Brett Kavanaugh

U.S. Supreme Court justice since 2018 (born 1965)

Brett Michael Kavanaugh (/ˈkævənɔː/ KA-və-NAW; born February 12, 1965) is an American judge. He is an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States since October 6, 2018. He was the United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He was Staff Secretary in the Executive Office of the President of the United States under President George W. Bush.

Brett Kavanaugh
Official portrait of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh
Official portrait, 2018
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
Assumed office
October 6, 2018
Appointed byDonald Trump
Preceded byAnthony Kennedy
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
In office
May 30, 2006 – October 6, 2018
Appointed byGeorge W. Bush
Preceded byLaurence Silberman
Succeeded byNeomi Rao
White House Staff Secretary
In office
June 6, 2003 – May 30, 2006
PresidentGeorge W. Bush
Preceded byHarriet Miers
Succeeded byRaul F. Yanes
Personal details
Brett Michael Kavanaugh

(1965-02-12) February 12, 1965 (age 59)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Political partyRepublican[1]
(m. 2004)
EducationYale University (BA, JD)

Kavanaugh played an important part in writing the Starr report, which wanted the President Bill Clinton to be impeached.[3]

Kavanaugh was chosen by President Donald Trump on July 9, 2018, to become an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, after Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy retired, leaving an empty space.[4][5]

During the confirmation, two women (including Christine Blasey Ford), accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct during his time at university.[6][7] Kavanaugh said that this did not happen.[8]

Early life


Kavanaugh was born in Washington, D.C.. He was born to Martha Gamble (Murphy) and Everett Edward Kavanaugh Jr.[9][10] He was raised in Bethesda, Maryland. He attended the same high school as Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch (just two years apart).[11]

Kavanaugh, very active in college sports, attended Yale University.[12] He graduated from Yale in 1987 with a Bachelor of Arts cum laude. He graduated from Yale Law School with a Juris Doctor in 1990.[13]

Early career


Kavanaugh first worked as a law clerk for Judge Walter King Stapleton of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Kavanaugh was admitted to the Maryland Bar in 1990 and the District of Columbia Bar in 1992.[14]

Kavanaugh then earned a one-year partnership with the Solicitor General of the United States, Ken Starr.[15] Kavanaugh next clerked for Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy 1993–1994.

From 1997 to 1998, Kavanaugh was a partner at the law firm of Kirkland & Ellis. In 1998 he rejoined Starr as an Associate Counselor.[16]

Kavanaugh was a principal author of the Starr Report to Congress, released in September 1998, on the Monica LewinskyBill Clinton sex scandal; the report supported Clinton's impeachment.[17][18]

George W. Bush administration (2001–2006)


In December 2000, Kavanaugh joined the legal team of George W. Bush, which was trying to stop the ballot recount in Florida following the 2000 election.[19] After Bush became president in January 2001, Kavanaugh was hired as an associate by the White House Counsel, Alberto Gonzales.

In July 2003, he became Assistant to the President and White House Staff Secretary.[20]

U.S. Circuit Judge (2006–2018)

Kavanaugh being sworn in by Justice Anthony Kennedy with President George W. Bush near him

President George W. Bush nominated Kavanaugh to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on July 25, 2003.[21] His nomination stalled in the Senate for nearly three years. Democratic senators accused him of being too partisan.[22] In 2003, the American Bar Association had rated Kavanaugh as "well qualified".[23]

The Senate Judiciary Committee recommended he be confirmed on a 10–8 party-line vote on May 11, 2006,[24] he was confirmed by the Senate on May 26 by a vote of 57–36.[25][26] He was sworn in June 1.[27]

Associate Justice of the Supreme Court (since 2018)



Kavanaugh and his family with President Donald Trump on July 9, 2018

Kavanaugh was one of four U.S. Court of Appeals judges to receive a personal 45-minute interview by President Donald Trump as a possible replacement for Justice Anthony Kennedy.[28] On July 9, 2018, Trump nominated Kavanaugh for a seat on the Supreme Court.[29][30]

Political commentators said that Kavanaugh's nomination would push the Supreme Court to the right for many years.[31] He is a known critic of abortion and Roe v. Wade decision.[32][33] He is a supporter of the Brown v. Board of Education decision calling it the "single greatest Supreme Court decision in history".[34]



On September 28, 2018, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to confirm Kavanaugh to a full Senate vote in early October 2018.[35] He was confirmed on October 6, 2018 with a 50 to 48 vote.[36]

Sexual assault allegations

Kavanaugh being sworn-in by Chief Justice John Roberts, October 2018

On September 27, 2018, Professor Christine Blasey Ford, accused him of sexual assault when they were both in high school.[37] Republican members of the committee did not question Ford directly rather a Republican-hired investigator.[38]

Ford said that they were both “visibly drunk” and that Kavanaugh had locked her into a bedroom, where he groped her and tried to take off her clothes. She said she “believed he was going to rape me” and feared for her life when he held his hand over her mouth. In his opening statement, Kavanaugh claimed the accusations were politically motivated by Democrats and Bill Clinton.[39][40][41]

After Ford opened up about her accusations, two more women accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault/harassment.[42] Deborah Ramirez accused Kavanaugh of exposing himself when they were at Yale.[43] Later, former government employee Julie Swetnick, accused Kavanaugh of drugging her and raping her in a gang rape.[44]

After the Senate committee vote, Senators Flake, Manchin and Murkowski called for an FBI investigation into the sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh. President Trump ordered a limited investigation.[45]

Attempted assassination


In the early morning of June 8, 2022, Nicholas John Roske traveled from California to Kavanaugh's home in Maryland with plans to break into the home, murder Kavanaugh, and commit suicide.[46][47] After seeing two U.S. Marshals outside Kavanaugh's home, Roske turned himself in by calling 9-1-1. He said his attempt to murder Kavanaugh because he was not happy with the Supreme Court's leaked draft opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization. He has been charged with attempted murder.[46]

Personal life


Kavanaugh met his wife, Ashley Estes Kavanaugh, while working at the White House in 2001.[48] They have two daughters. Kavanaugh is a Catholic.[48] He lives in Washington, D.C.

Kavanaugh ran the Boston Marathon in 2010 and 2015.[49]


  1. Barnes, Robert (July 21, 2018). "Kavanaugh papers offer new clues into his views on executive power". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 1, 2018.
  2. "Brett Kavanaugh Fast Facts". CNN. July 16, 2018. Retrieved September 16, 2018.
  3. Chen, David; Neil A. Lewis (September 12, 1998). "TESTING OF A PRESIDENT: THE AUTHORS; A Young Protege of Starr, and an Established Nonfiction Writer". New York Times. Retrieved November 8, 2011.
  4. Wilson, Chris (June 27, 2018). "Appellate judge on D.C. Circuit seen as early favorite on Trump's Supreme Court shortlist". Yahoo! News. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
  5. Landler, Mark; Haberman, Maggie (July 9, 2018). "Brett Kavanaugh Is Trump's Pick for Supreme Court". The New York Times. Retrieved July 9, 2018.
  6. Farrow, Ronan; Mayer, Jane (September 23, 2018). "Senate Democrats Investigate a New Allegation of Sexual Misconduct, from Brett Kavanaugh's College Years". New Yorker. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  7. "A Sexual-Misconduct Allegation Against the Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh Stirs Tension Among Democrats in Congress". The New Yorker.
  8. "Sexual assault claim leaves Kavanaugh nomination in limbo". POLITICO. Retrieved 2018-09-16.
  9. "George W. Bush: Remarks at a Swearing-In Ceremony for Brett Kavanaugh as a United States Circuit Judge for the District of Columbia". Archived from the original on 2018-07-06. Retrieved 2018-10-03.
  10. The Social List of Washington, D.C. and Social Precedence in Washington. J.S. Murray. July 10, 1990 – via Google Books.
  11. Mervosh, Sarah (July 11, 2018). "Kavanaugh and Gorsuch Both Went to the Same Elite Prep School". The New York Times. p. A19. Retrieved July 16, 2018.
  12. Durkin Richer, Alanna; Peltz, Jennifer (August 28, 2018). "At Yale, Kavanaugh Stayed Out Of Debates At A Time Of Many". Hartford Courant. Retrieved September 5, 2018.
  13. "Brett Kavanaugh '90 Nominated to U.S. Supreme Court". Yale Law School. July 9, 2018. Archived from the original on July 11, 2018. Retrieved July 10, 2018.
  14. "Brett M. Kavanaugh resume". United States Department of Justice Archive. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
  15. Roberts, Edith (June 28, 2018). "Potential nominee profile: Brett Kavanaugh". SCOTUSblog. Retrieved July 6, 2018.
  16. Lovelane, Ryan (July 13, 2018). "Kavanaugh at Kirkland; Troutman Hires; MoFo Moves". National Law Journal. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
  17. Liptak, Adam (August 20, 2019). "Brett Kavanaugh Urged Graphic Questions in Clinton Inquiry". The New York Times. p. A1. Retrieved August 22, 2018.
  18. Landler, Mark; Apuzzo, Matt (July 6, 2018). "Brett Kavanaugh, Supreme Court Front-Runner, Once Argued Broad Grounds for Impeachment". The New York Times. p. A1. Retrieved July 6, 2018.
  19. Madan, Monique O. (July 9, 2018). "New Supreme Court nominee Kavanaugh has ties to big Florida moments". Miami Herald. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
  20. "The White House Transition Project, 1997-2017 - Report 2017-23 - The Office of the Staff Secretary" (PDF). Rice University, Baker Institute for Public Policy. p. 25. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 13, 2018. Retrieved September 26, 2018 – via White House Transition Project.
  21. "Presidential Nomination 840, 108th United States Congress". United States Congress. July 25, 2013. Retrieved July 6, 2018.
  22. "Conformation hearing on the nomination of Brett M. Kavanaugh to be Circuit Judge for the District of Columbia Circuit". Washington D.C.: U.S. Government Publishing Office. April 27, 2004.
  23. Selk, Avi (September 28, 2018). "The American Bar Association had concerns about Kavanaugh 12 years ago. Republicans dismissed those, too". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 30, 2018.
  24. "Confirmation Hearing on the Nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be Circuit Judge for the District of Columbia Circuit: Hearing before the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, One Hundred Ninth Congress, Second Session". Washington, D.C.: United States Government Publishing Office. May 9, 2006. Retrieved July 5, 2018.
  25. "Presidential Nomination 1179, 109th United States Congress". United States Congress. January 25, 2006. Retrieved July 6, 2018.
  26. "U.S. Senate: U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 109th Congress – 2nd Session". Washington, D.C.: United States Senate. May 26, 2006.
  27. Riechmann, Deb (November 15, 2006). "Bush: Review of Judges Is Mean-Spirited". Associated Press. Archived from the original on November 28, 2007.
  28. Landler, Mark; Haberman, Maggie (July 9, 2018). "Brett Kavanaugh Is Trump's Pick for Supreme Court". Politics. The New York Times. Archived from the original on July 10, 2018. Retrieved July 9, 2018.
  29. "Remarks by President Trump Announcing Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh as the Nominee for Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States". The White House. July 10, 2018. Archived from the original on July 10, 2018. Retrieved July 10, 2018.
  30. "Pres. Nom. 2259". 115th Cong. (2018).
  31. Cope, Kevin (July 7, 2018). "Exactly how conservative are the judges on Trump's short list for the Supreme Court? Take a look at this one chart". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 9, 2018.
  32. Brett Kavanaugh, American Enterprise Institute, September 18, 2017. Retrieved August 24, 2018.
  33. Abortion, race, gay rights, death penalty: Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh could make the difference, USA Today, Richard Wolf, August 19, 2018. Retrieved August 24, 2018.
  34. FOX 10 Phoenix (September 5, 2018), FULL COVERAGE: Brett Kavanaugh Senate Confirmation Hearing For Supreme Court Justice Day 2, retrieved September 6, 2018{{citation}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  35. "Flake, Manchin, Murkowski call for FBI probe into Kavanaugh, Senate vote delay". CNN. September 28, 2018. Retrieved September 28, 2018.
  36. Sampathkumar, Mythili (October 6, 2018). "Brett Kavanaugh confirmed to Supreme Court amid widespread outcry over sexual assault allegations". The Independent. New York. Retrieved October 6, 2018.
  37. Kessler, Glenn (September 27, 2018). "Brett Kavanaugh and allegations of sexual misconduct: The complete list". Washington post. Retrieved September 27, 2018.
  38. "Brett Kavanaugh confirmation: Kavanaugh testifies following Ford's questioning on sex assault allegations - live updates". CBS. Retrieved September 27, 2018.
  39. Blake, Aaron (September 27, 2018). "Brett Kavanaugh just got remarkably angry — and political — for a Supreme Court nominee". The Washington Post.
  40. Birnbaum, Emily (September 27, 2018). "Kavanaugh says he's victim of 'revenge on behalf of the Clintons'". The Hill.
  41. Sherman, Carter (September 27, 2018). "Kavanaugh turns rage on left-wing conspiracy that destroyed "my family and my name"". Vice News.
  42. Farrow, Ronan; Mayer, Jane (September 23, 2018). "Senate Democrats Investigate a New Allegation of Sexual Misconduct, from Brett Kavanaugh's College Years". The New Yorker. Retrieved September 24, 2018.
  43. Stolberg, Sheryl; Fandos, Nicholas (September 23, 2018). "Christine Blasey Ford Reaches Deal to Testify at Kavanaugh Hearing". The Times had interviewed several dozen people over the past week in an attempt to corroborate her story, and could find no one with firsthand knowledge.
  44. Breuninger, Dan Mangan, Kevin (September 26, 2018). "New Kavanaugh accuser Julie Swetnick details local house parties where girls allegedly were drugged and raped". CNBC. Retrieved September 26, 2018.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  45. Detrow, Scott; Mak, Tim; Taylor, Jessica (September 28, 2018), Trump Orders Limited FBI Investigation To Supplement Kavanaugh Background Check, NPR, retrieved September 28, 2018
  46. 46.0 46.1 Jiménez, Jesus; Cramer, Maria (June 8, 2022). "Armed Man Is Arrested Near Home of Justice Kavanaugh". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved June 8, 2022.
  47. "Court: Armed man arrested near Kavanaugh's house". Politico. June 8, 2022. Retrieved June 8, 2022.
  48. 48.0 48.1 "Five things to know about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh". USA Today. July 9, 2018. Retrieved July 10, 2018.
  49. Sherman, Mark (July 9, 2018). "Who is Judge Brett Kavanaugh? Trump's Supreme Court nominee". The Boston Globe. Associated Press. Retrieved July 11, 2018.

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