February 2, 2023

A new ethics complaint could have just put the fate of Brett Kavanaugh in Merrick Garland’s hands

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After watching Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh testify under oath during his confirmation hearings about his knowledge of stolen Democratic emails when he was a White House lawyer in the last Bush Administration, the Democratic Coalition, a grassroots Resistance organization, filed a criminal complaint with the Department of Justice accusing Kavanaugh of perjury.


The complaint alleges that Kavanaugh lied repeatedly about his knowledge of the fact that the documents he was working with as he helped the administration of G. W. Bush get its judicial nominees confirmed were stolen from the servers of Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee by Manuel Miranda, a Republican committee staffer.

The Democratic Coalition alleges that Kavanaugh perjured himself both in his current confirmation hearing as well as in two earlier hearings that took place in 2004 and 2006, and their complaint details the evidence that his testimony was intentionally fallacious.

In addition to the criminal complaint, the group also plans to file a judicial ethics complaint against Kavanaugh on Monday with the Clerk of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Washington DC District, where the nominee currently serves as a judge.

The filing will bring an ironic symmetry to Kavanaugh’s controversial nomination process as the normal procedure for reviewing ethics complaints in the circuit courts is that they are considered by the Chief Judge of the court, who in this case happens to be Merrick Garland, former President Obama’s nominee for a seat on the Supreme Court. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) famously cheated Garland out of an opportunity to be considered for the role when he refused to even hold hearings on his nomination.

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McConnell made up a phony and unprecedented new extra-constitutional doctrine to prevent Obama from having Garland considered as a potential Supreme Court Justice, claiming that presidents in the last year of their term have no right to have their nominees considered. With Democrats in the minority in the Senate, they had no recourse to overcome McConnell’s blatantly political move, given the Senate Majority Leader’s prerogative to set the agenda under the chamber’s rules.

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While a judge as principled as Merrick Garland will most likely recuse himself from ruling on the complaint, it would be ironically appropriate for him to rule on the ethics of the nominee put forward by a party that so unethically prevented him from getting a fair hearing for his own nomination to the Supreme Court.

Karma, as they say, is a bitch.

Follow Vinnie Longobardo on Twitter.

Vinnie Longobardo

is the Managing Editor of Washington Press and a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile, & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music, and art.

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