Washington (CNN)Members of the public have been filing misconduct complaints with the US Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia against Brett Kavanaugh during his Supreme Court nomination process, according to a statement from one of his fellow judges on the court issued Saturday.
Appeals court says complaints about Kavanaugh don't pertain to conduct as judge
The statement from Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson said the complaints were related to Kavanaugh's remarks during his confirmation hearings and "do not pertain to any conduct in which Judge Kavanaugh engaged as a judge," an indication that the court does not intend to investigate the complaints.
"The complaints seek investigations only of the public statements he has made as a nominee to the Supreme Court of the United States," Henderson's statement said.
The appeals court did not immediately return CNN's request for comment Saturday.
Kavanaugh, who was confirmed to the Supreme Court on Saturday afternoon in a 50-48 vote, has served on the appellate court since he was appointed in 2006.
The judge's road to confirmation has been tumultuous. In September, he was accused of committing sexual assault more than three decades ago by a California professor, Christine Blasey Ford. She said he sexually assaulted her while they were at a party during their high school years. Kavanaugh has denied the allegation.
Both appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee last month to testify about the alleged incident. The hearing then led to an agreement among Republicans asking President Donald Trump to order an FBI investigation into the allegations.
Trump asked the FBI to conduct a supplement background investigation, which was completed this week. Republicans said the results showed no corroboration to the allegation that Kavanaugh assaulted Ford; however, the contentious nomination process and related hearings has divided the nation.
On Friday, senators announced how they planned to vote, which revealed Republicans had almost certainly secured his confirmation.
Under the judicial rules for misconduct complaints, the circuit's chief judge usually handles the initial review. The chief judge in this instance is Judge Merrick Garland, who was nominated to the US Supreme Court by President Barack Obama but was never confirmed by the Republican-held Senate.
Although the statement regarding the complaints was issued by Henderson, it does not explicitly note whether Garland has taken himself out of handling the complaints.
A previous CNN investigation showed the federal judiciary often has not thoroughly investigated misconduct complaints.
In January 2018, CNN reported that dating back to 2006, fewer than 10 cases annually were deeply investigated and even fewer resulted in disciplinary actions; in six of the past 11 years, not a single judge was reprimanded, suspended or otherwise sanctioned for misconduct.