NPR Segment on Judge Kavanaugh's Judicial Temperament

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

NPR interviewed me on the subject this morning, and it was just posted (and, presumably, aired):

As I mentioned in my earlier post, many people, including some I respect very much disagree with me; indeed, so do some of my cobloggers. Still, this is what I think, and I thought I'd pass it along.

UPDATE: The transcript is now up as well.


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  1. It’s interesting that the interviewer thought the best analogy for the Democratic senators asking questions of Kavanaugh was a judge getting lip from a defendant. I would have responded that a judge showboating like Corey Booker or leaking confidential documents like Feinstein would be roundly excoriated. It might be inadvisable for a attorney or party appearing before such a misbehaving judge to talk back, but I wouldn’t find fault with their temperament if they did.

    1. 170.6 back dated.

    2. Then there was the complete non-sequitur regarding the feelings of female victims of sexual assault, injected into the conversation for no other reason I can tell (considering the context of the interview and the prior question Prof. Volokh had just answered) beyond emphasizing the importance of FEELZ.

      1. Feelz before facts bro.

  2. EV,

    I have vacillated on this topic to a great degree. It is a difficult situation, and I still dont quite know what to think. One thing I do know is that my admiration for this blog has intensified with the publication of alternative views, such as those of Professor Post, on your own platform. It isn’t the first time that has happened at this site, of course, but I think it speaks highly of the VC that it recognizes reasonable disagreements on this prominent ssue. A minimal contribution against the sea of certainty we see regarding Kavanaugh, perhaps, but one that I think is worth recognizing.

    1. It would be truly ironic for EV to censor one of the other bloggers for disagreeing with him, even though entirely up to him. But really I can’t see EV even thinking about it.

      Then of course my cynical side is thinking that EV put Post up to posting his counter view just to clinch his own argument. It’s like Post is the Avenetti of the VC.

      1. It would be truly ironic for EV to censor one of the other bloggers for disagreeing with him

        Why? The proprietor might be more deferential to right-leaning elites such as other Conspirators, but he censors commenters for disagreeing with him.

        1. And yet, there in plain sight is your ad hominem attack on the proprietor. Uncensored. Rev, you are a funny, funny guy! I think you might have a career in stand-up comedy.

          1. Well, that just proves that AK is so stupid, EV doesn’t censor him because he wants his posts there to discredit his side.

          2. And yet, there in plain sight is your ad hominem attack on the proprietor.

            Artie Ray Lee Wayne Jim-Bob Kirkland would say hello, but Prof. Volokh banned Artie Ray for either (1) being too conservative or (2) poking fun at right-wingers.

        2. but he censors commenters for disagreeing with him.
          report spam

          Can you offer any support for this claim whatsoever? I suppose if this censorship happens quickly enough, then I wouldn’t know about it by definition. But considering the material that does stay up — the guy who’s obsessed with Rafael Golb, the guy who constantly talks about how all liberals are sodomites, your own tedious diatribes about “clingers” — I have trouble imagining that there’s a lot of stuff being unjustly deleted.

          1. I have been visiting the Conspiracy sine the year it began, I recall no such censorship. Not once.

            If EV disagrees, he engages, not censor.

            Kirkland is lying.

            1. Kirkland has two modes. Lying and disparaging.

              1. And those modes are not mutually exclusive.

            2. Artie Ray Lee Wayne Kirkland was banned by Prof. Volokh on October 6, 2010 for making fun of conservatives.

              1. Artie Ray Lee Wayne Jim-Bob Kirkland, to be more formal.

          2. Can you offer any support for this claim whatsoever?

            Artie Ray Lee Wayne Jim-Bob Kirkland was banned by Prof. Volokh on October 6, 2010.

            The offense appeared to be poking fun at conservatives.

            The term “cop succor” also was censored by the Volokh Conspiracy (before was involved), apparently for violation of standards that permit comments referring to ‘filthy mestizos,’ advocating the killing of persons who are not movement conservatives, encouraging a race war, declaring that all women who have had abortions should be executed, and approving modern country music.

            Genuine libertarians dislike cop succors, object to censorship, and appreciate language that honors libertarian thinking (distinguishable from conservative thinking); I gather that term is accepted at

            I do not quarrel with the Volokh Conspiracy’s authority to censor or ban. This is the proprietor’s playground.

            I question the ostentatious, ostensible promotion of freedom of [removed]especially when criticisms are aimed at strong liberal-libertarian institutions while a free pass is provided to censorship-shackled conservative institutions).

            1. I have no idea why “speech (” was replaced by “[removed]” in that comment.

              1. I for get the dates, was this back on the VC’s original independent site or on WaPo. If it was while VC was on WaPo, EV might not have had anything to do with it.

                1. EV might not have had anything to do with it.

                  The e-mailed message communicating the ban was sent from Prof. Volokh’s account.

                  You guys can wriggle as much as you like; this one isn’t going to get any better.

                  Banned. October 6, 2010.

                  Censored by the proprietor, when the proprietor was taking a respite from criticizing (certain, strong, liberal-libertarian) schools for engaging in censorship.

                  Wriggle away, though, anyway. I find it amusing.

                  1. Wasn’t the ban because one actual person is not allowed to have multiple accounts?

                    1. If it’s one think a hicklib never forgets, it’s being told by an adult that his 85 IQ musings are degrading the intelligence level of a comments section.

  3. Instead of getting upset about being accused of rape he should regularly flaunt his political opinions in pop media and attack individuals and groups including future colleagues and pass out unconscious on the bench like a truly qualified jurist.

    1. ^^

      best post of the day

  4. Eugene, will there be a transcript available of this segment? (Not sure what NPR’s usual practice is, and I don’t see anything there except a button to start the audio.)

  5. I also didn’t care for Prof. Volokh’s answer to the “what if Kav was a criminal defendant” question—not that I can really blame him for not answering it as well as he might have with time to think about it, or maybe he just didn’t want to take too aggressive a tone given his audience.

    Kavanaugh wasn’t a criminal defendant. He wasn’t afforded any of the rights a criminal defendant would have had, the first of which being that he couldn’t even be dragged into court with allegations so weak and remote. He didn’t have the protection of rules of procedure or evidence or an attorney to object to the questions as irrelevant or speculative–which they mostly were. He didn’t have the right to cross-examine his accuser, either. The GOP was trying to compromise with a bunch of fence-sitting morons, but if Kavanaugh were on trial he could have (and hopefully would have) gone for the throat. I could go on but I won’t.

    1. The the hearing last week was just bizarre on many levels. If it is how confirmations are to be conducted in the future, I have doubts about the future of the courts and how they are viewed by citizens.

    2. Jeez he could do worse than a defense attorney like Rachel Mitchell, talk about using a velvet stiletto. Nobody thought she was laying a finger on Ford then the report comes out, and Ford’s credibility is laying in ribbons on the floor.

      You know it was effective, because that’s when the big boofing push started, which quickly deflated, so to speak.

      1. Along that same vein, here’s another opinion on Mitchell’s performance:

      2. Interpreting what someone wrote in their high school yearbook decades ago in accordance with whatever will be a current slang usage in the equivalent of Urban Dictionary will be the nadir of political analysis.

    3. Fighting an analogy only shows a lack of understanding of the purpose of an analogy. It is a cheap and superficial way of winning a point. Obviously there are factual differences between a criminal defendant and a judicial nominee, but those differences were not the intended points of comparison.

      Your argument is that criminal defendants generally sit still because they are surrounded by the warm embrace of due process. Maybe. Or maybe they’re usually guilty. Maybe it’s despair or fear. Maybe it’s all of it. But focusing on that wouldn’t have been a better answer.

      Prof Volokh might have observed that even with the possible penalties for a defendant getting angry and acting out, some defendants do act out nonetheless. That simple observation directly refutes the point of the analogy and demonstrates his point. The interviewer wrongly assumed that *even* (innocent) defendants sit quiet.

  6. Alan Dershowitz on What If Kavanaugh Was a Liberal Muslim Accused of Terrorism? on neutral rules that should be applied to this case and every case going forward. Interesting viewpoint. IIRC was originally in the Jerusalem Post, but the popups are atrocious.

    1. I’m not sure what I find more surprising: that Dersh is writing for Newsmax, or, that neither he nor his editors understand English grammar (it’s “were”, not “was”).

    2. I’m not sure what I find more surprising: that Dersh is writing for Newsmax, or, that neither he nor his editors understand English grammar (it’s “were”, not “was”).

      1. I think “were” is headed for the same fate as “fewer.” “There were less people there than last year.” Drives me nuts.

  7. OK. His temperament before the Senate Judiciary Committee inquisition was not judicial (it was like an accused warlock tied to the stake with flames licking his toes).

    Has anyone who claims to have witnessed his behavior as a judge in a court of law commented on his temperament?

    1. Yes, universally positive comments on “judicial temperament” while acting as a judge. This was a damned if you do, damned if you don’t scenario. Probably not by chance.

      1. His temperament was pointedly questioned by the American Bar Association more than a decade ago.

        He was am aggressive Republican streetfighter for many years, in many contexts — his spot on the appellate bench was a reward for his belligerent, partisan conduct (the Starr investigation, the Brooks Brothers Riot, Bush-Gore, his torture-and-endless-detention tour), not the consequence of nonpolitical professional accomplishments or exceptional legal insights.

        In any event, Justice Bart O’Kavanaugh it is! The right-wingers have a majority with which to promote stale thinking and diffuse intolerance — so long as they can keep it.

        1. If that was the true reason to object to Kavanaugh, why the stale accusation of high school behavior with no corroborating evidence and a parade of increasingly less credible witnesses? Why was he not questioned on the real issues that motivated his critics?

          Since the left went after W. Bush with Bill Burkett’s faked “Killian Memos” supporting the allegation he was AWOL in the last two years of guard service, the left’s resort to irrelevant character assassination is like the left-wing has been shooting itself in the foot with a machinegun at every opportunity.

        2. You’ve mentioned this a few times, but always completely ignore that the ABA gave him a “well-qualified” rating at the start of the nomination process.

          And as a reminder, “The ABA standing committee evaluates nominees based on professional competence, integrity and judicial temperament.

          1. I have mentioned several time that Brett Kavanaugh was rated “qualified” and, later, “well qualified” by the American Bar Association.

            Other than that, though, great comment!

            1. That’s a slight dodge. You can mention the rating, but then not account for the temperament aspect of the rating.

              I’ve also seen you mention these 10+ year old concerns at least twice without mentioning the ratings once.

              More important, since you claim you know about this, then why are you talking about the 10+ year old concerns when it’s the more recent ratings that matter? Seems those concerns were shown to be unsupported in more than a decade on the bench. Like saying a restaurant is terrible because before it opened, a local critic raised concerns about the chef’s skills, even though the reviewer later visited and gave it his highest rating.

              1. then why are you talking about the 10+ year old concerns when it’s the more recent ratings that matter

                Generally it is in response to an observation that ‘no one had a question about temperament until it was decided to go after him with claims by women.’

                1. Yeah, that’s disingenuous. If folks had concerns before he first took to the bench, those concerns were allayed after he became a judge. All reports of his conduct as a judge are positive.

                  Claiming “well, people had concerns when he was first appointed as a judge because he used to have a political appointment” is silly. We don’t have to resort to speculation about what might be.. we have evidence of what actually happens in court, over quite an extended period of time.

                  Tom Brady was drafted in the 6th round of the NFL draft. Obviously, there were serious doubts about his ability as an NFL quarterback at the time he was drafted.

                  Citing those doubts today as a reason to question his ability as an NFL quarterback would be stupid, since one can look at his actual record as an NFL quarterback and see that he has proven to be the greatest winning quarterback of all time.

                  Meanwhile, Tim Couch was the number 1 overall pick. Nobody had any doubts about his ability as an NFL quarterback. He washed out of the league after a couple of years and finished his career with more interceptions than touchdowns.

                  Citing pre-appointment concerns or rhetoric as reasons to judge someone with a track record is stupid. By that metric Tim Couch is a better NFL quarterback than Tom Brady.

                  1. Being disingenuous is among the least of Arthur L. Hicklib’s general sins of ignorance.

    2. I hope the Senate Judiciary Committee takes a more free-wheeling approach to testing nominees’ “judicial temperament” going forward. Out of the blue they should ask nominees questions like, “when did you stop beating your wife?” and wonder aloud whether a nominee’s mother might have been a prostitute. Senator Whitehouse might peer down over his jowls and remind the nominee of the aphorism that if it isn’t true there is no reason to be upset and shake his head in disbelief at the nominee’s anger. Senator Hirono would read in her stilted monotone a claim that the nominee was bested in a hotdog eating contest and subsequently regurgitated upon the winner. The nominee would assert he was never in a hotdog eating contest and Hirono would insist that it’s right there in front of her and somebody said it. Maybe there wasn’t a hotdog eating contest but surely he regurgitated and she would like to yield her time. The Committee should question nominees’ children and former love interests as witnesses to their intemperance. I most look forward to Schumer on the Senate floor bemoaning the lack of civility and the audacious attempt to force such an ill-qualified nominee upon America. The Court is too good for that.

  8. The pivot to “temperament” came after the accusations were coming apart at the seams. David Post even said, with a straight face I assume, that he would have given K a pass if only he had been more restrained. Please.

    Also I’m sure that the interviewer knows nothing about what a defendant can and can’t say and do in a criminal trial. As one attorney said, “You’re the defendant, you can get up there and sing ‘Mary had a little lamb’ if you feel like it.”

    “Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose.” I’m sure that K felt like a man with nothing left to lose. His whole life had been ripped to shreds and his smug and smirking tormentors were sitting right there in front of him. I think he was quite restrained under the circumstances.

    1. The pivot to “temperament” came after the accusations were coming apart at the seams.

      It occurred when the nominee acted his a polemical, belligerent, partisan, conspiracy-hugging jackass.

      I don’t expect old timey bigots, lathered up about ‘losing their country’ by Fox News and Stormfront, to perceive or understand this.

      1. What I perceive and understand is that you have devolved into a pathetic keyboard warrior with a dozen macros. Surely you can take the time to expand them to at least twenty. It would be so much more entertaining. And now that your pal Loki has left the scene you’re looking a little lonely.

        1. If you didn’t like repetitive, polemical content you wouldn’t have spent more than a half-hour at the Volokh Conspiracy.

          1. Well at least that wasn’t a macro. Things are looking up.

      2. Arty, America belongs to Americans. Not subversive Marxist trash like you. Progressives really do belong in landfills.

  9. My opposition to Kavanaugh isn’t based on these allegations, but I think those pointing out his temperament isn’t one we’d want to see on the Court are correct.

    I’m more concerned with his conspiracy theory bromide than the fact he got angry on that score, however.

    There are people who have been convicted on evidence no more substantial than presented against him, and in this case the “court” (Grassley and the GOP majority) chose to ignore most of it. Anyone here ever hear of Brian Banks? Gary Dotson?

    Kavanaugh is part of a criminal justice system that pays lip service to “innocent until proven guilty” and ignores it in practice. I don’t have any sympathy for him in what he went through.

    1. You bring up two people who were falsely accused of rape to make a point against Kavanaugh? Yes people have been convicted on no more evidence than was presented against him. Emmet Till was unavailable for comment.

      The likely best evidence of the truth has been suppressed by Ford and her lawyers. If they supported her story why not release the therapist’s notes? It is frustrating that the JC couldn’t or wouldn’t subpoena them.

      And the “conspiracy theory bromide” was spot on.

      1. Educated, decent, accomplished Americans look at the Republican reaction to accusations about Brett Kavanaugh, remember the Central Park Five, and recognize that right-wingers are in general selectively outraged, intolerant jerks.

        America’s women — the educated, modern, reason-based women — watched Dr. Ford’s testimony, watched Brett Kavanaugh’s testimony, remembered Republicans’ reaction to Donald Trump’s ‘grab ’em’ talk, and watched Trump mock Dr. Ford, and recognize that the only right-wingers who do not appease misogyny are the anti-social, can’t-keep-up white males who embrace misogyny.

        See you at the polls for a generation, clingers.

        1. So you do support the release of the therapist’s notes. Good to know. I guess mocking Ford is just pointing out the gaping holes in her story. But keep up the “Believe Women” sloganeering. We can’t find a single instance of when they lied, except a couple that the guy above mentioned and dozens of others.

        2. That first sentence is spectacularly self-parodying, Rev! Thanks for the belly laugh. Salute!

        3. “America’s women — the educated, modern, reason-based women…”

          Let me guess, Arthur… educated women who disagree with you are not educated or modern?

          The old “women who disagree with me are not thinking for themselves…”

          Male feminists are always the most sexist.

          1. Some educated women are hostile to tolerance, reason, science, education, modernity, and the like.

            Backwardness and education tend not to mix, however. It’s similar to superstition and reason. Modernity and bigotry. Science and dogma. Inclusivity and insularity.

        4. Educated, decent, accomplished Americans look at the accusations about Brett Kavanaugh and remember the Duke Lacrosse team.

          1. As ive said, Democrats have a long history of believing women accusers. An awful lot of lynchings shows that.

            1. Republicans enjoy talking about how Democrats were bigots in the 1950s.

              Democrats can talk about how Republicans are bigots today.

              Fun fact: In many cases, they’re both talking about precisely the same people.

      2. @ donojack: Never asked, among so very many other questions:

        Was the couples therapy in 2012 the first therapy you’d had since 1982? Oh, it wasn’t? Tell us then, when did you ? a psychology Ph.D., with access to excellent healthcare, but an admitted history of depression and other mental health issues ? first begin therapy? Oh. And for how many years, in the aggregate, have you been in any sort of therapy with any licensed professional? I see. Would it be easier then for you to tell us how many years over those three decades you were NOT in therapy? Yes, thanks, that’s helpful. How many different professionals? Ah. You understand, of course, that the patient’s own efforts to be open and honest and forthcoming, even on painful topics and indeed, especially on those, are essential to the therapeutic process. Would you characterize yourself as a noncompliant patient in therapy? And you stand by your testimony that the first time you ever mentioned this assault in detail, or Judge Kavanaugh’s name, to anyone was the couples therapy in 2012?

        Please tell us, then, which of these two mutually exclusive alternatives is true, Dr. Ford: Throughout your ___ years of therapy, as you considered what you would say, or might refrain from saying, to any of those ___ therapists, did your sexual assault in 1982 simply never occur to you? Or, on the other hand, did it occur to you, but you nevertheless hid it from your therapists?

  10. Having listened to that from start to finish, I must comment Prof. V on his tolerance for fools.

    Her presumptions about what a defendant would “not be allowed” to say and do on the witness stand are hilarious. I shouted (at my computer speakers), “Have you ever BEEN in a courtroom, lady? Have you even seen a fictional trial on TV?”

    I think she wanted Sen. Harris to Taser Judge Kavanaugh, maybe have him bound and gagged, for the further proceedings. And right she is, too! For who among us can forget that dramatic moment when Judge Kavanaugh leapt from his chair, threw Sen. Kobuchar atop the table, and …. Oh wait, that didn’t happen. Hmm.

    1. *commend Prof. V, I meant to write.

  11. I don’t know anything about Professor Volokh’s experience as a practitioner, but I do know this: After more than 35 years of practice I have heard hundreds of witnesses testify at depositions, arbitrations, hearings, and trials. Anyone with that level of exposure gets to be pretty good at figuring out who is telling the truth and who is lying.

    I realize that the subject of the interview was temperment, but it seems to me that Kavanaugh’s behavior, rage, and emotion were secondary to the fact that he lied under oath, and it would have been nice to hear Professor Volokh at least touch on that issue.

    There must be hundreds of women and men – maybe even VC bloggers – who are just as qualified as Kavanaugh, but without the baggage. If Trump, McConnell, Graham, and the others had presented us with another Roberts or Alito or Gorsuch, we could have avoided the tragic events of the past couple of weeks.

    1. @ MoreCurious: Please identify the supposed “lie” you’re attributing to Judge Kavanaugh if you want to have a discussion about this subject. I listened to it all; I’ve read a ton of people express opinions that Judge Kavanaugh was lying; and I’ve yet to find a single one that could actually establish that proposition. I’ve read people quote the Urban Dictionary as if it were an authoritative source of what was in Kavanaugh’s head in 1982, for instance, regarding the term “Devil’s Triangle.” If that’s the level of your game, it’s not worth wasting time responding to you. But if you’ve got something better, tee it up, and let’s take a look.

    2. @ MoreCurious I’ve had my own 30 years of at times intense work in testimonial settings. I know that I *feel* like I am good at discerning a witnesses truth or lies, but science suggests that “experts” (at least those on the side of law and order) are very little better than chance at discerning lies. and others. I don’t think a person’s future should be decided by experts no better than a coin flip.

    3. “Anyone with that level of exposure gets to be pretty good at figuring out who is telling the truth and who is lying.”

      You might think this, its not true.

    4. First, I echo what others say. You may think you’re better, but studies tells us that you’re more than likely overestimating your abilities. Most likely, you’re no better than chance and wildly overconfident.

      Second, I’m not sure why you think there are just to options: telling the truth and lying. As it happens, I was deposing four key witnesses in a case on the day before and day of Kavanaugh’s and Ford’s testimony. There were numerous inconsistencies and discrepancies–and these were people who had been prepped by the same person testifying about events 2-3 years ago. But my sense was that, with a few exceptions, they weren’t “lying,” they were just confused/mis-remembering the events.

      That, of course, is where contemporaneous, corroborating evidence is helpful. Unfortunately, that didn’t exist here.

    5. Most people here are saying you’re misinformed and don’t know the studies on expert capability for detecting lies. I’m just gonna say it.. you’re a fucking idiot, you’re not a human lie detector. The rest of your post was ignorance based on your original false premise. This makes you a fucking partisan idiot.

    6. I’ve spent 28 years in courtrooms, and, not only can I not tell to any degree of certainty, who is lying, I have NEVER MET anyone who could.

      The first objection to Kavanaugh was “Roe vs Wade!!!!! (which, it must be noted is ALWAYS the first to any Republican nominee.)

      When that failed, it was: “he’s a sexual predator!!!!”.

      When that failed, it was “he got mad at the hearing!!!!”.

      When THAT failed, it was: “he lied about what ‘boof’, and “alumnus” meant!!!!”.

      Do you people not see why Trump won, and why, most likely, the R’s will now GAIN Senate seats?

      1. And Democrats talking about impeaching Kavanaugh next year are delusional.

        Even if they do win majority control in both houses of Congress in November, it is impossible for them to win a large enough Senate majority for an impeachment to have any chance of succeeding. There just aren’t enough Senate Seats up for re-election this year with Republican incumbents. Even if the Democrats run the table and win every single Senate seat on the ballot in November, the still won’t have the votes to convict on an impeachment without the Support of a Majority of Republican Senators.

        Having the house issue bills of impeachment against Kavanaugh and or Trump that then fail in the Senate will in the long run do more damage to the Democratic Party than it will to the Republican Party, Kavanaugh, or Trump.

  12. My only problem with this is that it lends some sense of totally undeserved gravitas to the whole idiotic narrative that Judge Kavanaugh’s judicial temperament was questionable. Get serious. When Kavanaugh was first before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Democratic Senators tried desperately to attack him on the basis of his judicial philosophy, searching for a reason to rationalize their predetermined no vote. When that utterly failed to gain any traction, Diane Feinstein pulled out the “confidential” letter from Christine Ford (making certain that someone, who knows who, had first leaked the allegations to WaPo) in an attempt to publicly smear Kavanaugn as a rapist and pervert. By the time Kavanaugh was called as a witness the second time around, it was clear that those accusations were losing traction, too. Ford had NOBODY willing to corroborate her claims, Deborah Ramirez’ claims were falling apart, and Julie Swernick was obviousy a publicity seeking looney. The Democrats needed a Hail Mary, so they latched onto “judicial temperament” as their only hope; it was never anything but a fig leaf to hide the fact that they would oppose Kavanaugh for no other reason than the President who nominated him.

  13. I’m not commenting on the accusations per se, but whether or not they are true, wouldn’t attacking a Supreme Court Justice in the manner in which Ford and others have engaged in, lead to consequences far greater than an overturning of Roe vs. Wade? Take New York Times vs. Sullivan for instance. As you may well know, that is the precedent that established the standard of “actual malice” to protect people and publications from the defamation actions of those in public office as it essentially requires a look into whether or not the publisher knew that the information was incorrect and intentionally refused retract the false information therefore showing a malicious intent. I personally think this could lead to a weakening of the actual malice standard for two reasons. First, Supreme Court Justices are not required to recuse themselves from cases and second, he might sympathize for the falsely accused in similar matters. What does everyone else think?

  14. The idiots who are yammering about judicial temperament have nothing on his temperament as a judge.
    Every person who wears, or ever has worn, a judicial robe has gotten pissed off in public–some have even done so from the bench–something no lib has been able to accuse Kav of.

    1. A particular strain* of this argument circulating among liberal academics is that Kavanaugh holding members of the Left responsible for his treatment is what proves he doesn’t have the appropriate temperament. It wasn’t only that he was upset, the argument goes, but that he revealed an extreme partisanship that destroys any plausible objection that he is merely serving as a constitutional umpire.

      *pun intended

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