BRETT M. KAVANAUGH
(202) 216-7180

Professional Biography

Judge Kavanaugh was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit on May 30, 2006, after his nomination by President George W. Bush and his confirmation by the Senate. Before his appointment to the Court, Judge Kavanaugh served for more than five years in the White House for President George W. Bush. From July 2003 until May 2006, he was Assistant to the President and Staff Secretary to the President. From 2001 to 2003, he was Associate Counsel and then Senior Associate Counsel to the President. Judge Kavanaugh was a partner at Kirkland & Ellis in Washington, D.C., from 1997 to 1998 and again from 1999 to 2001. From 1994 to 1997 and for a period in 1998, Judge Kavanaugh was Associate Counsel in the Office of Independent Counsel Kenneth W. Starr. In 1992-93, Judge Kavanaugh was an attorney in the Office of the Solicitor General of the United States. In the October Term 1993, Judge Kavanaugh served as a law clerk to Justice Anthony M. Kennedy of the U.S. Supreme Court. Judge Kavanaugh previously clerked for Judge Alex Kozinski of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (in 1991-92) and for Judge Walter Stapleton of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (in 1990-91). Judge Kavanaugh graduated from Yale Law School in 1990, where he was a Notes Editor of the Yale Law Journal, and from Yale College in 1987.

Other Activities

Since joining the Court, Judge Kavanaugh has taught full-term courses on Separation of Powers at Harvard Law School (each year from 2008 to 2015), on the Supreme Court at Harvard Law School (2014, 2016), on National Security and Foreign Relations Law at Yale Law School (2011), and on Constitutional Interpretation at Georgetown University Law Center (2007). He has been named the Samuel Williston Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School since 2009. He has published in the Yale Law Journal, the Georgetown Law Journal, the Harvard Law Review, the Notre Dame Law Review, the Minnesota Law Review, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post, among other publications. Before joining the bench, Judge Kavanaugh argued cases in the Supreme Court of the United States, the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the D.C. and Fifth Circuits, and other federal and state courts.

By appointment of the Chief Justice, Judge Kavanaugh serves as a member of the Committee on the Judicial Branch of the Judicial Conference of the United States and as a member of the Advisory Committee on Appellate Rules of the Judicial Conference of the United States. He is a member and past President of the Edward Coke Appellate Inn of Court and is a member of the Edward Bennett Williams Inn of Court. Judge Kavanaugh is a member of the American Law Institute, the Lawyers Club of Washington, the John Carroll Society, and the Federalist Society. Judge Kavanaugh is Liaison Representative from the Judiciary to the Administrative Conference of the United States. In the past, he has served on the Board of Directors of the D.C. Circuit Historical Society (2010-2016) and as ex officio representative from the Judiciary to the American Bar Association's Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice.

Since joining the Court, Judge Kavanaugh has participated in a variety of extra-legal volunteer activities. He regularly serves meals for the homeless as part of the St. Maria's Meals program at Catholic Charities in Washington, D.C. He has tutored at the Washington Jesuit Academy and at J.O. Wilson Elementary School. He is a regular lector at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Washington, D.C., where he is a parishioner. He has coached, and continues to coach, a number of girls basketball teams in AAU, CYO, and Montgomery County leagues. In 2015 he ran the Boston Marathon in 4:08:36, and in 2010 he ran the Boston Marathon in 3:59:45.

Judge Kavanaugh was born in 1965 in Washington, D.C., and is a graduate of Georgetown Prep School and Mater Dei School. He and his wife Ashley have two daughters.