650+ law professors sign letter urging Senate not to confirm Kavanaugh


The law professors say Kavanaugh doesn't have the 'judicial temperament' needed to become a Supreme Court justice.

More than 650 law professors (and counting) have signed a letter to the Senate, published Wednesday night as an op-ed in The New York Times, urging the Senate not to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court because of his "lack of judicial temperament."

The letter's signatories include more than a dozen law professors associated with Yale Law School, where Kavanaugh received his law degree, and even more from Harvard Law School, where Kavanaugh had taught for more than a decade until announcing recently that he would not return to teach there.

The professors pointed to Kavanaugh’s belligerent testimony in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, writing that he "displayed a lack of judicial temperament that would be disqualifying for any court, and certainly for elevation to the highest court of this land."

"The question at issue was of course painful for anyone," the letter says, referring to the sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh. "But Judge Kavanaugh exhibited a lack of commitment to judicious inquiry. Instead of being open to the necessary search for accuracy, Judge Kavanaugh was repeatedly aggressive with questioners."

The letter also highlighted Kavanaugh's dangerous hyperpartisanship, which was apparent in his prepared remarks and impossible to miss during his disgraceful meltdown before the Judiciary Committee.

"Even in his prepared remarks, Judge Kavanaugh described the hearing as partisan, referring to it as ‘a calculated and orchestrated political hit,’ rather than acknowledging the need for the Senate, faced with new information, to try to understand what had transpired," the professors wrote.

Furthermore, they added, "Instead of trying to sort out with reason and care the allegations that were raised, Judge Kavanaugh responded in an intemperate, inflammatory and partial manner, as he interrupted and, at times, was discourteous to senators."

The letter went on to point out that judges are required by multiple statutes to recuse themselves if there is a possibility that they may be perceived as impartial or display impartiality. For a partisan hack like Kavanaugh, impartiality is a feature, not a bug.

The professors concluded the letter by noting that they have "differing views about the other qualifications of Judge Kavanaugh," but that they "are united, as professors of law and scholars of judicial institutions, in believing that he did not display the impartiality and judicial temperament requisite to sit on the highest court of our land."

The letter will be presented to the Senate on Thursday. In the meantime, other professors can add their names to the list of signatories.

The publication of the letter comes just a day after three of Kavanaugh's former law clerks who initially vouched for him rescinded their support, citing their concerns over the sexual assault allegations against him.

Also on Tuesday, two of Kavanaugh's former law school classmates withdrew their support for him, saying they "fear that partisanship has injected itself into [his] candidacy."

"That, and the lack of judicial temperament displayed on September 27 hearing, cause us to withdraw our support," they wrote.

At this point, it seems that the only people who still support Kavanaugh's nomination are Republicans who desperately want to reshape the court by installing a partisan hack — which is exactly what the law professors are warning against.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.