Over 1,700 law profs sign letter to U.S. Senate
By Josh Mitchell
Corinth Today News Editor
At least three Ole Miss law professors have signed a letter stating that Judge Brett Kavanaugh failed to show the needed “judicial temperament” to be appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The letter, which was published on The New York Times, has signatures from more than 1,700 law professors and counting.
It will be presented to the U.S. Senate today (Thursday, Oct. 4).
Ole Miss law professors who signed the letter include Associate Professor of Law Desiree Hensley, Assistant Professor of Law Cliff Johnson and Assistant Professor of Law Stacey M. Lantagne. The Ole Miss School of Law has about 40 full-time faculty members.
“I signed the letter because I believe that the U.S. Supreme Court has to earn the respect and trust that Americans have in it,” Hensley said in an email to Corinth Today on Thursday.
That trust and respect is partly based on the decorum and impartiality of the judges who serve on the court, Hensley stated.
According to the letter, more than 1,700 law professors across the nation feel that Kavanaugh displayed a lack of judicial temperament needed to preside over any court, especially “the highest court of this land.”
The professors said Kavanaugh showed his lack of temperament last week when he testified before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee after Christine Blasey Ford accused him of sexually assaulting her at a party in high school. Kavanaugh denies the accusations, which have not been corroborated.
“In my opinion Brett Kavanaugh used partisan rhetoric during the hearing and did not demonstrate the decorum we rightly expect from those appointed to the highest court in our country,” Hensley’s statement added. “There are many other excellent judges and lawyers who could serve on the U.S. Supreme Court and I think we should continue to seek a better candidate.”
After last week’s hearing, the FBI investigated the allegations against Kavanaugh. The FBI report was complete Thursday, Oct. 4, and the Senate was expected to vote on whether to appoint Kavanaugh around Saturday.
Even if the accusations are false, the law professors who signed the letter said Kavanaugh did not show the right temperament when responding to questions from senators in the hearing.
“Instead of being open to the necessary search for accuracy, Judge Kavanaugh was repeatedly aggressive with questioners,” the letter signed by the professors, including the three from Ole Miss, says. “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.”
In conclusion the letter says, “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 he did not display the impartiality and judicial temperament requisite to sit on the highest court of our land.”