Skip to main content

Clinton v. Jones


CLINTON V. JONES, 520 U.S. 681 (1997). In May 1991 Paula Corbin Jones, an Arkansas state employee, was brought to a hotel room in Little Rock, Arkansas, where, she alleged, Governor Bill Clinton made "abhorrent" sexual advances to her. Having rejected his advances, she later claimed that her refusal resulted in discrimination against her in her work. Consequently, she filed suit in a federal district court seeking to recover damages from him even while he was serving as the president of the United States.

Clinton requested that the federal judge in Little Rock dismiss the pending civil trial on grounds of presidential immunity. The judge refused, ruling that such a trial would be stayed only until his presidency had ended. Clinton then appealed the judge's decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, which in turn ruled that he lacked immunity and that the case could go to trial.

Subsequently, Clinton asked the United States Supreme Court to delay proceedings until he had left office. On 27 May 1997 the Court, in the case of Clinton v. Jones, let stand the decision of the Federal Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, denying Clinton immunity in a civil suit not related to his office. As a result of the Court's action, the Jones case went to trial, during which Clinton gave perjured testimony about his affair with Monica Lewinsky. His testimony later provided the grounds for his impeachment by the House of Representatives.


Posner, Richard A. An Affair of State: The Investigation, Impeachment, and Trial of President Clinton. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, l999.

William C.Berman

See alsoImpeachment Trial of Bill Clinton .

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Clinton v. Jones." Dictionary of American History. . 20 Feb. 2019 <>.

"Clinton v. Jones." Dictionary of American History. . (February 20, 2019).

"Clinton v. Jones." Dictionary of American History. . Retrieved February 20, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.