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Bob Filner, the Rule of Law and Due Process

Bob Filner, Mayor of San Diego, has been the subject of recent allegations that he sexually harassed numerous female employees and made unwanted sexual advances towards other women. Filner, who forged a reputation throughout his political career for championing the rights of women and minorities, denies the allegations and continues to hold office despite the public storm. Although the allegations were initially raised anonymously, numerous women have now come out in name to add credence to the allegations. One of the victims, his former communications director, Irene McCormack Jackson, has now filed a civil sexual harassment lawsuit.

The Rule of Law

The scandal that has engulfed Bob Filner and San Diego, whilst being a stain on California politics, is a shining example that the rule of law lives strong in America. The rule of law means that the law applies to all citizens and must be enforced in all cases of its breach. Although it should be said that the allegations against Filner are, as yet, unproven in a court of law, the fact that a mayor of a prominent city may very well be forced to step down from power due to a breach of anti-harassment laws that should give us a certain amount of pride in the commitment to justice for victims of sexual harassment.

Due process

For all the pride we may have in the rule of law, it is also important to stress that it stands for little if the accused is denied due process.  Under the U.S. Constitution’s Due Process Clause, defendants have the right to defend themselves against accusations and allegations in a court of law. Bob Filner may well have committed sexual harassment to multiple women, but let’s hope his fate is determined by a fair trial conducted in a courtroom, and not by the media.

If you are a victim of sexual harassment, speak to an experienced Southern California labor law attorney to discuss the best way to handle the situation.

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