Despite good intentions, $611,645 raised via GoFundMe campaign has been politely refused by Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
The news comes from John Hawkins, who organized the fundraiser that had contributions from over 13,000 donors. Hawkins explained how he learned it would be against judicial ethics for Kavanaugh to accept the funds.
“Justice Kavanaugh did not authorize the use of his name to raise funds in connection with the GoFundMe campaign. He was not able to do so for judicial ethics reasons. Judicial ethics rules caution judges against permitting the use of the prestige of judicial office for fund-raising purposes. Justice Kavanaugh will not accept any proceeds from the campaign, nor will he direct that any proceeds from the campaign be provided to any third party. Although he appreciates the sentiment, Justice Kavanaugh requests that you discontinue the use of his name for any fund-raising purpose,” Kavanaugh’s legal team wrote in a statement posted by Hawkins in an update on the fundraiser page.
Unfortunately this also meant that not only could Kavanaugh not accept, he could not dictate a charity for the funds either.
“The last thing any of us want is for our attempt to help Judge Kavanaugh’s family to be used against him. Given the strictness of the ethics rules and the possibility that the Judge could get in trouble if he’s tied to this in any way, I made it clear that we wouldn’t want a public ‘Thank you’ that could potentially be used against him,” Hawkins wrote.
“Since they are not allowed to suggest a charity, I did some research on charities supported by the Judge and settled on the Archdiocese of Washington which runs the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO),” Hawkins continued.
“After talking to the Archdiocese of Washington about the best way to use the funds to help the sort of kids Brett Kavanaugh has been working with, we’re going to split the money between three of their programs: The Catholic Youth Organization (CYO), the Tuition Assistance Fund, and the Victory Youth Center.”
Hawkins updated the fundraiser with all of this information as well as an option for contributors to withdraw their donations if they were unsatisfied with how the money would be used. As of this writing roughly $64,000 has been withdrawn.