Widespread Support for Judge Kavanaugh
- Legal experts from across the political spectrum have praised Judge Brett Kavanaugh for his independent, fair-minded approach and careful legal reasoning.
- Judge Kavanaugh’s strong qualifications include 12 years as a judge on the D.C. Circuit, where he has earned the respect and support of court observers and attorneys who have appeared before him.
- People who know Judge Kavanaugh out of court have emphasized his integrity and decency.
On July 9, President Trump selected Judge Brett Kavanaugh to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court. Judge Kavanaugh has served on the D.C. Circuit for 12 years. His record from more than a decade on the bench has earned strong support across the political spectrum.
Rave Reviews for Kavanaugh
INDEPENDENCE ON THE BENCH
Judge Kavanaugh’s independence and legal skill have earned him the praise of legal scholars who, despite their liberal leanings, respect his faithfulness to the law. In a New York Times op-ed entitled “A Liberal’s Case for Brett Kavanaugh,” Yale law professor Akhil Reed Amar emphasized Judge Kavanaugh’s qualifications and judicial record. He called Judge Kavanaugh “a superb nominee” and said that “it is hard to name anyone with judicial credentials as strong as those of Judge Kavanaugh.” He noted that Judge Kavanaugh “commands wide and deep respect among scholars, lawyers and jurists” and agreed with President Trump that Judge Kavanaugh has “impeccable credentials, great intellect, unbiased judgment, and deep reverence for the laws and Constitution of the United States.” Professor Abbe Gluck, another member of the Yale Law School faculty, called Judge Kavanaugh “a true intellectual – a leading thinker and writer on the subjects of statutory interpretation and federal courts” and said that he is “humble, collegial and cares deeply about the federal courts.”
Fordham Law School professor Jed Shugerman wrote that he has thought of Judge Kavanaugh “as a respectable, independent-minded, highly qualified mainstream conservative judge for a while.” He cited Judge Kavanaugh’s reasoning as “an example of the judging ideal, setting aside ideology and party politics, and just trying to get the law right.” He noted positively a case in which Judge Kavanaugh gave “an independent judiciary the job it is supposed to do: interpret the law.”
RESPECTED BY THE BAR AND THOSE WHO KNOW HIM
Judge Kavanaugh’s qualities have impressed those he works with and those who appear in front of him in court. According to the Almanac of the Federal Judiciary, which publishes anonymous reviews of judges, lawyers who appeared before Judge Kavanaugh called him an “excellent judge” who “has a history of excellent legal argument and analysis” and is “intellectually consistent.” One said that “it is daunting and humbling to be in front of that brainpower.” Others surveyed said that Judge Kavanaugh “has good judgment and a good temperament” and “is courteous and professional.” His opinions were described as “well-written and meticulous.” Commenters also remarked that Judge Kavanaugh “is straight down the middle” with “no bias” and “has the capacity to rule contrary to the way he feels.”
Those who know Judge Kavanaugh out of court have also expressed support for his nomination. One of his former law clerks, a self-described “registered Democrat,” described Judge Kavanaugh as “a good, kind and fair-minded person.” A parent of a player he coaches in basketball wrote in the Washington Post about Judge Kavanaugh’s “positive attitude and calm demeanor” and highlighted his “traits of personal kindness, leadership and willingness to help when called on.”
Editorial boards throughout the country have also taken notice of Judge Kavanaugh’s competence and integrity. The Wall Street Journal editorial board said that he “has the experience and intellect to be a leader on the Court, not merely a predictable vote on this or that issue.” The Detroit News, referring to his “credentials, his commitment to judicial independence, his unassailable character, his record as a judge dedicated to the Constitution,” wrote that Judge Kavanaugh’s record suggests that he “will maintain a commitment to interpreting the law as it is written, and not how he may wish it had been crafted.”
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