All 83 Ethics Complaints Against Kavanaugh Thrown Out

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by David Nussman  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  January 14, 2019   

Panel of judges dismissed ethics complaints in Dec. 18 decision

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WASHINGTON (ChurchMilitant.com) - A panel of judges has dismissed all 83 ethics complaints against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

On Dec. 18, a specially appointed panel of judges tossed out the ethics complaints. The reasoning behind the decision was that lower court judges do not have the authority to discipline Supreme Court justices.

Kavanaugh was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court by President Donald Trump. During his confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee, an allegation of sexual assault was brought against him by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. Kavanaugh pushed back fiercely against Ford's claim that he sexually assaulted her in the 1980s when they were both in high school.


Many of the 83 ethics complaints were related to Ford's allegation, Kavanaugh's fiery responses to some questions during the confirmation hearings in September and assault allegations from other women against Kavanaugh that were published in the media around the same time.

Some of the complaints accused Kavanaugh of lying under oath to the Senate Judiciary Committee and of being disrespectful to the senators on the committee by losing his temper. One complaint said of Kavanaugh's behavior during the confirmation hearings, "He was belligerent, petulant, and refused to answer questions put to him by several senators. He obfuscated and refused to cooperate with their questioning of his behavior in the past."

But some of the other complaints alleged that Kavanaugh had lied under oath back in 2004 and 2006 during confirmation hearings for his previous appointments.

The panel of judges from the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals was appointed by John Roberts, chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, to look into the ethics complaints against Kavanaugh.

The dismissal of these ethics complaints received media coverage at the time; but this coverage did not figure as prominently as might be expected, because American news in mid-December was more focused on the impending government shutdown.

During the confirmation hearings back in September, Kavanaugh blasted Senate Democrats and others, accusing them of turning the confirmation process into a "circus" and an "orchestrated political hit." 

Senators on the committee questioned Kavanaugh at length about his drinking habits in high school. He said at one point, "I liked beer, I still like beer, but I did not drink beer to the point of blacking out and I never sexually assaulted anyone."

Despite the controversy surrounding Trump's nomination of Kavanaugh, the Senate still voted on Oct. 6 to confirm his nomination, and he was sworn in at a ceremony later that day.

Some pro-lifers were hopeful that Kavanaugh would be an ally in the fight to overturn Roe v. Wade. But a decision during his first few months on the court has called into question his views on abortion.

In December, Kavanaugh joined the Supreme Court's liberal bloc in refusing to review two cases involving Planned Parenthood and Medicaid funding.

In recent years, several states have barred Planned Parenthood from Medicaid, often on the grounds that the abortion giant has allegedly engaged in fraudulent practices such as profiting off the sales of aborted babies' body parts. Planned Parenthood and some of its patients have sued states over this, and two of these cases nearly made their way to the U.S. Supreme Court — but the court voted not to hear them.

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