Disregard law professors’ letter opposing Kavanaugh on temperament – It’s political, not legal principles
It has become the liberal law professor virtue signaling event of the year. But how many supported Kavanaugh before the Ford accusation testimony?
Hundreds of law professors have signed a letter calling Brett Kavanaugh disqualified for the Supreme Court because of the temperament he displayed at the Senate hearing on September 27, 2018, with regard to alleged sexual misconduct.
The letter, with original signatories as of October 1, 2018, has been circulating among law faculties. It has become the liberal law professor virtue signaling event of the year.
It’s also posted for signature online, with the tally over 900 as of this morning:
We will present this letter to the U.S. Senate on Thursday, October 4, 2018, at 12:00 noon ET.
If you are a law professor (full time faculty at a law school in the United States) and are interested in signing this letter (see attached PDF or see below), please (1) fill this form by writing in your name, title, and institutional affiliation as you would like it to appear in the letter; (2) give us your professional email on this form, professional e-mail only please (only emails that end in “.edu” will be accepted; we will not share or list e-mail addresses on letter, just use to confirm you are professor); and (3) send a confirmation e-mail to [email protected] Please write down this address now because once you sign the form, it will not appear again: [email protected]
Please remember to use only .edu e-mail addresses in order to ensure that no one is hacking into this form. And please remember to confirm with e-mail to Ghislaine from that .edu e-mail address.
We will alphabetize all names when we close the letter to signatures. The final letter to the Senate will be in ALPHA ORDER. This letter is only open for signature to law professors.
Visit https://lawprofessor.net for latest version of signed letter.
This form will be open until THURSDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2018 AT 12:00 NOON EASTERN TIME.
Please SHARE the link to this form with other law professors around the country. Thank you.
********************* UPDATE ************************
Date: Wednesday, October 3, 2018
Time: 9:00am Eastern Time
Time left to sign: 27 hours
Number of law professors who have signed: 907
Number of law schools*: 154
* Law schools listed for identification purposes only.
How many of those 900 law professors supported Kavanaugh before the Ford accusation testimony? How many voted for Trump? Something approaching zero.
Yet the substance of the letter wraps itself in judicial and legal principles, rather than politics. It reads in part:
Judicial temperament is one of the most important qualities of a judge….
We are law professors who teach, research, and write about the judicial institutions of this country. Many of us appear in state and federal court, and our work means that we will continue to do so, including before the United States Supreme Court. We regret that we feel compelled to write to you to provide our views that at the Senate hearings on Thursday, September 27, 2018, the Honorable Brett Kavanaugh 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. 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. Even in his prepared remarks, Judge Kavanaugh located the hearing as a partisan question, 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. 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 questioners….
We have differing views about the other qualifications of Judge Kavanaugh. But we are united, as professors of law and scholars of judicial institutions, in believing that Judge Kavanaugh did not display the impartiality and judicial temperament requisite to sit on the highest court of our land.
In other words, Kavanaugh allegedly defended himself too aggressively against claims of attempted rape, gang rape, and indecent exposure which he knew to be false. How would any of these professors have reacted if they were falsely accused of committing those crimes 36 years ago?
Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the D.C. Circuit was bitterly fought, and delayed, over a decade ago. There’s nothing to suggest that Kavanaugh’s defense of himself now would taint his ability to be a fair judge, as he has been for the last 12 years despite political opposition to him.
The law professors say Kavanaugh should have been “open to the necessary search for accuracy.” But he was. He offered to testify as soon as Ford’s accusation was made publicly. He has given numerous sworn interviews with the Judiciary Committee.
It was Ford and Democrats who delayed, and have withheld documents.
What additional inquiry was needed for Kavanaugh to know that accusations were false, and to defend himself vigorously? The professors don’t saty. That Kavanaugh defended himself based on his personal knowledge should be commended, not used as a political cudgel against him.
And so what if he asked questions back to the Senators? Are the Senators so elevated in position that citizens who appear before them can’t ask them questions?
The law professors do not point out anything Kavanaugh said about the attacks on him that was false. It manifestly WAS “a calculated and orchestrated political hit.” Can anyone seriously dispute that?
Don’t think for a second this is anything but political. There might be some on the list who were inclined to support Kavanaugh prior to the Ford accusation testimony, but those people would be few and far between.
WASHINGTON, D.C., September 3, 2018 – Alliance for Justice announced today that 478 law professors and legal scholars have signed a letter opposing the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court. The signatories include leading constitutional scholars and experts who believe, as the letter states, that Kavanaugh’s “record on the D.C. Circuit reveals a predisposition to decide cases in order to achieve results that threaten fundamental rights and in some cases the very lives of Americans.” ….
Leading legal scholars who have signed on to the letter include Erwin Chemerinsky, Peter Shane, Herman Schwartz, Abbe Smith, Michael Wishnie, Issa Kohler-Hausmann, David Singh Grewal, Bruce Ackerman, Jedediah Purdy, Susan Rose-Ackerman, and Amy Kapczynski.
This latest law professor letter should be viewed as a political act. And that’s fine, they’re entitled.
But don’t pretend that there is some unique insight that law professors have as to what constitutes the appropriate way to respond to “a calculated and orchestrated political hit.”DONATE
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