Senate Democrats are planning to probe Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s close, long relationship with the now disgraced former Judge Alex Kozinski, who was forced from the influential 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals after more than a dozen women came forward with sexual harassment accusations.
According to a Monday Politico report, Kavanaugh clerked for Kozinski in the early 1990s and considers the former judge an important mentor.
The White House, aware that the issue would likely come up during the confirmation battle, has reportedly said that Kavanaugh “had never heard any allegations of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment.”
Per Politico, Kozinski’s actions over the years include sending out sometimes raunchy and sexually explicit jokes to an email list of law clerks, attorneys and judges called the “Easy Rider Gag List,” maintaining a publicly accessible website featuring pornographic material, and, according to multiple women who worked with him, public unwanted groping and kissing.
Democrats will push to discover if Kavanaugh actually was aware of Kozinski’s behavior to bring up questions of his complicity.
In addition, they will publicly unpack what the relationship means in the #MeToo era and what is says about Kavanaugh’s likely reaction to the reckoning with sexual harassment Kozinski’s actions have catalyzed within the judiciary.