Chief Justice Roberts refers Kavanaugh ethics complaints to 10th Circuit

Oct. 10 (UPI) — Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts requested the 10th Circuit review more than 12 ethics complaints against newly seated Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Roberts said in a letter Wednesday requesting the transfer there are more than a dozen complaints filed between Sept. 20 and Oct. 5, but they do not relate to his conduct as a sitting judge, CNN reported.

Kavanaugh was confirmed Saturday in a 50-48 Senate vote, but some remain concerned about his temperament based on how he responded before the Senate judiciary committee on Sept. 27. Kavanaugh had been accused of sexually assaulting a college professor, Christine Blasey Ford, while the two were in high school decades ago in suburban Maryland.

The judge called it an attempt at “character assassination” that was “fueled with apparent pent-up anger about President Trump and the 2016 election, … revenge on behalf of the Clintons and millions of dollars in money from outside left-wing opposition groups.”

More than 2,400 law professors and former Supreme Court Justice Paul Stevens, the third-longest serving Supreme Court justice, have argued Kavanaugh is unfit to sit on the Supreme Court.

The law professors said he “displayed a lack of judicial temperament that would be disqualifying for any court.” Stevens said that he was “not fit for the Supreme Court,” because he has demonstrated bias.

The Washington, D.C., Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals, where Kavanaugh previously served as a judge, received the complaints prior to his confirmation. Chief Judge Merrick Garland, whose nomination was blocked by Senate Republicans during the Obama era, recused himself and the complaints were passed onto Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson, a President George H.W. Bush nominee.

Though Judge Henderson called some of the complaints frivolous, she said more than a dozen were worthy of being investigated by a separate panel rather than Kavanaugh’s fellow judges in the D.C. circuit. She referred the matter to Roberts, who has referred it to the 10th Circuit.

Now, the matter will go before Judge Timothy M. Tymkovich, the chief circuit judge of the Denver-based 10th Circuit, who has the option of handling the complaints himself, dismissing them or appointing a special committee to examine them.

The situation marks the first time an appointee has joined the Supreme Court with pending misconduct claims under review.

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