The Democratic effort to torpedo the Kavanaugh nomination took another hit today. The NY Times reviewed 700 pages of anonymous evaluations submitted by law students at Harvard, Yale, and Georgetown and found that Kavanaugh was almost universally viewed as an excellent professor who made an effort to present a balanced view of the law despite his personal convictions:
Over the last decade, about 350 law students at Harvard, Yale and Georgetown expressed views on classes offered by Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee. With rare exceptions, they praised his mastery of legal materials, intellectual rigor, fair-mindedness and accessibility.
“I honestly believe I took a class that was instructed by a future Supreme Court justice,” a Georgetown student wrote in 2007…
On the whole, in 12 sets of evaluations spanning 700 pages, there was almost only glowing praise for Judge Kavanaugh’s teaching. More than a few students said he was the most impressive law school professor they had encountered.
“Significantly better than any full-time faculty I’ve had,” a Harvard student wrote. “Kavanaugh is the best professor I have had in law school,” wrote another. “Best class I’ve taken at HLS by a mile,” said a third…
Colleen Roh Sinzdak, who took a class of his in 2009, said Judge Kavanaugh’s presentations were balanced.
“I’m definitely on the left,” she said. “If you didn’t know — and in fact I did not know at the time, and was told later — that Judge Kavanaugh had worked in the Bush administration, I don’t think you would have been able to say this is a conservative.”
You can almost hear the sad trombones playing in Washington, DC as frazzled Democrats look for something with which to attack Kavanaugh. Of course, there is one left-wing group quoted in the piece who warns not to read too much into the evaluations. I’m sure she’d have said the same thing if these evaluations had been unfavorable.
Author J.D. Vance, who is a former student of Kavanaugh’s, pointed out that there’s significant overlap between being a good professor and being a good judge. Specifically, it’s about not assuming your opponents are wrong or worse, assuming they’re idiots.
“He really didn’t like it when you’d try to tear down another argument unfairly,” said Mr. Vance, whose wife, Usha Vance, served as a law clerk to Judge Kavanaugh. “He really wanted you to identify the best version of an argument and not assume that your intellectual opponents were all idiots. That goes to how he’ll treat litigants. It goes to how he’ll treat his colleagues on the bench.”
All of this has to be disappointing to Democrats in the Senate who are refusing to even meet with Kavanaugh until they have a promise that his documents will be produced. They’re doing this in hopes they can turn up something which can be used against him. In fact, Sen. Grassley has already called the demands from Democrats a fishing expedition:
On the Senate floor, Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, blasted Democrats from not meeting with Kavanaugh.
“I understand that, so far, no Senate Democrat has met with Judge Kavanaugh,” Grassley said. “They are apparently awaiting their marching orders from the minority leader. Well, the American people elected senators to represent them, not the minority leader. And when Senate Democrats have largely already made up their minds to vote against Judge Kavanaugh — and none of them have even met with him — their demands for an unprecedented paper chase sound more and more like a demand for a taxpayer-funded fishing expedition.”
As I’ve written before, you have to feel a tiny bit sorry for Senate Democrats who are under immense pressure to block Kavanaugh’s confirmation despite the fact they have no available means to do so. In case you’ve forgotten, here’s a taste of the unhinged reaction to his nomination from the left: