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10/12/2018 9:22:00 AM
Kavanaugh testimony before Senate could erode faith in court: IU law professor

Michael Reschke, Herald-Times

Partisan comments Brett Kavanaugh made during his confirmation hearing might not impact the U.S. Supreme Court right away, but they could contribute to an erosion of faith in the judiciary branch of government.

The Supreme Court’s power lies in the willingness of the public and officeholders to accept its judgments as law, said Steve Sanders, an associate professor at Indiana University’s Maurer School of Law.

“What happens if that changes?” he asked. 

Sanders was one of more than 2,400 law professors who signed a letter earlier this month urging the U.S. Senate to vote against confirming Kavanaugh to the court. The reasoning was not based on accusations of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh, but his temperament during confirmation hearings.

“Instead of trying to sort out with reason and care the allegations that were raised, Judge Kavanaugh responded in an intemperate, inflammatory and partial manner, as he interrupted and, at times, was discourteous to senators,” the letter read.

Sanders took issue with comments Kavanaugh made about the behavior of Democratic senators being an embarrassment and saying at one point, “what goes around comes around.” Sanders was also critical of Kavanaugh’s interactions with senators. When Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar asked Kavanaugh whether he had ever drank so much alcohol it impaired his memory, Kavanaugh responded by asking her the same question.

“A judge would never put up with that kind of behavior from a litigant in their court,” Sanders said.

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