Kavanaugh Denies Knowledge of Alleged Sexual Misconduct by Former Boss

Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee maintained a close professional relationship with ex-judge Alex Kozinski.

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh appears with former 9th Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski on a legal panel.The Federalist Society/YouTube

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, denied any knowledge on Wednesday of alleged repeated sexual misconduct by a former judge with whom he maintained a close professional relationship.

Kavanaugh once clerked for Alex Kozinski, a former judge on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals who retired in December amid a flurry of serious sexual misconduct complaints from women who worked with him over several decades. Kavanaugh also worked with Kozinski to vet clerks for Justice Anthony Kennedy, whose seat Kavanaugh is seeking to fill. That relationship came up on the second day of his Senate confirmation hearing, raised not by Democrats, but by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah). 

Hatch suggested that Kavanaugh was being smeared with guilt by association for his long relationship with Kozinski. He asked Kavanaugh whether he was on the “gag list,” an email list to which Kozinski circulated raunchy jokes. The nominee said he didn’t think that he was, and he denied that he knew about the conduct leading to Kozinski’s retirement last year. He said that when he first heard about it from news reports, “It was a gut punch.” Kavanaugh added, “No woman should be subjected to sexual harassment in the workplace, especially in the judiciary.” He praised Chief Justice John Roberts’s task force looking at workplace conduct issues in the judiciary. He also praised the move by Merrick Garland, the chief judge of the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, where Kavanaugh currently serves, to implement better procedures on his own court for reporting sexual harassment complaints. 

Watch the entire exchange here:

 

Listen to reporter Stephanie Mencimer discuss the chaos surrounding Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing in this week’s episode of the Mother Jones Podcast:

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate