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Supreme Court Will Hear Clinton's Harassment Appeal

[Paula Jones]

WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, June 24) -- The Supreme Court has decided to hear President Bill Clinton's appeal that Paula Jones' sexual harassment suit against him should be delayed until he leaves office.

The White House said it was "pleased" by the news, but the decision is no vindication of the charges that then-Arkansas Gov. Clinton in 1991 propositioned Jones, then an Arkansas state employee. But the court's ruling does mean the case probably won't go forward before the Nov. 5 election, since justices aren't expected to rule this year.

Clinton and his lawyers had argued that the president's "unique responsibilities" should preclude him or any president from facing trial while in office in all but the most "exceptional circumstances." An earlier brief that compared the president's status to active servicemen drew intense criticism from Republicans and several veterans groups. Clinton avoided military service during the Vietnam War.

Filed in 1994, the case was initially delayed by an Arkansas federal judge whose ruling was overturned last January by the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. If the Supreme Court had declined to hear Clinton's appeal, the case would have commenced immediately.

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