A panel of federal judges dismissed complaints against Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh Thursday, saying the process for deciding on misconduct allegations against a Supreme Court justice is outside its reach.
The complaints stemmed from Justice Kavanuagh’s confirmation battle last year, when he was accused of sexual misconduct and angrily denied the allegations and denounced some of those who made them.
The complainers said he showed “bias and hostility” that deserved punishment.
Some of the complainers tried to appeal, but the Committee on Judicial Conduct and Disability of the Judicial Conference of the United States ruled Thursday that adjudicating misconduct complaints against Supreme Court justices falls outside the courts.
It upheld a previous ruling by the 10th Circuit Judicial Council, which first reviewed the complaints but decided since Justice Kavanaugh had been an appeals court judge at the time, the complaints didn’t apply to him now that he was on the high court. The council said intervening events of his confirmation and swearing in were enough of a break with his appeals court tenure.
Some of the complainers appealed, but the judicial committee said Thursday there was nothing it could do since the Judicial Conduct and Disability Act doesn’t lay out a path for adjudicating misconduct complaints for Supreme Court justices.
“Accordingly, the committee and the Tenth Circuit Judicial Council lack statutory authority to review the merits of the complaints against Justice Kavanaugh,” the order said.
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