Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts has referred all judicial misconduct complaints against new Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in Colorado to investigate, he said in a letter Wednesday.
Roberts explained in the letter, addressed to Timothy Tymkovich, the Chief Judge for the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, that the complaints had originally been sent to the D.C. Circuit Court, where Kavanaugh previously sat, but that he had received requests from a judge on that court to transfer it to another circuit.
The judge who made that recommendation to Roberts, Karen Le Craft Henderson, said in a letter that she was making this suggestion “because of the exceptional circumstance related to the above referenced complaints and the concern that local disposition may weaken public confidence in the process.”
Tymkovich, the judge who is now in charge of investigating the complaints, was appointed to the bench by President George W. Bush and was on President Donald Trump’s list of possible Supreme Court nominess, though Trump ultimately chose Kavanaugh.
Henderson said in a press release earlier this month that the misconduct claims were filed after Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings, which began on Sept. 4. Henderson said they all relate to the hearings, not to his conduct as a judge. Any member of the public can file a misconduct claim against a judge on the circuit where he sits, she noted.
“The complaints do not pertain to any conduct in which Judge Kavanaugh engaged as a judge,” said Henderson. “The complaints seek investigations only of the public statements he has made as a nominee to the Supreme Court of the United States.”
The Senate narrowly confirmed Kavanaugh to the court last Saturday, after a brutal confirmation fight that was extended after three women came forward detailing sexual misconduct allegations against him that ultimately led to a supplemental FBI investigation.