Could this turn into a problem for Republican’s efforts to get their guy to work with the Supreme’s?
Senate Democrats are gearing up to press Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh on his decades-long relationship with former Judge Alex Kozinski, who was forced into retirement last year by a mounting sexual harassment scandal.
It’s not just what, if anything, Kavanaugh saw during his time as a Kozinski clerk in the early 1990s that’s on Democratic minds. They also want to know how President Donald Trump’s high court pick would address the judiciary’s ongoing internal reckoning with sexual misconduct that was sparked by Kozinski — one of Kavanaugh’s early mentors who introduced the younger appellate court judge at his Senate confirmation hearing in 2006.
“Sexual harassment and workplace misconduct in the federal judiciary is a matter of concern to all of us, including Chief Justice [John] Roberts, who convened a Judicial Conference working group to assess the problem and propose solutions,” Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) said through a spokesman.
“Given Judge Kavanaugh’s close relationship with former Judge Alex Kozinski, the subject of numerous harassment complaints, we need to know what Judge Kavanaugh knew and his views on this serious problem,” added Hirono, who sits on the Judiciary Committee and will have a chance to directly question Kavanaugh at hearings planned for next month.
The topic is a particularly fraught one in the #MeToo era, and something the White House knew might be an issue going into the Supreme Court fight. Critics of Kavanaugh previously raised the Kozinski connection in an opposition research document passed around to try to persuade Trump not to nominate him to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy….