they heard and later complained.

"The reaction in the room when she made these remarks was one of shock, surprise, and offense," according to one account that the legal association collected from some of the attendees.

The Federalist Society itself, however, called the allegations "frivolous accusations."

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soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Jorge

    Well yeessss, some minority community members are prone to violence, especially if they are born into or exposed to American bang-bang-shoot-em-up posse values and pop culture at an early age. Some of us minority members, on the other hand, reject all that Bogart-Palance cowboy nonsense and prefer tools, farm implements and E-hardware to handguns...but you'll never hear about US, unless it's by somebody whining that we're taking a job that was meant for him/her because he/she has pretty blue eyes, will you?

    June 9, 2013 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Gary Livick

    There are some things related to race that no wise person mentions in public, and best not in even in private. The established facts collected via various scientific and legal organizations don't serve well in defense of public statements that are not PC. That said, prevailing opinions of one race about other races are too broad-brushed and exaggerated. But by not discussing the relevant issues in public, they will remain that way.

    June 8, 2013 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Alexis

    The article said, "Jones also is alleged to have said race plays no role in the administration of the death penalty, but certain ethnic groups commit certain types of crimes more often than others."

    What she allegedly said is not an opinion but a fact backed by data. Data agrees that race plays no role when it comes to crimes because everyone of all color breaks the law, but according to stats, there are some races (black) that commit most of the crimes.

    I'm exhausted of progressive funded PC police trying to punish anyone for sharing facts that paint certain classes of people negatively. You won't fix anything in any community if you continue_ you to live in this false reality where no one can do anything wrong and we all just have to live in this naive bubble where we can't do anything about the issue because its racist to fix a problem that could make the lives of everyone better.

    Why call yourself a "progressive" if you are nothing but degressive?

    June 7, 2013 at 8:19 am | Report abuse |
  4. Michael J Mallows

    >>In her remarks, Jones also is alleged to have said race plays no role in the administration of the death penalty, but certain ethnic groups commit certain types of crimes more often than others.<<

    Either what the judge said is true, in which case she should be required, and it would be prudent, for her to supply data, evidence, statistics, source,etc.
    Or it is NOT the case, which, I assume, could be checked out by those who gasped in horror and complained, because, presumably, they are better informed than the judge.

    If she is wrong, either because of prejudice or ignorance [wilful or otherwise], then simply discounting what she said because people choose to be outraged is a form of prejudice in itself.

    If she is right, as, according to the above post, seems to be the case
    would it not be better to enagage in a rational debate about the 'realiity' and possible remedies?
    That way there is a possibility, however remote, that less heat and more light will be shed.

    People of every hue will probably be vilified – and vilify –
    until we get past the fear that underpins the mental defect that manifests as colour prejudice.
    Go well

    June 7, 2013 at 8:08 am | Report abuse |
  5. John

    Latina woman says Latinas are wiser than white males, becomes a Supreme Court Justice. White woman says that certain crimes are committed at higher rates within certain demographics–fully supported by data–and is in danger of losing her job.

    June 6, 2013 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |