John Roberts refers ethics complaints about Kavanaugh’s testimony to 10th Circuit
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WASHINGTON, D.C., October 12, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Chief Justice John Roberts has referred ethics complaints against his new Supreme Court colleague Brett Kavanaugh to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, stemming from the judge’s forceful response to unsubstantiated claims of sexual assault.
Kavanaugh was narrowly confirmed and sworn in last weekend following a bitter three-month battle that primarily concerned his abortion views, then delayed his original confirmation vote by a month with last-minute claims by psychologist Christine Blasey Ford that he attempted to rape her as a drunken teenager in the 1980s.
His first day on the job was reportedly cordial and routine despite outside protesters, but it seems the newest Supreme Court justice’s ordeal isn’t over yet. The day of his confirmation, Judge Karen Henderson of the District of Columbia Circuit announced that “members of the general public” had filed complaints that “do not pertain to any conduct in which Judge Kavanaugh engaged as a judge,” but concern “public statements he has made as a nominee.”
This week, the DC circuit published a letter from Roberts responding to the DC circuit’s request to transfer the matter from itself, where Kavanaugh had previously served thereby presenting a conflict of interest, to another circuit. Roberts selected the 10th Circuit to take over the case.
Rule 26 of the Rules for Judicial-Conduct and Judicial-Disability Proceedings charges the Chief Justice with deciding whether complaints should stay where they were originally filed or be transferred, not whether they have merit. Fox News says the DC Circuit did have the option of “dismissing them out of hand” if it so chose.
At issue is Kavanaugh’s forceful testimony replying to Ford’s accusations, during which he expressed visible anger at the media figures and committee Democrats he argued were carrying out a smear campaign against him. At the same time, he was careful not to attack Ford herself, granting that someone else may have assaulted her.
“This confirmation process has become a national disgrace. The Constitution gives the Senate an important role in the confirmation process, but you have replaced advise and consent with search and destroy,” he declared. “Since my nomination in July, there has been a frenzy on the left to come up with something, anything to block my confirmation [...] a Democratic senator on this committee publicly referred to me as evil...evil, think about that word.”
Many conservatives believe the display of righteous indignation demonstrated his innocence and saved his nomination, but liberals quickly adopted the narrative that his combativeness in the face of being called a rapist, as well as his overt criticisms of Democrats, revealed he lacks the temperament and impartiality to sit on the Supreme Court. The Thursday before the final vote, Kavanaugh apologized for his tone in a Wall Street Journal op-ed.
Gabe Roth of the judicial oversight group Fix the Court told The Daily Caller he was “a little disappointed” Roberts picked the 10th Circuit because “its chief judge, Tim Tymkovich, was picked by the Bush administration during the time Kavanaugh was working on judicial nominations.” Regardless, he expected the court to dismiss the complaints because Supreme Court Justices aren’t subject to the Judicial Conduct and Disability Act.
The media, Democrats, and abortion groups have responded to Kavanaugh’s confirmation by calling on their followers to angrily confront Republicans and stoking fears the Supreme Court might overturn Roe v. Wade, which would allow Americans to vote on abortion laws for themselves.