Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh is declining to accept the more than half a million dollars raised in a Go Fund Me campaign during his bruising confirmation hearings, citing ethical concerns. But the North Carolina man who started the effort said the money would go to three Catholic youth programs that Kavanaugh has supported in the past.
John Hawkins updated the GoFundMe page to reflect Kavanaugh’s decision and to inform those who donated that they could have their money returned if they did not want to support the charities:
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). Brett Kavanaugh rather famously coached girls’ basketball there, and if the Kavanaugh family were allowed to support a charity, I feel confident the Archdiocese of Washington would be near the top of the list. 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.
With that in mind, I talked with GoFundMe and explained that I’d like to see the money go to this charity. If for some reason, you don’t want your money to go to that charity, you will have a week from today to ask for a refund from GoFundMe. Additionally, GoFundMe, which has been incredibly helpful behind the scenes, provided a list of all the comments people made. After screening out the trolls, I want you to know that all of those have been sent to the Judge’s family. So, if they didn’t get to read those comments while you were leaving them, they will certainly get to see them now. I’m sure all those kind words will mean a lot to them.
Hawkins had raised $611,645 in small donations from approximately 13,250 donors, many of them anonymous, for ‘Brett Kavanaugh’s family to use for security or however they see fit.’ The GoFundMe appeared online on Sept. 24, the day after the New Yorker published Deborah Ramirez’s allegations that Kavanaugh exposed himself and put his penis in her face at a college gathering. That story emerged a week after the Washington Post published Christine Blasey Ford’s accusation that Kavanaugh had tried to force himself on her at a high school party.
On Tuesday, Hawkins posted what he referred to as an ‘official statement’ from Kavanaugh’s representatives distancing the justice from the effort.
“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.”
“Hawkins said that at its peak during the confirmation hearings, the fundraiser was “going nuclear” and bringing in more than $10,000 an hour,” Yahoo reported.
“I think that conservatives were so shocked and horrified by the way that they felt — like, this is a good guy, he’s been through all these background checks, and he was just being destroyed by what we view as unproven allegations,” Hawkins said. “Once we saw that … people felt like they had to do something.”
Hawkins concluded his update on the GoFundMe page: “Last but not least, folks, this GoFundMe has been a TREMENDOUS success. We were able to show support for Judge Kavanaugh in his hour of need and raise an enormous amount of money for a charity that has obviously meant a lot to him. Everyone who contributed should be extremely proud to be a part of this.”
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