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Kavanaugh Talks -- About Tech

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 05: U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh arrives ahead of the State of the Union address in the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives at the U.S. Capitol Building on February 5, 2019 in Washington, DC. President Trump's second State of the Union address was postponed one week due to the partial government shutdown. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)
By William Vogeler, Esq. on May 09, 2019

For the first time since his contentious confirmation hearing, Justice Brett Kavanaugh came out to talk publicly about ... technology?

He spoke at a judicial conference about how technology would force a re-examination of important laws in the future. The newest Justice touched on free speech, privacy, and war powers. Justice Kavanaugh did not speak about pending charges that he violated ethics rules in his confirmation hearing. 

It looks like he's ready to move on.

Technology Talk

The same day Kavanaugh spoke at the judicial conference, the FBI released volumes of tips it received about him. Many concerned allegations that he sexually assaulted one woman and exposed himself to another. Yet there he was, talking to judges about technology. "I see technology straining our traditional understandings of speech, of privacy and of war in a way that's going to be a huge challenge for our system of separation of powers, and huge challenge for all of us as judges and as citizens," he said.

Elie Mystal, writing for Above the Law, had major problems with Kavanaugh's technology talk. He said it creeped him out, especially when the jurist talked about privacy rights. "I am unimpressed by the privacy concerns of men in public office who would rather women keep their stories to themselves," Mystal said.

Ethics Talk

Meanwhile, the Judicial Conference is reviewing 83 ethics complaints that Kavanaugh allegedly made false, inappropriate, and disrespectful statements in his confirmation hearing for the Supreme Court. However, the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Appeals Court has twice rejected the complaints. The appeals court says it does not have jurisdiction to hear them. The ethics complaints have probably come to the end of the road. The FBI, for its part, has closed its investigation. And Justice Kavanaugh, at least in his first talk,  is looking torward the future.

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