As Donald Trump regularly creates new scandals of his own simply by being as pugnacious as possible on Twitter – at a time when he should be doing everything possible to convince people that he’s not an impulsive violent jerk who urges his supporters to take up arms out of entitled frustration – many of his own people can’t seem to stay out of the headlines with scandals of their own, and may not necessarily have Trump’s back as they try to save their own. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh – one of the least popular justices in recent history – is once again in the news, as the House Judiciary Committee is closing in on him.
Today, they requested the National Archives send all records from the five years he served as White House Counsel from 2001-2006 in the Bush Administration. Only a sliver of these were made available prior to Kavanaugh’s confirmation, with thousands of pages being withheld by a privately hired Republican attorney. While House Republicans are calling harassment, the committee has two specific reasons to see the documents – one of which has nothing to do with Kavanaugh’s love of beer.
In fact, the infamous televised hearing from last fall when he melted down before a national audience was likely not the first time Kavanaugh misled senators. He did something similar in 2006, before senators confirmed him to a federal appeals court. During that 2006 hearing, he was asked if he played a role in the Bush administration’s policy on torture. Kavanaugh denied it, but the Washington Post revealed that he was involved in at least one such discussion as White House Counsel. Aside from that, he has 83 misconduct complaints against him – ones initially dismissed when he was confirmed to the Supreme Court.
At present, codes of judicial conduct do not apply to Supreme Court justices – something that Jerry Nadler and the Judiciary Committee are hoping to fix in the near future with upcoming legislation. Whether the legislation will see light any time soon is a different question, but Kavanaugh’s record may come into the spotlight very soon – and it’s likely to cast a number of Republicans in an unfavorable light at the worst possible time.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making