SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah federal judge was among a court panel that dismissed ethics complaints Tuesday against newly appointed Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups is one of nine members of the 10th Circuit Judicial Council, which U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts assigned to review pending and new complaints against Kavanaugh. The judicial council in the Washington, D.C. circuit where Kavanaugh previously served requested the transfer.
The panel concluded that Congress did not apply the Judicial Conduct and Disability Act to Supreme Court justices. The law provides rules for handling misconduct complaints.
"The allegations made in the complaints are serious, but the judicial council is obligated to adhere to the act," 10th Circuit Court of Appeals Chief Judge Timothy Tymkovich wrote for the panel.
The complaints "must be dismissed because, due to his elevation to the Supreme Court, Justice Kavanaugh is no longer a judge covered by the act," he wrote.
Most of the complaints against Kavanaugh included allegations that he lied under oath during his D.C. circuit confirmation hearings in 2004 and 2006 and his Supreme Court confirmation hearings earlier this year.
Others allege that he made inappropriate partisan statements that showed bias and lack of judicial temperament and that he treated members of the Senate Judiciary Committee with disrespect.
To date, 83 complaints have been lodged against Kavanaugh. The panel made no finding on the merits of the complaints, citing its lack of jurisdiction.
Those filing complaints identified themselves as doctors, lawyers, concerned citizens and others. Tymkovich noted that the judicial council "greatly liberalized" its standards for accepting complaints, including taking postcards as long as they identified the sender.