Donald Trump: Abandoning Justice Brett Kavanaugh would have been 'the easier path'

Sergio Conner
October 11, 2018

Tymkovich is a George W. Bush appointee who is on Trump's Supreme Court short list.

Over a dozen complaints - some from Democratic partisan groups - about statements Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh made during his confirmation hearings were referred to federal judges in Colorado by Chief Justice John Roberts Wednesday. Before the arguments, Chief Justice John Roberts welcomed Kavanaugh, 53, to a court that now has five conservative members and four liberals.

It's unclear what will come of the review.

The Washington Post spoke with University of Pittsburgh law professor Arthur Hellman about the likely next step.

He said it was unprecedented for a new justice to face such a situation.

Roberts took no action on them while Kavanaugh's nomination was pending. But he was ultimately confirmed by the Senate, 50-48.

The specifics of the complaints remain unknown, but people familiar with the matter say that they accuse Kavanaugh of misleading the public, and criticize his attitude and lack of political impartiality during his confirmation hearings.

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The complaints may never get investigated, though. Details of the complaints have not been made public.

Henderson is the most senior judge in the D.C. Circuit, and she apparently issued the statement after the chief judge, Merrick Garland, recused himself.

But Gillers said the complaints "may be found not to be meritorious in the end".

The move by Roberts is significant because he didn't dismiss the complaints.

Each federal court has a so-called "judicial council" to investigate conduct complaints and make disciplinary recommendations.

The existence of misconduct complaints and the procedure can be disclosed, according to the rules, "when necessary or appropriate to maintain public confidence in the judiciary's ability to redress misconduct or disability".

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