Supreme Court Justice John Roberts has become involved with the ethics complaint filed against a Texas judge for allegedly making racist comments.
Roberts formally ordered that a judicial misconduct complaint against 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Edith Jones be reviewed by officials in a different circuit.
The complaint, filed last week, alleges that Jones said "racial groups like African-Americans and Hispanics are predisposed to crime," in a speech at the University of Pennsylvania earlier this year. The complaint also alleges she said death sentences provide a public service by allowing inmates to “make peace with God.”
Although her comments were not recorded, five students and one attorney who were in attendance signed affidavits on what was said, according to an Associated Press report.
The complaint was filed by a coalition of civil rights groups, including the Texas Civil Rights Project and the Austin chapter of the NAACP.
"This is a hopeful sign that [the judges] are taking this seriously," lawyer James Harrington of the Texas Civil Rights Project told the Houston Chronicle.
Jones was nominated to the 5th Circuit Court by President Ronald Reagan in 1985 and has been considered a potential Supreme Court nominee during multiple Republican administrations.