When Donald Trump appointed Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavannaugh to the Supreme Court bench, hopes certainly dimmed substantially for a court majority that would vigorously protect, much less expand, basic civil liberties, especially for women, LGBTQIA people, people of color, and immigrants.
A friend of mine who runs his own small law firm texted me the other day after the financial relief package aimed at helping small businesses stalled in the Senate. Worried over his dwindling ability to keep and compensate his employees, he blamed the Democrats and declared he’s voting for Trump. The Democrats showed themselves, once again, to be “out of touch,” he felt, with the reality of American lives.
There are new reports that Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh is now being investigated for possible perjury charges.
“Chief Justice John Roberts received more than a dozen judicial misconduct complaints in recent weeks against Brett M. Kavanaugh, who was confirmed as a Supreme Court justice Saturday, but did nothing about them.”
At the time we thought that Roberts had completely ignored the complaints, and nothing would come of them. Since Kavanaugh is now on the Supreme Court, we assumed the complaints would be buried and forgotten.
But, as it turns out, Roberts didn’t simply decide to bury the complaints after all. He’s posted a public letter referring the complaints against Kavanaugh to another court. Although the letter doesn’t mention Kavanaugh by name, it has been confirmed that Roberts is referring to Kavanaugh in the letter.
This means that Roberts has now referred allegations of judicial misconduct claims against Justice Brett Kavanaugh to outside judges for investigation. The letter was sent to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in Denver, Colorado.
Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson, a George H.W. Bush nominee, had originally forwarded the complaints to the chief justice.
“The situation is highly unusual, legal experts and several people familiar with the matter said,” The Washington Post wrote on Saturday. “Never before has a Supreme Court nominee been poised to join the court while a fellow judge recommends that a series of misconduct claims against that nominee warrant review.”
Although Chief Justice Roberts had been sitting on the complaints for weeks, refusing to take any action before Kavanaugh was confirmed, that has now changed.
“Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts is asking federal judges outside the beltway to investigate complaints over statements made by now-Justice Brett Kananaugh during his contentious nomination,” Fox News host Brett Baier told his viewers on Wednesday.
“Roberts says he received the ethics complaints beginning September 20th, but did not act on referrals until today,” Baier added without giving an explanation for the delay.
Clearly Roberts could have made these complaints disappear by not referring them. Instead, by making an official referral to the U.S. Court of Appeals, Roberts is in effect opening an investigation into Brett Kavanaugh.
Based on the nature of the complaints, it appears that the misconduct investigation will look into possible perjury by the new Supreme Court Justice.
Many different people have said
That idea of compassion, or humanity for other human beings has become anathema to Republicans and conservatives over the past six years
So what did happen with Roberts anyway? Was his a vote cast to mitigate the public impression that the SCOTUS is too politically partisan to continue assessing objective questions of law and liberty?