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More Than 500 Law Professors Sign Letter Urging Senate to Reject Kavanaugh’s Nomination

A large group of law professors are the latest to object the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, as more than 560 of them from nearly 100 schools penned an open letter to the US Senate on Wednesday urging that he be disqualified. 

For the law professors, it was Kavanaugh’s appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week that convinced them he wasn’t qualified to serve on the 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 letter says, per The New York Times

Eight of the letter’s signees are professors at Yale Law School, where Kavanaugh obtained his degree. The dean of Harvard Law School, Martha Minow, and scholars from Stanford Law School and Cornell Law School also signed the letter. It will remain open for additional signatures through Thursday. 

Kavanaugh is facing — and denying — sexual assault allegations from Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, and sexual misconduct allegations from other women. Just as Kavanaugh did, Ford testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee last week. In the letter, the law professors criticized how Kavanaugh dealt with both the accusations and his testimony. 

“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,” the letter reads. “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. 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 FBI is currently investigating Ford’s allegations, though the agency only has until Friday to do so. While some senators, such as Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, are determined to nominate Kavanaugh, others are still on the fence. This includes Senator Susan Collins of Maine, who was the recipient of another open letter made public on Tuesday regarding Kavanaugh.

Signed by more than 800 faculty, administrators and staff at colleges and universities who live and work in Collins’ home state, the letter urges her to vote no on Kavanaugh’s nomination. 

“We are at an historic juncture, and your vote, your words, and your actions as our representative will be a focal part of what happens this week,” the letter to Collins says. “Will you send a message to the tens of millions of American women and men who are victims of sexual violence that their experiences will be met with indifference and even disbelief? Or will you make a choice for the greater good, and send the message that survivors can trust that they will be heard if they have the courage to come forward?”

All of the signees said they have students or colleagues who experienced sexual violence, and some of them even experienced it themselves. 

Follow Allison on Twitter @AllisonMCrist.
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