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Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition

Speaking of federal judges serving lifetime appointments, a federal judge in Nebraska has raised controversy after going on a Twitter offensive against a group of law clerks who are working to combat sexual harassment in the federal judiciary.

Richard Kopf, Senior Judge of the U.S. District Court in Nebraska, fired off a tweet July 20 comparing the new group, Law Clerks for Workplace Accountability, to the Spanish Inquisition. That was the same day that the group posted on its website a mildly critical response a report recently published by Chief Justice John Roberts’ new working group that is examining the problem of harassment in the federal judiciary.

In the tweet, Kopf took pains to point out that the group is “all female.” (Oh no! A group of only ladies, with no gentlemen around to mansplain things for them? The horror!)

For context here, Kopf used to publish a blog in which he referred to himself as “being a dirty old man” and chastised female lawyers for dressing too sexily, so surely his views on sexual harassment in the workplace are coming from a place of enlightenment. In a keep-digging follow-up tweet, he requested an “invitation” to publish his criticism of the law clerks’ group response on the group’s own website, which is not how any of this works.

In the replies to Kopf’s tweets, responders implored Kopf not to compare anti-sexual harassment groups to the Spanish Inquisition … but let’s face it—you can’t “Torquemada” anything.

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