US Supreme Court nominee questioned over private poker games

TAGs: Brett Kavanaugh, Supreme Court, United States

Brett Kavanaugh, the U.S. Supreme Court Justice nominee backed by President Donald Trump, has had to suffer through an in-depth grilling by Congress. While many of the questions are routine and boilerplate, one Senator brought up a few questions that went beyond the norm.

US Supreme Court nominee questioned over participation in private poker gamesAs part of a 14-page questionnaire, Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse asked, “Do you play in a regular or periodic poker game? If yes, please list the dates, participants, location/venue, and amounts won/lost.” He also asked about some baseball tickets that Kavanaugh had purchased, and about some repairs he had made to his home. Surprisingly, he didn’t ask him about the color of his briefs.

Whitehouse also asked, “Since 2000, have you participated in any form of gambling or game of chance or skill with monetary stakes, including but not limited to poker, dice, golf, sports betting, blackjack, and craps? If yes, please list the dates, participants, location/venue, and amounts won/lost,” adding, “Have you ever sought treatment for a gambling addiction?”

Kavanaugh answered all of the questions, providing a response that spanned 263 pages. For the majority of the senator’s questions, he provided a simple response of “no.” However, he decided to elaborate on a couple.

About having played poker, he said, “Like many Americans, I have occasionally played poker or other games with friends and colleagues. I do not document the details of those casual games.”

He mentioned that he has visited casinos in the past, as have many others. He offered, “I recall occasionally visiting casinos in New Jersey when I was in school or in my 20s. I recall I played low-stakes blackjack. I have not accrued gambling debt.”

Regarding the baseball tickets, he explained that “a group of old friends” would split the tickets. The group divided the tickets through a “ticket draft” at his house. Kavanaugh added, “Everyone in the group paid me for their tickets based on the cost of the tickets, to the dollar. No one overpaid or underpaid me for tickets. No loans were given in either direction.”

Kavanaugh is expected to be approved for the vacant Supreme Court seat and could have been accepted this week. However, the Senate Judiciary Committee decided to move the vote until next week. It will now be held on September 20.


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