Chief Justice John Roberts said in a letter on Wednesday that he had transferred judicial misconduct complaints related to Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the Judicial Council of the 10th US Circuit Court of Appeals for further review.
Although the complaints were originally lodged with the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, Kavanaugh’s former court, the circuit executive of that court asked Roberts to transfer the matters to another circuit out of a “concern that local disposition may weaken public confidence in the process.”
The complaints relate to testimony that Kavanaugh gave last month during his confirmation hearings, according to a source familiar, and do not pertain to his conduct as a sitting judge.
In a letter addressed to Judge Timothy M. Tymkovich, the chief circuit judge of the Denver-based 10th Circuit, Roberts said he had selected the court to review the identified complaints and “any pending or new complaints related to the same subject matter.” Tymkovich can handle the complaints himself, dismiss them or appoint a special committee to examine them.
According to the Rules for Judicial-Conduct and Judicial-Disability Proceedings, any person may file a misconduct complaint against a federal judge in the circuit in which the judge sits.
In his letter, Roberts referred to more than a dozen complaints that had been filed between September 20 and October 5.
Last weekend DC Circuit Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson mentioned the complaints in a news release. She said they “do not pertain to any conduct in which Judge Kavanaugh engaged as a Judge.”
“The complaints seek investigations only of the public statements he has made as nominee to the Supreme Court of the United States,” she wrote in the release. According to a source familiar, Henderson dismissed some allegations because she found they lacked sufficient evidence but chose to forward others along.
Tymkovich is a George W. Bush appointee who is on Trump’s Supreme Court short list.