On Monday, Mr. Trump nominated Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh to fill the Supreme Court seat that will be vacated due to Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement. Kavanaugh is already under heavy scrutiny for his ultra conservative views on abortion and support of assault weapons.
Now, on Tuesday, more information has come forth about Judge Kavanaugh, showing that he incurred tens of thousands of dollars of credit card debt buying baseball cards over the past decade. It was reported that at times, Kavanaugh reported liabilities that could have exceeded the value of his cash accounts and investment assets.
According to The Washington Post:
‘White House spokesman Raj Shah told The Washington Post that Kavanaugh built up the debt by buying Washington Nationals season tickets and tickets for playoff games for himself and a “handful” of friends. Shah said some of the debts were also for home improvements.’
Judge Kavanaugh’s most recently disclosed financial assets are between $15,000 and $65,000, which put him at the bottom of the ladder compared to the financial ranking of the other Supreme Court justices. Most of them list over $1 million in assets. Kavanaugh also did not disclose his government retirement account as it was not required, which is worth nearly half a million dollars.
Kavanaugh has spent most of his career in the public sector versus the private sector where many of the other justices have accumulated their wealth. Shah said:
‘Judge Kavanaugh is a brilliant jurist who has dedicated his life to public service.’
The Post reported:
‘In 2016, Kavanaugh reported having between $60,000 to $200,000 in debt accrued over three credit cards and a personal loan. Each credit card held between $15,000 to $50,000 in debt, and a Thrift Savings Plan loan was between $15,000 to $50,000.’
The credit card debts or loans were paid off or fell below the reporting requirements in 2017. Shah said that Kavanaugh’s friends reimbursed him for their share of the baseball tickets, but he is no longer purchasing season tickets. Kavanaugh did not comment to The Post about it.
Public disclosure forms do not provide a complete snapshot of an individual’s financial picture. For one example, judges eliminate their primary residences from reporting so estimates of net worth can be significantly undervalued. According to The Washington Post:
‘Federal law requires only broad ranges for disclosure forms, and such filings include assets for spouses, so it is difficult to pinpoint an exact financial snapshot for an individual.’
The Post reported:
‘But for Kavanaugh, the differences between his finances and those of his would-be peers on the court are stark. He lists just two kinds of assets — unspecified accounts held with Bank of America, and his wife’s retirement fund from her job in Texas — totaling between $15,000 to $65,000.’
His home is not included on his public filing which he purchased with his wife for $1.2 million. They have refinanced their mortgage twice and their current mortgage is $865,000. Kavanaugh’s disclosure forms also reveal that he has carried credit card debt for more than a decade. According to The Post:
‘He previously reported between $60,000 to $200,000 in debt among three credit cards and a loan in 2006, the same year he was confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.’
Judge Kavanaugh lives in the affluent area of Chevy Chase, Maryland. His wife is the town manager and receives a salary of $66,000 per year.
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