News, Off Campus, Top Story, Administration

UPDATE: 24 BC Law Professors Sign Onto Letter to the Senate Condemning Kavanaugh Nomination

Twenty-four Boston College Law School professors signed onto a letter with over 2400 signatories asking the U. S. Senate not to confirm U. S. Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh. The letter was sent to The New York Times, and it will be presented to the U. S. Senate on Thursday. Kavanaugh is facing multiple accusations of sexual assault.

Ten BC Law professors initially signed on when the letter was published. They are Cheryl Bratt, assistant professor of the practice; Kent Greenfield, professor of law and Dean’s distinguished scholar; Hiba Hafiz, assistant professor of law; Ray Madoff, professor of law; Patricia A. McCoy, professor of law; Alan D. Minuskin, clinical professor; Vlad Perju, professor of law; Zygmunt Plater, professor of law; Francine Sherman, clinical professor; and Mark Spiegel, professor of law.

Six more BC Law professors have signed onto the letter as of Thursday morning. They are Mary Sarah Bilder, founders professor of law; Jane Kent Gionfriddo, professor emerita; Kari Hong, assistant professor; Daniel Kanstroom, professor of law; Joseph P. Liu, professor of law; Evangeline Sarda, associate clinical professor of law.

Eight more BC Law professors signed onto the the letter as of Thursday night. They are Robert M. Bloom, professor of law; Mark Brodin, professor of law; Filippa Marullo Anzalone, professor of law; Lynnise Pantin, associate clinical professor of law; Brian JM Quinn, associate professor of law; James R. Repetti, William J. Kenealy, S.J., professor of law; Ana M. Rivera, visiting clinical professor; Natalya Shnitser, Donohue assistant professor.

The letter describes the signatories as “law professors who teach, research, and write about the judicial institutions of this country.” In addition, the letter noted that many of the signatories appear before state and federal courts, including the Supreme Court.

“We regret that we feel compelled to write to you, our Senators, to provide our views that at the Senate hearings on Sept. 27, Judge Brett Kavanaugh displayed a lack of judicial temperament that would be disqualifying for any court, and certainly for elevation to the highest court of this land,” the letter said.

The letter noted that, despite emotions being high at the hearing due to “the question at issue,” Kavanaugh “exhibited a lack of commitment to judicious inquiry.” The letter criticized his aggressiveness and “intemperate, inflammatory and partial manner” as the reason behind the signatories’ rejection of his candidacy for the court.

The letter was specifically critical of Kavanaugh’s perceived lack of impartiality, citing the Congressional Research Service and Federalist 78—written by Alexander Hamilton—as evidence that judges cannot express anything but “integrity and moderation.” Kavanaugh’s approach to Democrat questioners and his decision to call the investigation into his actions is “a calculated and orchestrated political hit” were disqualifying actions in the eyes of the letter’s signatories.

“We have different views about the other qualifications of Judge Kavanaugh,” the letter said. “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.”

Update (10/4/18, 10:43 p.m.): This article and its headline have been edited to show that now 24 professors have signed the letter. Originally, both the article and headline cited the first 10 to sign on and was updated when 16 professors had signed on Thursday morning.

Featured Image by Celine Lim / Heights Editor

October 4, 2018

The Heights is an independent student newspaper that relies partly on donations to continue its award-winning coverage of Boston College and beyond. During College Media Madness, consider supporting the 501(c)3 nonprofit.