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Clinton v. Jones

United States Supreme Court
520 U.S. 681 (1997)



Paula Jones (plaintiff) alleged that before President Bill Clinton (defendant) was elected to the office of President of the United States, he made “abhorrent” sexual advances toward her which she “vehemently” rejected. After this time, Jones, a state of Arkansas employee, said she was treated rudely by coworkers. After Clinton was elected President, Jones stated he defamed her personally to a reporter and called her a “liar.” Jones brought state law claims against Clinton for defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress. In bringing these claims, Jones noted that none of the conduct at issue occurred during Clinton’s time in office as President of the United States. The lower court held that Clinton was not immune from suit while in office for actions allegedly occurring before he assumed the presidential office. The district court granted a stay of the proceedings, and Jones appealed. The appellate court reversed, and the United States Supreme Court considered the case.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Stevens, J.)

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