Bipartisan Acclaim For Judge Kavanaugh Is ‘Deep, Broad And Enthusiastic’

Those Who Know Judge Kavanaugh, Have Worked With Him, Learned From Him, Or Studied His Jurisprudence Praise Him


Legal Scholars And Experts Recognize Judge Kavanaugh As ‘Immensely Qualified For The Supreme Court’ And Say He ‘Commands Wide And Deep Respect Among Scholars, Lawyers And Jurists’

Law School Deans: ‘There Can Be No Serious Doubt That Judge Kavanaugh Is Eminently Qualified By His Ability, Training, Education, Character, Judicial Demeanor, And Record On The Bench’

KATE STITH, Former Acting Dean of Yale Law School: “[Judge Kavanaugh] is a terrific judge…. In my federal criminal law class, I love teaching his opinions because they are smart, thoughtful, and clear. He’s also been a wonderful mentor and teacher to our students—not just to those who clerk for him, but those who meet with him during one of his many visits to Yale Law School.” (“Brett Kavanaugh ’90 Nominated to U.S. Supreme Court,” YLS Today, Yale Law School Website, 7/09/2018)

HEATHER K. GERKEN, Dean of Yale Law School: “I have known Brett Kavanaugh for many years…. I can personally attest that, in addition to his government and judicial service, Judge Kavanaugh has been a longtime friend to many of us in the Yale Law School community. Ever since I joined the faculty, I have admired him for serving as a teacher and mentor to our students and for hiring a diverse set of clerks, in all respects, during his time on the court.” (“Brett Kavanaugh ’90 Nominated to U.S. Supreme Court,” YLS Today, Yale Law School Website, 7/09/2018)

DAVID F. LEVI, former Dean of Duke Law School: “There can be no serious doubt that Judge Kavanaugh is eminently qualified by his ability, training, education, character, judicial demeanor, and record on the bench.” (David F. Levi, Letter to Sens. Grassley and Feinstein, 8/07/2018)

  • LEVI: “I have read some of the comments by fellow deans and academics, and by former law clerks of Judge Kavanaugh. I find it quite extraordinary that Judge Kavanaugh has such a broad base of support among academics, who highly respect him for his inspiration of their students and for the brilliance of his judicial opinions, and among his former law clerks, who have found him such a wonderful mentor and example. I can assure you that this kind of deep, broad, and enthusiastic support is unusual and telling of the character and ability of Judge Kavanaugh.” (David F. Levi, Letter to Sens. Grassley and Feinstein, 8/07/2018)


Law School Professors: ‘It Is Hard To Name Anyone With Judicial Credentials As Strong As Those Of Judge Kavanaugh’

AKHIL REED AMAR, Yale Law School Professor: “In 2016, I strongly supported Hillary Clinton for president … But today … it is hard to name anyone with judicial credentials as strong as those of Judge Kavanaugh. He sits on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (the most influential circuit court) and commands wide and deep respect among scholars, lawyers and jurists.” (Akhil Reed Amar, Op-Ed, “A Liberal’s Case for Brett Kavanaugh,” 7/09/2018)

  • AMAR: “Good appellate judges faithfully follow the Supreme Court; great ones influence and help steer it. Several of Judge Kavanaugh’s most important ideas and arguments — such as his powerful defense of presidential authority to oversee federal bureaucrats and his skepticism about newfangled attacks on the property rights of criminal defendants — have found their way into Supreme Court opinions.” (Akhil Reed Amar, Op-Ed, “A Liberal’s Case for Brett Kavanaugh,” 7/09/2018)

ABBE R. GLUCK, Yale Law Professor and former special counsel to former Gov. Jon Corzine (D-NJ): “Brett Kavanaugh is a true intellectual--a leading thinker and writer on the subjects of statutory interpretation and federal courts; an incomparable mentor--someone who picks law clerks of all backgrounds and viewpoints; and a fair-minded jurist who believes in the rule of law.  He is humble, collegial and cares deeply about the federal courts.” (“Brett Kavanaugh ’90 Nominated to U.S. Supreme Court,” YLS Today, Yale Law School Website, 7/09/2018)

JACK GOLDSMITH, Harvard Law Professor And Hoover Institute Senior Fellow: “Brett Kavanaugh is immensely qualified for the Supreme Court: an outstanding lawyer and judge; a great teacher and serious scholar of the law; and a generous, honorable, kind person.” (Jack Goldsmith, @jacklgoldsmith, Twitter, 7/09/2018)

JONATHAN H. ADLER, Case Western Reserve University Law Professor: “Judge Kavanaugh is widely respected on the Supreme Court. Many of his clerks go on to clerk at One First Street. More importantly, his opinions attract notice from the justices. Several of his dissents have been vindicated by subsequent Supreme Court decisions…. Judge Kavanaugh takes separation of powers seriously … Like his former boss, Justice Kennedy, Judge Kavanaugh has a broad understanding of the freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment …” (Jonathan H. Adler, “Justice Kavanaugh, The Volokh Conspiracy Blog, 7/09/2018)

EUGENE VOLOKH, UCLA Law Professor and Volokh Conspiracy Blog Founder: “I just wanted to briefly praise Brett Kavanaugh, whom I know from clerking, and whose work I've followed since he has been on the D.C. Circuit. He's extremely smart and thoughtful, an excellent writer, and, if confirmed, is likely to be an intellectual leader on the Court.” (Eugene Volokh, “Kavanaugh Nomination,” The Volokh Conspiracy Blog, 7/10/2018)

144 LAW PROFESSORS:We are a diverse group of legal scholars who hold varied opinions about politics, legal scholarship, and the proper way to resolve cases that come before the Supreme Court.  But we all agree that Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh displays outstanding scholarly and academic virtues and that he would bring to the Court an exceptional record of distinction in judicial service. Many of us have learned from Judge Kavanaugh’s articles, speeches, and opinions, which have contributed significantly to the scholarly literature and prompted thoughtful discussion…. We are also impressed by Judge Kavanaugh’s long record of teaching and mentoring students of diverse backgrounds.” (144 Law Professors, Letter to Sens. Grassley and Feinstein, 8/28/2018)


Legal Experts: Judge Kavanaugh Is ‘An Outstanding Lawyer And Judge,’ And ‘There Are No Objective Or Qualification-Based Reasons To Oppose Him’

DAVID LAT, Above The Law: “The selection of Judge Kavanaugh — a deeply respected, long-serving judge of the D.C. Circuit, the second most important court in the country after the Supreme Court — makes perfect sense…. Judge Kavanaugh has an impeccable résumé: Yale College, Yale Law School, a SCOTUS clerkship, government service (the Justice Department and White House), Big law practice (partnership at Kirkland & Ellis), and more than a dozen years of distinguished service on the D.C. Circuit. There are no objective or qualification-based reasons to oppose him. Judge Kavanaugh is not just brilliant but also extremely likable, and he will perform superbly at his hearings (even better than Justice Gorsuch, I predict).” (David Lat, “Meet President Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee: Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh!,” Above The Law Blog, 7/09/2018)

TOM GOLDSTEIN, SCOTUSBlog Publisher and Lecturer at Harvard Law School: “[W]hat I think the president did is he picked someone who is a really well-known person, has a lot of very strong credentials, a lot of experience …” (MSNBC, 7/09/2018)

ILYA SHAPIRO, CATO Institute: “One of the most scholarly members of the judiciary, Kavanaugh’s more than 300 opinions are read widely and influence courts across the country — including the one that he now hopes to join. There are few if any more respected lower-court judges.” (Ilya Shapiro, Op-Ed, “Trump Makes A Shrewd Political Move With Supreme Court Pick,” New York Post, 7/10/2018)

NINA TOTENBERG, NPR: “You saw a very graceful, gracious nominee…. [I]f he’s confirmed, one assumes that he will be an enormously influential member of the Court, and very quickly…. He is, as I said, an enormously skilled … jurist, who, as far as I can tell, gets along with his colleagues very well … And that is the picture of somebody who is, potentially, a very influential member of the United States Supreme Court.” (MSNBC, 7/09/2018)

41 MEMBERS OF THE SUPREME COURT BAR: “We hold a broad range of political, policy, and jurisprudential views, but we speak as one in supporting Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination. Judge Kavanaugh has a well-deserved reputation as an outstanding jurist…. Those of us who have appeared before him appreciate his impressive ability to distill complex legal issues to their essence, the incisiveness of his questions, and the unfailing courtesy he extends to his colleagues and to counsel who appear before him. Based on our experience with Judge Kavanaugh and his work over 12 years of distinguished judicial service, we are confident that he possesses the character, temperament and intellect that will make him an asset to our Nation’s highest Court.” (41 Members of the Supreme Court Bar, Letter to Sens. Grassley and Feinstein, 8/27/2018)

13 STATE ATTORNEYS GENERAL: “Judge Kavanaugh is an outstanding jurist with a proven commitment to upholding the Constitution and the rule of law. We have no doubt that he possesses the qualifications, temperament, and judicial philosophy to be an excellent Associate Justice…. As the Attorneys General of our respective states, we have a special interest in ensuring that the federal government respects the important role of the States in crafting and tailoring regulatory policy on matters of local concern…. We are confident Judge Kavanaugh appreciates that balance …” (13 State Attorneys General, Letter to Sens. McConnell, Schumer, Grassley, and Feinstein, 7/12/2018)


Liberals Praise Judge Kavanaugh As ‘The Most Qualified Person Any Republican President Could Possibly Have Nominated’

Former Obama Administration Solicitors General: ‘He Carries Out All Phases Of His Responsibilities As A Judge … In An Exemplary Way,’

‘Very Hard For Anyone Who’s Worked With Him, Appeared Before Him, To Frankly Say A Bad Word About Him’

NEAL KATYAL, Former Obama Administration Solicitor General: “I think it’s very hard for anyone who’s worked with [Judge Kavanaugh], appeared before him, to frankly say a bad word about him. I mean this is a[n] incredibly brilliant, careful person … [H]e’s legendary for his preparation … Judge Kavanaugh reads every one of those [Supreme Court] opinions, sits down with his clerks on Fridays and goes through them. Each one. Every single opinion.” (“Scholars & Scribes Review the Rulings: The Supreme Court's 2017-2018 Term,” The Heritage Foundation, 7/10/2018)

DONALD VERRILLI Jr., Former Obama Administration Solicitor General: “Judge Kavanaugh is a brilliant jurist and he’s a very gracious person, both on the bench and off. I recently had an oral argument in front of Judge Kavanaugh and two other members of the D.C. Circuit back a few months ago, in which he asked a whole lot of very intense, very incisive questions, which is his wont. But I think he carries out all phases of his responsibilities as a judge in the way you’d want, in an exemplary way.” (“Legal Speak” Podcast, 7/13/2018)


Former Lawyer For President Clinton: ‘Brett Is The Most Qualified Person Any Republican President Could Possibly Have Nominated,’ ‘I Urge The Senate To Confirm Him With Bipartisan Support’

ROBERT S. BENNETT, Former Clinton Lawyer: “Judge Brett Kavanaugh would be an extraordinary Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. I urge the Senate to confirm him with bipartisan support…. Brett is the most qualified person any Republican President could possibly have nominated.” (Robert S. Bennett, Letter to Sens. Grassley and Feinstein, 8/28/2018)


‘Liberal Democrat And Feminist’ Who Has ‘Argued 35 Cases Before The Supreme Court’: ‘The Senate Should Confirm Him,’ ‘Sometimes A Superstar Is Just A Superstar. That Is The Case With Judge Brett Kavanaugh’

LISA BLATT, head of Supreme Court practice for Arnold & Porter:  “Sometimes a superstar is just a superstar. That is the case with Judge Brett Kavanaugh, who had long been considered the most qualified nominee for the Supreme Court if Republicans secured the White House. The Senate should confirm him.” (“I’m a Liberal Feminist Lawyer. Here’s Why Democrats Should Support Judge Kavanaugh.,” Politico Magazine, 8/02/2018)


Judge Kavanaugh’s Former Clerks Say ‘He Masters Every Detail And Rereads Every Precedent’ And Celebrate Him As ‘One Of The Strongest Advocates In The Federal Judiciary For Women Lawyers’

34 OF JUDGE KAVANAUGH’S CLERKS: “Judge Kavanaugh’s qualifications to join the Supreme Court are beyond question….  It is in his role as a judge on the D.C. Circuit that we know Judge Kavanaugh best. During his time on the D.C. Circuit, Judge Kavanaugh has come to work every day dedicated to engaging in the hard work of judging. We never once saw him take a shortcut, treat a case as unimportant, or search for an easy answer. Instead, in each case, large or small, he masters every detail and rereads every precedent. He listens carefully to the views of his colleagues and clerks, even – indeed, especially – when they differ from his own. He drafts opinions painstakingly, writing and rewriting until he is satisfied each opinion is clear and well-reasoned, and can be understood not only by lawyers but by the parties and the public.” (34 Clerks for Judge Kavanaugh, Letter to Sens. Grassley and Feinstein, 7/09/2018)

18 OF JUDGE KAVANAUGH’S WOMEN CLERKS: “[W]e feel compelled to write separately to convey our uniformly positive experiences with the Judge as a boss on issues of gender and equality in the workplace…. In our view, the Judge has been one of the strongest advocates in the federal judiciary for women lawyers…. It is not an exaggeration to say that we would not be the professors, prosecutors, public officials, and appellate advocates we are today without his enthusiastic encouragement and unwavering support.(18 Women Clerks for Judge Kavanaugh, Letter to Sens. Grassley and Feinstein, 7/12/2018)


Judge Kavanaugh’s Legal Colleagues With ‘A Broad Range Of Political Views’ Say He ‘Would Be A Fair-Minded And Conscientious Successor To Justice Kennedy’

72 FELLOW FORMER CLERKS FOR JUSTICE KENNEDY: “Though our views on politics, law, and the issues that come before the Supreme Court are diverse, we have come together to express our conviction that Judge Kavanaugh would be a fair-minded and conscientious successor to Justice Kennedy…. Much like Justice Kennedy, Judge Kavanaugh has made clear that he holds both the law and the principle of judicial independence in the highest regard.” (72 Former Justice Kennedy Clerks, Letter to Sens. Grassley and Feinstein, 8/02/2018)

16 OF JUDGE KAVANAUGH’S COLLEAGUES AT KIRKLAND & ELLIS: “We all worked with Brett when he was a partner at Kirkland & Ellis in the late 1990s and early 2000s.  We saw first hand that he consistently displayed a keen intellect, sound judgment, exceptional analytical ability, and the highest level of integrety in representing our clients.  Beyond that, we learned that Brett is an unfailingly fair-minded, kind, and modest person, that he has a great, self-deprecating sense of humor, and that he was always an amiable colleague.  We are all proud to have worked with him. Although we hold a broad range of political views, we all believe that Brett is well suited by his talent, collegial demeanor, and integrity to be an outstanding justice on the Supreme Court.” (16 Kirkland & Ellis Coworkers, Letter to Sens. Grassley and Feinstein, 8/27/2018)


Judge Kavanaugh’s Bush White House Colleagues: ‘He Is Among The Very Finest Candidates Who Could Be Nominated To Serve On The Court,’ ‘A Brilliant Lawyer, A Thoughtful Friend, And A Man Of The Highest Integrity’

21 OF JUDGE KAVANAUGH’S COLLEUAGES FROM THE GEORGE W. BUSH WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL’S OFFICE: “Each of us worked directly with him and observed first-hand his professional and personal conduct…. We offer three personal insights into Judge Kavanaugh’s qualifications. First, we know that he is among the very finest candidates who could be nominated to serve on the Court at this time…. Second, we personally witnessed how Judge Kavanaugh performed his duties as Associate Counsel to the President and as Staff Secretary. He was extraordinarily skilled, diligent, and honorable, with a respectful temperament…. Third, we observed that Judge Kavanaugh properly understood his White House role and the role of the Presidency under the Constitution…. We also know that Judge Kavanaugh fully appreciates that the Constitution assigns to an Article III judge different responsibilities. We urge this Committee to report Judge Kavanaugh favorably to the full Senate for a prompt vote to confirm him as an Associate Justice.” (21 Former George W. Bush White House Counsel’s Office Employees, Letter to Sens. Grassley and Feinstein, 8/28/2018)

84 OF JUDGE KAVANAUGH’S FORMER WOMEN COLLEAGUES FROM THE GEORGE W. BUSH WHITE HOUSE: “We are united in our admiration for Judge Kavanaugh as a public servant and as a person.  He would be an exceptional Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.  We strongly urge the Senate to confirm him promptly…. [I]n Brett Kavanaugh, we got to know a brilliant lawyer, a thoughtful friend, and a man of the highest integrity…. As former colleagues of Brett’s, we know his commitment to equal treatment of women in the workplace and are especially proud of his efforts to encourage and support women lawyers. More than half of Brett’s law clerks have been women, and he has worked tirelessly to support them in their legal careers.” (84 Former George W. Bush White House Women Staffers, 8/29/2018)


Judge Kavanaugh’s Classmates: ‘We Are Firmly Convinced That His Allegiance As A Supreme Court Justice Would Be Only To The Constitution … And Not To Any Partisan Interests’

23 OF JUDGE KAVANAUGH’S CLASSMATES FROM YALE LAW SCHOOL: “We are a bipartisan group of Brett Kavanaugh’s classmates from the Yale Law School Class of 1990. Many of us have kept in touch with him ever since and value his friendship greatly…. Judge Kavanaugh is a person anyone would be proud to have as a friend…. Disagreements we may have had over the years about policy views have not diminished our conviction that Judge Kavanaugh is a fair-minded and reasonable judge who seeks to interpret and apply the law fairly. Based on our years of knowing Judge Kavanaugh, we are firmly convinced that his allegiance as a Supreme Court justice would be only to the Constitution and laws of the United States and not to any partisan interests.” (23 Members of the Yale Law School Class of 1990, Letter to Sens. Grassley and Feinstein, 8/27/2018)


Judge Kavanaugh’s Harvard Law Students Recognize Him As ‘A Rigorous Thinker, A Devoted Teacher, And A Gracious Person’

80 OF JUDGE KAVANAUGH’S FORMER HARVARD LAW SCHOOL STUDENTS: “We also represent a broad spectrum of political and ideological beliefs, as well as perspectives on judicial philosophy … but we all agree on one thing: Judge Kavanaugh is a rigorous thinker, a devoted teacher, and a gracious person. Judge Kavanaugh was an inspiring professor and impressive intellect…. Both inside and outside the classroom, Judge Kavanaugh evinced a genuine warmth and interest in his students and their careers.” (88 Harvard Law School Alumni, Letter to Sens. Grassley and Feinstein, 7/19/2018)


Those Who Know Judge Kavanaugh Through His Volunteer Work Call Him ‘A Devoted Coach And Mentor,’ And ‘A Man Of Great Character And Integrity,’ Who Is ‘Committed To His Community’ And ‘Make[s] A Lasting Difference In Our Students’ Lives’

PARENTS OF BLESSED SACRAMENT GIRLS’ BASKETBALL PLAYERS: “Brett Kavanaugh has been a devoted coach and mentor to our daughters…. On the sidelines during games, he led by example.  He was composed and respectful. His players were expected to follow suit. He encouraged his players in a positive way to be as competitive as they could be…. In addition to his long list of professional and academic accomplishments, we hope that the Committee will also consider Brett Kavanaugh’s contributions as a volunteer youth basketball coach–and the service, selflessness, dedication, and commitment his coaching exhibits –to our community.” (Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament Parish Girls’ Basketball Parents, Letter to Sens. Grassley and Feinstein, 8/10/2018)

MONSIGNOR JOHN ENZLER, President and CEO, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington, DC:  “I have known Brett for 40 years, having first met him when he was an altar boy at Little Flower Parish, Bethesda, MD. I watched him grow up … I was blessed to co-officiate his wedding to Ashley and to baptize both of his daughters. He is a man of great character and integrity, with a great sense of humor. He is known by all as a wonderful husband and father … More recently I have been able to see him quite often as he has volunteered on a monthly basis at our dinner program, ‘St. Maria's Meals.’ He has served food to the homeless many times over the past several years … So, I know Brett to be a man committed to his community and those less fortunate. I also know him to be someone who is well-loved by his neighbors as ‘the guy next door’ -  no pretense, no need to flout his background or intellectual skills … doing the best he can in whatever he does, and doing that on behalf of the community in which he lives, and the nation he serves so well.” (Msgr. John J. Enzler, Letter to Sens. Grassley and Feinstein, 8/23/2018)

WILLIAM B. WHITAKER, Founding President, Washington Jesuit Academy: “For more than two years, Brett was a regular presence at our school, serving as a tutor to many of our middle schoolers. He would come to WJA week after week in the late afternoon and meet with a small group of students. Brett would help with homework, work on improving study skills, and help students become stronger readers…. Without fanfare, without attention, without anyone watching, Brett Kavanaugh has volunteered at WJA to make a lasting difference in our students’ lives. His actions have helped build confidence in our students, putting them on the path to success. His good works have helped shape the character of our students, and serve as a testament to his own strength of character.” (William B. Whitaker, President, Washington Jesuit Academy, Letter to Sens. Grassley and Feinstein, 8/29/2018)




Related Issues: Judicial Nominations, Supreme Court, Nominations