The opposition to Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court has been frantic and hyperbolic, but the Press Herald’s headline “Don’t trust lying, partisan Kavanaugh,” above a letter by Andrew Hamilton, is especially egregious (Aug. 6). This used to be called “yellow journalism.”

In a letter full of errors and uninformed speculation, Hamilton claims that Kavanaugh lied in his 2006 Circuit Court of Appeals confirmation hearings about his involvement in the Bush administration’s detainee policy. There isn’t a speck of evidence for the allegation. Kavanaugh was asked for his opinion about how Justice Kennedy (for whom Kavanaugh had clerked) might react to certain aspects of the policy, but several Bush White House officials have said that the policy was highly compartmentalized, and that Kavanaugh had no need to know about all of them.

Hamilton says that Kavanaugh authored a “breathtaking lone dissent” in Garza v. Hargan (2017). Not so. Kavanaugh was joined in dissent by two other judges in a case in which the majority created a right for an unaccompanied, illegal immigrant teenager to have an immediate abortion before being turned over to a sponsor. Hamilton’s assertion that Kavanaugh “has voted against Supreme Court precedent repeatedly” is simply not true.

Lisa Blatt, who describes herself as a “liberal Democrat and feminist,” has argued 35 cases before the Supreme Court, more than any other woman, and worked in the Solicitor General’s Office during the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations. Her view on Kavanaugh: “He is supremely qualified” and should be confirmed, “not because he will come out the way I want in each case, or even most cases, but because he will do the job with dignity, intelligence, empathy and integrity,” she wrote in a recent Politico op-ed.

Opponents can disagree all they want with Kavanaugh’s jurisprudence, but specious allegations are no substitute for facts and informed opinion.

Martin Jones


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