Brett Kavanaugh

Associate Justice of the Supreme Court


As Associate Attorney for Independent Counsel Ken Starr

  •  1997 Argues before the Supreme Court that attorney-client privilege should be waived in the matter of the death of Deputy White House Counsel Vincent Foster, and is rejected in a 6-3 vote. Kavanaugh is criticized by Foster's widow for injecting unsubstantiated conspiracy theories regarding Foster's suicide into the Starr investigation, and he is otherwise criticized for delaying the completion of the investigation. (NYT)(Starr's official report of Foster's death)(NYT)


As Appellate Judge for the D.C. Circuit

  • 1/12/07 Argues in defense of ExxonMobil human rights violations in Indonesia, in which private security hired by ExxonMobil subjected villagers near a drillsite to being “beaten, burned, shocked with cattle prods, kicked, and subjected to other forms of brutality and cruelty." (Doe v. ExxonMobil) Dissents again when the corporation loses in court a second time on the matter. (HarvardLawReview)
  • 4/7/09 Writes a lengthy opinion justifying why Guantanamo Bay detainees have no right of advanced notice before being transferred to another country. (Kiyemba v. Obama) The Supreme Court vacates the decision without hearing the matter. (
  • October 2011 Writes a dissent against his court’s decision to allow the ban of semi-automatic rifles, writing that since semi-automatic handguns are protected under the Heller v. D.C. decision from 2008, that rifles should be too. He writes: “There is no meaningful or persuasive constitutional distinction between semi-automatic handguns and semiautomatic rifles.” (NationalReview)
  • 8/21/12 Is overturned by the Supreme Court after striking down a Clean Air Act regulation. (EME Homer City v. EPA)
  • 10/28/13 Mandates that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission process the license of the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository despite the writ of mandamus being a rare and unusual power for a federal judge to weild. (HarvardLawReview)
  • 12/16/13 Argues in support of NSA’s bulk collection of phone and internet metadata, claiming that it was not technically a “search” and therefore does not fall under First, Fourth and Fifth Amendment. (Klayman v. Obama)
  • 4/11/14 Argued against and lost a decision to allow the U.S. Department of Labor to issue workplace safety citations against SeaWorld in the wake of multiple animal handler deaths by a single killer whale. (SeaWorld of Florida v. Perez)
  • 10/12/16 Finds that the design of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was unconstitutional and made the director of the CFPB removable by the President. (NYT)
  • 5/1/17 Dissents in a ruling that favored “net neutrality,” writing "Congress did not clearly authorize the FCC to issue the net neutrality rule." (U.S. Telecom Ass’n v. FCC)
  • 6/4/18 Rules in favor of abortion restrictions, specifically preventing a 17-year-old undocumented immigrant from having an abortion in the U.S. His decision is reversed by the full en banc D.C. Circuit. (HarvardLawReview)


As Nominee for Supreme Court Justice

  • 9/16/18 Christine Blasey Ford publicly claims that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a high school party in the early 1980s, claiming that he and his friend Mark Judge locked her in an upstairs bedroom and that Kavanaugh covered her mouth while trying to undress her, and laughed with Judge while the struggle took place. (WaPo)
  • 9/20/18 Is reported that two Yale professors had advised female law students that their physical attractiveness and femininity would play a role in securing a clerkship with Kavanaugh. (Guardian)
  • 9/23/18 The New Yorker publishes a story detailing the alleged sexual assault of Deborah Ramirez by Kavanaugh in a dorm room at Yale University during the 1983-1984 school year, in which Kavanaugh exposed himself to Ramirez in front of his friends as she laid on the floor. (NewYorker)
  • 9/27/18 The Senate Judiciary Committee holds an extra day of hearings in order to call Christine Blasey Ford and Kavanaugh himself to answer to Ford’s allegations of sexual assault and battery at a high school party in 1982. (NBC
  • 9/27/18 Kavanaugh makes several claims under oath which are widely disputed in the media and public at large as to their veracity: (GQ)
    • The term “boof” in his high school calendar is a reference to flatulence. Multiple high school classmates identify the term as anal sex. (NYT)
    • The term “Devil’s triangle” in his high school calendar is a form of “Quarters,” a simple drinking game. The common definition of the term is a reference to group sex between two men and one woman. (CNBC)(CNN)(CBS)
    • That he has never blacked out from drinking. Two Yale classmates describe this as “blatant lying” and “lying under oath,” and describe Kavanaugh as frequently blacking out from drinking. (CNN-video 1)(CNN- video 2)
  • 10/6/18 Is reported that Donald McGahn told Kavanaugh to express his feelings in the Senate hearing in order to save his nomination. (NYT)
  • 10/4/18 A letter signed by over 2,400 law professors is presented to the U.S. Senate urging its members to not confirm Kavanaugh as a Justice to the Supreme Court. (the letter via NYT)
  • 10/5/18 Senate Republicans vote 51-49 to confirm Kavanaugh after invoking the “nuclear option” that dictates a simple majority vote rather than the historical three-fifths supermajority in place before April 2017. (NYT)


As A Supreme Court Justice

  • 10/9/18 Becomes the first U.S. Supreme Court Justice to have an all-female staff, hiring four female clerks. (CNN)
  • 10/10/18 Chief Justice John Roberts refers 15 judicial misconduct complaints recently filed against Kavanaugh to a federal appeals court in Colorado. The complaints were made in reference to Kavanaugh's Senate confirmation hearing statements, regarding his dishonesty and lack of judicial temperament. (WaPo)
  • 12/22/18 Votes in the minority to support Trump's asylum ban. Chief Justice John Roberts sides with the four liberal justices in upholding a block on Trump's asylum ban, preventing new restrictions on asylum-seekers. (CNN)
  • 3/19/19 Rules with the majority in a 5-4 decision that the government can detain non-citizens indefinitely.  (Esquire)
  • Faces newly surfaced allegations of sexual assault from his years in college. (WaPo)
  • 9/11/19 Votes with the majority to uphold Trump's asylum ban, which specifically targets Mexicans, as well as Central and South Americans. (CNN)