Chief Justice John Roberts is referring more than a dozen ethics complaints against newly-installed Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh to outside judges for investigation.
The 15 complaints, related to statements Kavanaugh made during his Senate confirmation hearings, were forwarded by Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson to Roberts after determining they were substantive enough that they needed to be investigated by judges outside the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, where Kavanaugh was serving as a judge. Roberts took no action on them while Kavanaugh’s nomination was pending.
In a letter Wednesday to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, 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.”
“There is nothing that a judicial council could do at this point,” said Arthur D. Hellman, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh.
He told The Washington Post that it was unprecedented for a new justice to face such a situation. He predicted that the 10th Circuit will likely close the case “because it is no longer within their jurisdiction,” now that Kavanaugh has been confirmed to the Supreme Court.