United States Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts has not referred judicial misconduct complaints against Judge Brett Kavanaugh to a judicial panel for investigation, The Washington Post reported Saturday.
Judge Kavanaugh currently serves as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
A fellow judge on the panel, Karen LeCraft Henderson, forwarded more than a dozen misconduct complaints to Roberts after concluding that the reports were substantive enough that they should not be investigated by fellow judges on the same panel.
“The complaints do not pertain to any conduct in which Judge Kavanaugh engaged as a judge,” Henderson said in a statement. “The complaints seek investigations only of the public statements he has made as a nominee to the Supreme Court of the United States.”
“The situation is highly unusual, legal experts and several people familiar with the matter said,” The Post explained. “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.”
Roberts was appointed by then-President George W. Bush, who revealed in his memoir that Kavanaugh had helped him decide to nominate Roberts to the court.
“If Justice Roberts sits on the complaints then they will reside in a kind of purgatory and will never be adjudicated,” New York University Law School Professor Stephen Gillers explained. “This is not how the rules anticipated the process would work.”