More than 650 law professors, including 13 affiliated with Yale Law School and 21 with Harvard Law School, have signed a letter to the Senate arguing that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh should not be confirmed because of his “lack of judicial temperament.”
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The professors pointed to Kavanaugh’s appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week amid allegations of sexual misconduct, where the Yale Law School graduate defended himself and called the attacks a “grotesque and coordinated character assassination.”
“The question at issue was of course painful for anyone. But Judge Kavanaugh exhibited a lack of commitment to judicious inquiry,” reads the letter, published by the New York Times on Wednesday. “Instead of being open to the necessary search for accuracy, Judge Kavanaugh was repeatedly aggressive with questioners.
“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 letter reads. “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 states that judges are required to step aside if there is the possibility that they may be viewed as or display impartiality.
“We have differing views about the other qualifications of Judge Kavanaugh,” the letter states. “But we 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.”
[Related: Antonin Scalia's son defends Brett Kavanaugh's temperament: 'He was defending his good name']
Kavanaugh has been accused by multiple women of sexual misconduct, including Christine Blasey Ford, who also appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week. Kavanaugh has rejected all allegations of sexual misconduct. While Kavanaugh has taught at Harvard Law for nearly 10 years, he will not return for an initially scheduled class on the Supreme Court in January.
The letter will be presented to lawmakers Thursday, and other professors have the opportunity to add their names to the list.