Dem Group Files Kavanaugh Ethics Complaints, Sent to Circuit Court
An advocacy coalition submitted these less than a week before the confirmation vote, lower judges to consider
U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts transferred two ethics complaints against newly confirmed Justice Brett Kavanaugh to a lower federal panel, a Democratic advocacy group that opposed the judge’s confirmation revealed Wednesday.
“Chief Justice John Roberts transferred both of the ethics complaints we filed with the Appeals court on Brett Kavanaugh,” Democratic Coalition co-founder Scott Dworkin said in a tweet.
“On Fox News, Bret Baier said Roberts referred allegations of judicial misconduct claims on Kavanaugh to outside judges for investigation.”
The Democratic Coalition first filed the two complaints less than a week before the confirmation vote on October 2. The ethics complaints have still followed Kavanaugh, however, despite the Senate’s 50-48 vote to confirm him Saturday, after one of the ugliest, most contentious judicial confirmation processes ever.
The move by Roberts is significant because he didn’t dismiss the complaints.
The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judicial Council will now be handling the ethics complaints. They both stem from a hearing during the confirmation process to address sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh.
Democrats claim he displayed excessive anger and was too partisan in defending himself against 11th-hour allegations by three women who claimed he sexually assaulted them during high school and college freshmen parties. Kavanaugh strenuously denied the allegations, and none of the witnesses the women said would back up their claims did so.
Kavanaugh accused Democrats on the Senate Committee on the Judiciary of using their unfair and unproven allegations against him as a means of striking back at President Donald Trump for defeating former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee in the 2016 election.
Some legal observers believe the Democratic Coalition complaints could signal that Kavanaugh’s anger and partisan allegations could be cited as grounds for recusal requests in either the U.S. Supreme Court or his former post as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
Democrats are likely to launch new congressional investigations if they regain a House of Representatives majority in the November 6 election. Such a development could also lead to an effort by House Democrats to impeach Kavanaugh.
Even if such an effort succeeded in the House, Kavanaugh would not be removed from the federal bench without being convicted by the Senate, which would require 67 votes.
The odds of that happening are extremely remote.