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UM law professors urge against Kavanaugh confirmation

Twenty-two University of Miami law professors have signed a letter telling the Senate not to confirm Brett Kavanaugh. Their names appear on a list of nearly 2,500 law professors who’ve deemed Kavanaugh unfit for the Supreme Court.

The letter, which was presented to the Senate Oct. 4, states that Kavanaugh’s testimonies at the Sept. 27 Senate hearing revealed his inability to remain impartial. Kavanaugh acted aggressively towards the questioners, and therefore exhibited a lack of commitment to judicious inquiry, the letter said.

Kavanaugh was being questioned in regards to sexual assault allegations from Stanford University professor Christine Blasey Ford.

UM law professor Charlton Copeland said he signed the letter because he thinks Kavanaugh’s hostility towards the senators indicated a contempt for Congress. He said Kavanaugh’s attempts at avoiding questions were hypocritical and illuminative of his true character.

“It hints towards a closedness of mind that I can’t accept,” Copeland said.

Copeland often teaches cases that Judge Kavanaugh has presided over. He said he thinks Kavanaugh is smart, but that intelligence is not the only requirement for a Supreme Court justice.

“There is a significant amount of discretion and judgment that justices must exhibit,” Copeland said.

The letter explained that a commitment to impartiality and an even temperament are cornerstones of the the Supreme Court.

Kavanaugh’s disrespectful tone at the Senate confirmation hearings demonstrated that he lacks these traits, Copeland said.

Acting vice dean and UM law professor Andres Sawicki said signed the letter because he thinks it’s important to maintain the Supreme Court’s image in the eyes of the public.

Sawicki said the Supreme Court should be completely apolitical, but Kavanaugh’s testimony revealed his inability to remain nonpartisan.

“You have to have confidence that the court is going to make a decision based on facts rather than its political leanings,” Sawicki said.

Sawicki said he finds it hard to believe that Kavanaugh will be able to put aside his political ideologies while he’s on the Supreme Court bench.

However, despite this opposition, Judge Kavanaugh is expected to be confirmed as the next Supreme Court justice. A 51-49 procedural vote advanced Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the final step, and the official vote will take place Saturday, Oct. 6.

October 5, 2018

Reporters

Rebecca Goddard


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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.