Justice Brett Kavanaugh is going above and beyond to keep his nose clean. And after that freak show of a confirmation hearing, I can’t say I blame him.
Kavanaugh has turned down more than $600,000 that was raised in his name as he defended himself from unverified and uncorroborated allegations of sexual misconduct. The GoFundMe page for the judge and his family, which was launched on Sept. 24 by conservative blogger John Hawkins, announced Tuesday that the intended recipient would forgo the funds to avoid running afoul of judicial ethics.
Kavanaugh doesn't have to do this — he is in fact adhering to a strict interpretation of the rules, according to Yahoo.
"Supreme Court justices are actually not bound by the codified ethics rules that apply to other federal judges, the Code of Conduct for United States Judges,” Yahoo reports. “However, it appears that Kavanaugh’s statement is drawn largely from those rules, which provide that other than in a few narrowly drawn scenarios, ‘a judge should not personally participate in fund-raising activities, solicit funds for any organization, or use or permit the use of the prestige of judicial office for that purpose.’”
Hawkins wrote in his Tuesday update, “I've spoken to a former clerk for Judge Kavanaugh who told me that Kavanaugh’s supporters loved the outpouring of support from this GoFundMe.” He also wrote that he received an official statement from the former law clerk, Travis Lenkner, roughly 10 days ago, but didn’t post it immediately in preparation for figuring out what to do with the raised funds. Hawkins posted the statement in the site update. It reads:
Justice Kavanaugh did not authorize the use of his name to raise funds in connection with the GoFundMe campaign. He was not able to do so for judicial ethics reasons. Judicial ethics rules caution judges against permitting the use of the prestige of judicial office for fund-raising purposes.
Justice Kavanaugh will not accept any proceeds from the campaign, nor will he direct that any proceeds from the campaign be provided to any third party. Although he appreciates the sentiment, Justice Kavanaugh requests that you discontinue the use of his name for any fund-raising purpose.
The GoFundMe creator concluded by suggesting he’d donate the funds to the Archdiocese of Washington, which operates the Catholic Youth Organization where Kavanaugh used to coach the girls’ basketball team.
Hawkins said separately in a phone interview with Yahoo that he got the idea for a fundraising page for Kavanaugh from a conversation with a woman who noticed the judge's chief accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, had more than one launched in her name.
“This is a funny story which might be a bit too risque for you to print … I was talking to a woman and … she was like, ‘Christine Blasey Ford has these GoFundMes up; I wish someone would do a GoFundMe for Brett Kavanaugh so that when this is over, he could sue that bitch,'” Hawkins said. The page was launched one day after the New Yorker published a hot garbage story reporting uncorroborated allegations that Kavanaugh had exposed himself during a drinking game when he was a student at Yale.
He added he didn’t think Kavanaugh would actually sue. Instead, he explained, he assumed the judge could use some additional funds for security or legal counsel.
“So I figured, hey, let’s do a GoFundMe — and that’s actually how it got started, as crazy as that sounds,” Hawkins said.