Over $600,000 was raised on GoFundMe for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s family and he has since declined the offer — leaving the organizer of the funds to donate the money toward one of Kavanaugh’s charities of choice.
John Hawkins opened up the GoFundMe campaign for Kavanaugh and his family during the justice’s challenging confirmation hearings as he was faced with sexual assault accusations.
With more than 13,000 people contributing to the donations, the page collected $611,645 in total.
Now that Brett Kavanaugh has been confirmed, I'm closing the GoFundMe for his Family https://t.co/FtKvtUcT2P | Final total? $611,645
— John Hawkins (@johnhawkinsrwn) October 6, 2018
Hawkins informed in a GoFundMe post that a former clerk for Kavanaugh revealed that the Justice is not able to accept the donations due to judicial ethics restrictions.
Kavanaugh’s statement read:
“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.”
“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.”
Since Kavanaugh isn’t able to accept the donations, Hawkins plans to give to it to a charity of Kavanaugh’s choice — however, Kavanaugh isn’t allowed to give a suggestion, so Hawkins chose an organization that Kavanaugh has previously supported: the Archdiocese of Washington.
“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.”
The money will be split between three parts within the Archdiocese of Washington: The Catholic Youth Organization (CYO), the Tuition Assistance Fund, and the Victory Youth Center.
Hawkins stated that if people who donated money wanted their money back instead of their donation going to the charity, that they have a week to request a refund.
“Last but not least, folks, this GoFundMe has been a TREMENDOUS success,” Hawkins wrote. “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.”
Since it came into question during his hearings, the American Bar Association dropped their review of Kavanaugh and he has maintained his “well-qualified” rating.