Six hundred and fifty law professors seems like a lot of law professors. It’s not. There are over 20,000 law professors in the United States teaching at our 200 law schools. It is true that the legal profession of 400,000 lawyers is mostly left leaning, there are some carve outs in the profession – like business lawyers – that lean right. So while 650 professors should not be taken to represent the whole of the profession, they probably do represent a majority of the opinion on this issue.
These law professors have written an open letter to the Senate wherein they focus on judicial temperament. They were quite dismayed at Judge Kavanaugh’s responses during the additional hearing prompted by Diane Feinstein’s untimely presentation of an allegation of sexual assault made by Dr. Christine Ford. They cited the rules of judicial conduct:
[A] judge requires “a personality that is even-handed, unbiased, impartial, courteous yet firm, and dedicated to a process, not a result.”
Who is more dedicated to a result than a process these days? It would have to be the Left. Their ends justify their means, whether it is silencing campus speakers by shouting them down, or by making the scene so dangerous a talk cannot be held. They dox dissenters without remorse. They create violent art and talk about castration for white men. They chase quiet restaurant goers aways from their meals. They use fear with impunity to get their way. They stack up character assassinations in place of evidence in order to force people from public office. Then, they use the justifiable anger they get in response as just one more reason to bring someone down.
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. 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.
They fault Kavanaugh for describing the hearing as partisan – but wasn’t it? It is the Democrats that have tried to drive this train off the rails, at every turn. This circus has been orchestrated by the Democrats – from deciding when to drop the bomb, to how the hearing should be conducted, to the demand for more investigations. It is only because of the Democrats’ failure to follow process that we are in the eleventh hour mess.
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. 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.
This is a very devious point, of course disguised as rational discourse. Let’s take a person and subject him to an unfair process, see how he reacts, and if he reacts in the fashion how he would be expected to react, then he disqualifies himself. Perfect plan! They are now even making the case that if he is confirmed, the process by which he got there has forever soured him into being a bad judge! Win-win!
No. This has been a lose-lose. There is no going back for Kavanaugh, for Ford, or for the justice system. Every one of these players now needs rehabilitation. Kavanaugh will forever be tainted with this allegation that is impossible to prove or deny. Ford, if her fragile persona was real, is now likely more traumatized. If she is a representation of all women, at best she has contributed to the stereotype of the weak female, and at worst, the claims of assault victims are in danger of being further marginalized by the way her story has been used for political purposes. And lawyers…lawyers, of all people, have played a major part in generating a public conversation that actually considers setting aside the fundamental concept of fairness in all our proceedings.
Back in July, Kavanaugh actually had support of at least one liberal law professor! Wonder if he still feels the same today.
As Alan Dershowitz wrote recently, the forum of the proceeding is not so important as is loyalty to the concept of fairness that runs through our everyday interactions with each other. Actual damage has been done to the idea of due process – it has now been questioned, and that is a dangerous idea.
I’m not sure if most of these law professors mean well or are entirely partisan, but by failing to give proper attention to the process, and instead focusing on Kavanaugh’s reaction to it, they wrote the wrong kind of letter.