More than 2400 law professors have put their names to a statement arguing Judge Kavanaugh does not have the temperament to be a judge on the US Supreme Court.

By Daniel Herborn


Posted on October 5, 2018

Kavanaugh gave a series of fiery and emotional answers at the confirmation hearings as he angrily denied accusations that he had sexually assaulted Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and had often been drunk and out of control as a youth.

For scores of law professors, his volatility was a huge red flag.

Kavanaugh’s temperament and impartiality questioned

“Judicial temperament is one of the most important qualities of a judge,” the statement begins. “A judge requires “a personality that is even-handed, unbiased, impartial, courteous yet firm, and dedicated to a process, not a result.”

The letter goes on to state the concern for a judge’s temperament goes back as far as Federalist 78 where Alexander Hamilton articulated a need for “the integrity and moderation of the judiciary.”

“We regret that we feel compelled to write to you, our Senators, to provide our views that at the Senate hearings on Sept. 27, Judge 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 statement continues.

The unprecedented intervention by the law professors includes 18 members of Kavanaugh’s alma mater, Yale as well as representatives from leading law schools Harvard, Stanford, University of Chicago and Columbia.

Kavanaugh’s “obvious and deep anger” a source of concern

The letter does not comment on Kavanaugh’s guilt or innocence in regard to the sexual assault allegations levelled against him but describes his responses to the questioning at the confirmation hearings as “intemperate, inflammatory and partial” and note he interrupted senators and lost his cool. His decision to paint the accusations against him as a left-wing conspiracy also raises serious questions about his ability to be impartial as a justice, the letter argues.

Speaking to The Independent, Cornell University Professor Cynthia Grant Bowman said Kavanaugh’s responses betrayed his “obvious and deep anger at being challenged at all, especially by a woman.”

“If he can’t treat members of a co-equal branch of government well, how must he treat litigants?,” she asked.

Kavanaugh has penned his own op-ed defending his impartiality and temperament while conceding he regrets his tone and some of his comments at the hearings.

“I was very emotional last Thursday, more so than I have ever been,” Kavanaugh wrote. “I might have been too emotional at times. I know that my tone was sharp, and I said a few things I should not have said.”

Hollywood stars Amy Schumer and Emily Ratajkowski were among those arrested while protesting Kavanaugh at Capitol Hill.