law professors

650 law professors and counting have co-signed an open letter calling on the U.S. Senate to vote down Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

In the letter, which the New York Times published Wednesday evening, the law professors cited not the multiple sexual misconduct accusations against Kavanaugh — which are currently being investigated by the FBI — but rather the Supreme Court nominee’s temperament, which they say is disqualifying for any federal judge, let alone a Supreme Court justice.

The authors of the letter describe themselves as “law professors who teach, research and write about the judicial institutions of this country,” who have argued cases in state and federal court, as well as the U.S. Supreme Court. Notably, 13 of the co-signers are professors at the Yale University school of law, which is Kavanaugh’s alma mater.

“Instead of being open to the necessary search for accuracy, Judge Kavanaugh was repeatedly aggressive with questioners,” the professors wrote. “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.”

“As you know, under two statutes governing bias and recusal, judges must step aside if they are at risk of being perceived as or of being unfair,” the letter continued. “As Congress has previously put it, a judge or justice ‘shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned.’ These statutes are part of a myriad of legal commitments to the impartiality of the judiciary, which is the cornerstone of the courts.”

The letter comes just before the FBI is due to present their findings to the senate, and before a planned vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation by the full senate. All Democrats are outwardly opposed other than Senators Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-North Dakota), who are both running for re-election in states Donald Trump won by large margins in 2016. All but three Republicans — Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine), Jeff Flake (R-Arizona), and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) — are in favor of confirming Kavanaugh as of this writing.

Click here to read the full letter and see the names of all of the co-signers.


Nick Jewell is a freelance political writer, and a proud resident of Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. Email him at 

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