Judicial complaints filed against now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh have been transferred to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver.
The transfer happened with a letter sent to 10th Circuit Chief Judge Tim Tymkovich from U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts. As for why the 10th Circuit was chosen, a circuit court spokesperson said, “You’d have to ask John (Roberts).” And likewise, it’s anyone’s guess as to how far the 10th Circuit will take its investigation since Kavanaugh is now a U.S. Supreme Court justice.
According to reporting by the Washington Post, the Supreme Court received 15 judicial misconduct complaints for Kavanaugh as a D.C. Circuit judge related to comments he made during his Supreme Court confirmation hearings. Also according to the Post, the complaints focus on Kavanaugh’s temperament during his testimony.
In his letter to Tymkovich, Roberts said he selected the 10th Circuit “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.”
The circuit court spokesperson said there was no comment from Tymkovich and the court will now handle the complaints according to the federal rules guiding judicial misconduct complaints. According to the court, the great majority of complaints in recent years have been dismissed because they simply do not comply with the law.
According to the 10th Circuit’s rules, the chief judge now has the discretion to dismiss the complaints, conclude whether voluntary corrective action has been taken, conclude that intervening events make it so corrective action is no longer necessary or to refer the complaints to a special committee. The rules do not specify the U.S. Supreme Court as a court with “covered judges” under the rules, so it is unclear whether Kavanaugh’s appointment to the Supreme Court is an “intervening event” that make him exempt from the court’s misconduct rules. According to the rules, the judge’s decision must also be made public.