On Wednesday night, a review of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s financial disclosures and information by the White House revealed that Kavanaugh has incurred tens of thousands of dollars of credit card through a surprising avenue: the purchase of baseball tickets over the last decade.
In conversation with The Washington Post, White House spokesman Raj Shah explained that Kavanaugh’s debt was slowly accrued thanks to the Washington Nationals, amongst other random expenses.
Kavanaugh is the Supreme Court nominee that Trump has chosen to replace Kennedy. Here’s what you need to know.
1. Kavanaugh Has Accrued as Much as $200,000 in Debt in the Last Few Years
According to the financial disclosures run by the White House, Kavanaugh reported having debt between $60,000 and $200,000 in 2016, in addition to having a personal loan. His debt was split between three credit cards, each of which held between $15,000 and $50,000 in debt.
As for the loan, it was a Thrift Savings Plan loan that held between $15,000 and $50,000 in debt, as well.
The Washington Post reports that these debts and loan must have been paid off prior to 2017, or else they must have been under the reporting limit. Kavanaugh has not yet responded for comment, but Shah did tell The Washington Post that Kavanaugh is no longer buying baseball tickets and his friends have reimbursed him for his costs.
2. He Lives in one of the Wealthiest Neighborhoods in Washington, D.C.
Kavanaugh currently lives in Chevy Chase, a wealthy neighborhood close to D.C. He and his family have lived there since 2006, according to The Washington Post. His house is reportedly worth $1.2 million dollars, while the average home median is around $145,000.
Despite the fact that Kavanaugh lives in one of the wealthiest neighborhoods surrounding D.C., neighbors insist that he’s a totally normal guy. To The Washington Post, George Chernack, a chairman of the town council for their neighborhood, said, “He’s no different than any dad in the neighborhood… If I talk to Brett, it’s either about baseball or Springsteen.”
3. His Supreme Court Salary (& the Perks That Come With it) Will Be a Significant Bump Up From His Current Salary
If Kavanaugh is confirmed to the Supreme Court, his salary will rise from $220,600 a year (the amount circuit judges make) to $255,300 a year, according to MarketWatch.
In addition to his basic salary bump, Kavanaugh could begin to reap the benefits that Supreme Court Justices receive through various side gigs such as speaking opportunities, traveling fellowships, and teaching income, not to mention book deals.
For example, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayer received a publisher’s advance of just under $1.2 million from Penguin Random House for her memoir.
4. If He Does Soon Have a Supreme Court Salary, He’ll Reap the Benefits of Pension as Well
Like all government jobs, Kavanaugh will reap the benefits of a pension through his Supreme Court position, if he stays for long enough. According to MarketWatch, Kavanaugh will be eligible for a pension (which will be a “hefty portion of his highest full salary”) as long as he remains on the bench for at least fifteen years, which would make him 68 years old.
Given that four of the current Justices are well past that age, it’s far from an insurmountable obstacle for Kavanaugh to make it to that point. To put it in perspective, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is 85 years old, while her counterpart Clarence Thomas is 70 years old, and Justice Stephen Breyer is 79 years old.
5. If Nominated to the Supreme Court, He Will Be the Poorest Supreme Court Justice by Far
If Kavanaugh is nominated to the Supreme Court, he will be the poorest of all nine Supreme Court judges by a longshot. According to The Washington Post, Kavanaugh’s net worth rests somewhere around $65,000, between his Bank of America account and his wife’s retirement account.
In comparison, almost all of the other Supreme Court Justices are millionaires. According to USA Today, Justices Breyer and Ginsburg are the wealthiest on the bench, with their net worth reporting between $5 million dollars and $20 million dollars (the way that Justices are required to report their income allows for a certain level of ambiguity).
Next on the list of wealth are Justices Roberts and Alto who are both worth somewhere around $3 million dollars and $13 million dollars, followed by Sotomayer, Kagan, and Thomas.
Justice Anthony Kennedy was the least wealthy of the Justices prior to retiring, but even his net worth far surpassed that of Kavanaugh’s, hovering between $300,000 and $700,000.