If Brett Kavanaugh exits his confirmation process unscathed — despite credible decades-old sexual assault allegations against him — and finds himself with a seat on the the U.S. Supreme Court, President Donald Trump’s nominee could potentially face trouble if Democrats take control of the House after midterm elections.
Law & Crime makes the case that Kavanaugh’s less-than-truthful testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee could leave him vulnerable to impeachment.
> Like a president or any other federal official, a Supreme Court justice can be impeached under the Constitution. As it says in Article II, Section 4:
> The President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.
Though impeachment is generally thought to apply to crimes committed while in office, Law & Crimes notes there is precedent for ousting a judge for offenses that took place prior to confirmation.
> That 2010 situation, involving Judge Thomas Porteous–who was accused of corruption, taking bribes, and perjury–is relevant here. In the past, the House had declared that impeachment was meant solely for acts committed while in office, but Porteous’ actions included a cover-up during his confirmation process that could have made it easier for him to take office in the first place.
> That sounds a lot like Kavanaugh’s situation. While his alleged acts on their own may not be enough to warrant impeachment because they allegedly took place decades ago, his repeated denials, including denials to Senate staff under penalty of felony charges, and his upcoming sworn statements before the Committee could be used against him.
Still, it is unlikely that an impeachment would lead to Kavanaugh’s removal: Democrats would need a two-thirds majority in the Senate to convict, and there are not enough Republican seats up for grabs to make that happen this year.
> They would have to convince quite a few Republicans to join their side and vote to remove Kavanaugh, or hope to gain more seats in 2020.