Chief Justice John Roberts has requested that the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals review more than a dozen ethics complaints related to Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing conduct.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, Kavanaugh’s former court, received a number of complaints relating to his testimony before the Senate. Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson reviewed the complaints after former Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland recused himself. Henderson determined that some concerns were insubstantial, but more than a dozen warranted further investigation. She then sent them to Roberts.
In a letter sent on Wednesday, Roberts noted he was transferring the complaints to the 10th Circuit Court’s chief judge, Timothy Tymkovich.
Roberts said he selected the court in Colorado to:
“Accept the transfer and to exercise the powers of a judicial council with respect to the identified complaints and any pending or new complaints relating to the same subject matter.”
Tymkovich, who was on President Donald Trump’s short list for the Supreme Court, can deal with the complaints himself, nullify them or appoint a special committee to further investigate.
Kavanaugh openly displayed anger and irritation during his appearance at the Senate last month. He portrayed himself as a victim of a broader political attack, saying
“This whole two-week effort has been a calculated and orchestrated political hit fueled with apparent pent-up anger about President Trump and the 2016 election, fear that has been unfairly stoked about my judicial record. Revenge on behalf of the Clintons and millions of dollars in money from outside left-wing opposition groups. This is a circus.”
Kavanaugh interrupted Senator Dianne Feinstein and his reversal of the question posed by Senator Amy Klobuchar were two of the most remarkable interactions.
When Klobuchar asked Kavanaugh if he’d ever consumed so much alcohol he couldn’t remember what happened, he responded:
“I don’t know have you?”
Klobuchar said of the exchange:
“One guy has said that he gets belligerent. So I was asking him about it, and I was stunned where instead of answering it he turned it on me. He did apologize very clearly after the break, which I appreciated. But the point is we still don’t really have answers to those questions.”
Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens said Kavanaugh’s conduct should bar him from serving on the nation’s highest court.
More than 2,400 law professors said in a New York Times opinion piece wrote that while testifying before the Senate judiciary Committee, Kavanaugh:
“Displayed a lack of judicial temperament that would be disqualifying for any court.”
Kavanaugh expressed regret for some of his testimony in a Wall Street Journal editorial, writing:
“I was very emotional last Thursday, more so than I have ever been. I might have been too emotional at times. I know that my tone was sharp, and I said a few things I should not have said.”