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Disregard law professors’ letter opposing Kavanaugh on temperament – It’s political, not legal principles

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 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.

By way of example, almost 500 law professors signed a letter opposing Kavanaugh earlier in September:

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.”


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Having been at the receiving end of judicial tirades and temper tantrums (and still receiving fair and satisfactory rulings) , I wonder if these professors ever actually practiced in court?

We have a twelve year history showing conclusively that BK is an unusually balanced jurist.

I’ve practiced before “black robe diseased” judges. He isn’t one. As a matter of fact, he’s a paragon.

    Whitewall in reply to Ragspierre. | October 3, 2018 at 2:08 pm

    BK will be true to who he is when on the Court. Sometimes the Constitutional position is not always the conservative position. Conservatives do lose. Scalia and Thomas surprised us more than once over the years.

      Ragspierre in reply to Whitewall. | October 3, 2018 at 3:16 pm

      “Conservatives” are not homogeneous. One of the great things about the Conservative Movement is that it permits diverse opinion around a set of core principles.

“How would any of these professors have reacted if they were falsely accused of committing those crimes 36 years ago?”

‘Bout time we find out.

    Tom Servo in reply to RedEchos. | October 3, 2018 at 1:34 pm

    Their letter is even worse than that – if Kav would have sat there stone faced and made no real defense, they would today be writing a letter saying “See!!! He has no compassion, he has no heart, he has no soul! He didn’t even care what they said, it didn’t touch him, someone so cold can’t possibly sit on the Supreme Court!”

    The whole thing has been a setup, and they would have been criticizing him even more if he had testified any differently.

The message to some of us non-attorneys is that academia has been totally infiltrated by the left, now reflects one standardized point of view, and so is no longer deserving of respect. After all, the essence of the letter is predictable, which by itself is damning.

    HarvardPhD in reply to CincyJan. | October 3, 2018 at 7:41 pm

    Infiltrated??? With a few rare exceptions, it seems to have been totally conquered, and has capitulated utterly.

Save this letter.
It will be handy when the purge starts.

    Milwaukee in reply to Matt_SE. | October 3, 2018 at 2:17 pm

    “It will be handy when the purge starts.”

    The left will purge those who don’t sign. The right will probably just tut-tut and say “Oh, don’t do that again.”

One word. Debra Nelson.

The First Amendment has limits. For example, I recall a case where an assembly line worker was dismissed for wearing a t-shirt to work which stated the cars made by the company were lemons. So, these law professors, some of them may be from the University of Texas Law School. Would there signing this letter be an abuse of their position? As it would be an endorsement of a political position? Could we say that by signing it as a professor at said law school, they are giving an opinion representative of the school, the university, and the state?

Well, if they were supporting a conservative, yes. They would be disciplined. Since they are liberal-leftist, it is all good. No harm will come.

Any lawyers here from Texas, with an idea about this? I would guess that attorneys employed by a law firm need to be very “judicious” in their public announcements, which might reflect on their employer.

Those dirty pricks sullied his name and he took them to task for it. Good for him, it shows he has a backbone and won’t be pushed around. We need more leaders like him.

“We hereby withdraw the support we never gave you and were never going to give you.”

Each one of these democrat voting liberals can go fuck themselves!!

Are these law profs aware that the letter says far more about those who wrote and signed it than it could possibly say about Kavanaugh?

If they were at least honest, they’d reference papers supporting claims that a right to abortion can actually be found in the Constitution, and proceed to criticize Kavanaugh for the possibility that he may not accept their reasoning.

But, they couldn’t be that honest, could they? Because if they were, they might have to acknowledge that rulings like Roe are the reason much of the public (yes, including some abortion-rights supporters) have come to question the legitimacy of the Court itself.

    The right to abortion was introduced through the Twilight Amendment. The so-called penumbra of precedents, inferences, and social progress. In fact, The Constitution proscribes abortion rites under the Fifth Amendment, “nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law”, under the Sixth Amendment, “the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed”, the Eighth Amendment, “nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted”, the Fourteenth Amendment, “All persons born … nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law”, and the Second Amendment, “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms (legs, heads), shall not be infringed”.

    The right to deny human evolution and life under selective-child policy was justified by first #labeling the fetus, offspring, baby as an “unPerson”. In fact, selective-child under the Pro-Choice doctrine is both a human and civil rights issue. However, unlike slavery and one-child, it reflects the moral and ethical corruption of a significant minority, and certainly substantial proportion of the population and wealthiest backers. Selective-child is a wicked solution to an albeit hard problem.

How many legal scholars would be willing to sign a well-crafted letter supporting the judge and denouncing the unprincipled opposition to his confirmation?

I am way past caring what a bunch of Professors, law school or not, care about anything. Doubtful most of them could function out in the real world where people are allowed to have different opinions than the ones mandated by the left.

“Hundreds of law professors have signed a letter”

So what.

1) the are not shrinks and have no idea whether Kavanaugh’s response was healthy or not.

2) Professor (sorry) doesnt mean what it used to

3) Althouse fell for this scam and signed the “law professors all say obstruction and perjury dont rise to the level of blah blah. They changed the cover letter on the petition after everyone had signed.

4) 100 Psychiatrists diagnosed all 100 law professors over the internet and determined they were all nuts.

Is it my imagination or are the Dems becoming more hysterical in their accusations. Creepy Porn Lawyer has trotted out a 4th accuser who says she went to the parties and saw the Kavanaugh and Judge spiking the punch… but now it was 20 parties.

Judges shouldn’t be too full of themselves, lest they become abusive.

Ditto for people who sign petitions.

Ford’s account is at best a screen memory. And she should know that as the concept should have been covered in her freshman year of college.

One could spend much of their life trying to find 4 conservative law professors in this country. Enough said.

Dot EDU signers only … stack the deck, much?

I look forward to the bonfire on the Capitol Building steps as Grassley torches the letter and pages o signatures.

Just another reason why my law school hasn’t gotten a penny of my money since the Reagan years. A reminder to volunteer and contribute to churches and organizations that actually do some good.

Apparently, Justice Breyer was arrested for underage drink while at Stanford.
I don’t expect much more talk about the drinking, lest we impeach Justice Breyer.

“Impartial” and temperate scholars and professors of law—such as Professor Fair of Georgetown?
The insanity continues . . .

By the way, can we please leave Roe out of this? There is no serious constitutional challenge to it before the courts, if one began this year it would take several years to ripen and rise to a case which might be granted cert, if it got to the USSC it is by no means certain there would be a five-judge majority in favor of overturning what has become a long-standing precedent (however absurd its legal argument was), Chief Justice Roberts would probably be opposed to injecting the Supreme Court back into the middle of a firestorm especially if public opinion remains so divided on the issue (yet his vote would be crucial), and it isn’t even certain that Judge Kavanaugh would vote for any sort of frontal assault on Roe even if all these other conditions were satisfied.
—By constantly averring that a Justice Kavanaugh would mean the overruling of Roe, his supporters simply justify and further incite the frenzy which has convulsed the “Right to Choose” activists and made this particular appointment seem like an existential event to them. In reality, it is nothing of the sort.

    Who is been saying that Kavanaugh would overturn Roe v Wade? His testimony, and everyone here, seems to indicate that he believes precedent is settled law.

    But abortion must be attacked. Everything that was done to Kavanaugh was in service to their Abortion God. Done by people so monstrous they whitewash the murder their own offspring for convenience. So OF COURSE they would destroy a good man with fake rape accusations, suspend civil rights like due process. completely discredit the MeToo movement and make a mockery of the United States Senate.

    And you want to leave it be? The Left will gin up its base regardless of what we say or do.

    Abortion is a Cancer that is eating this country alive. It must be challenged now. not only for the 45 million lives it has exterminated, but because of corrupt acolytes it spawns.

      HarvardPhD in reply to Fen. | October 4, 2018 at 1:28 am

      Who wants to leave it be?? All I was saying is that exaggerated and unrealistic expectations not only set us up for a potential disappointment, they may be giving ever more energy to the left, like a cornered beast.

      —Abortion won’t be ended by yet another judicial fiat. It will be ended when the great majority of Americans no longer tolerate it, and demand that their representatives ban it. THEN the Supreme Court could strike it down and be obeyed. Otherwise, the Court’s rulings would be flouted, there would be moves to overturn Court decisions and weaken or destroy the Court, and it would continue, if not allowed by federal, then by state law.

    “if he commands you to burn children alive, your god is evil”

simple-touriste | October 3, 2018 at 8:35 pm

I have fascinated by the number of supporters of right to choose, an intrinsic right to control your own body, who are from the state of California, with its absurd list of mandatory vaccines, a state mandate to inject unproven drugs in healthy children.

These are the same people teaching left wing crap like the criminal justice system should be more like casual Fridays.

When Kavanaugh was testifying in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, it was NOT as a judge, but as a litigant. A litigant defending himself from one of the most heinous charges that can be made against a man. Furthermore, he was defending himself in a process that has been blatantly political. As such a litigant, he acquitted himself very well, which is exactly what irks those that oppose his nomination.

One of the law professors signing off on the letter is Juliet Sorensen, Ted’s daughter. She does know a thing or two about judicial temperament. She was on the receiving end of one of the harshest benchslaps I’ve ever read for prosecutorial misconduct in United States v. Farinell. Not only did she get lit up by Judge Posner, but he did so by name.