I have been a Maine lawyer for 52 years, including participation as a litigator, private judge and court-appointed special master in civil and criminal trials in which I had to judge witness credibility.

I have followed the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on whether the committee should advance the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh and whether the full Senate should “consent” to his appointment to the court.

Judge Kavanaugh’s performance before the committee has not only magnified, but also overshadowed, the issues of (1) the partisan nature of the appointment process; (2) his participation in a culture of excessive alcohol and misogyny; (3) criminal sexual assault testimony against him; (4) a supposedly thorough FBI investigation; and (5) the appropriate burden of persuasion for a proponent (Judge Kavanaugh) asserting a proposition (his qualification to be on the Supreme Court).

The top issue is Kavanaugh’s performance. His testimony and demeanor on the stand, taken as a whole, demonstrated beyond a reasonable doubt he doesn’t have the judicial temperament, regard for the truth, respect for individuals, respect for the legislative branch, and freedom from political and ideological influence to be on any court, much less the Supreme Court.

Quite the opposite. He came across as a deeply disturbed individual with personality and psychological issues, including a severe anger management problem, a deep sense of entitlement and extreme hubris.

If he gave that performance before a Maine legislative committee seeking a Maine District Court position, I have no doubt he would be summarily rejected.

No fair-minded person, no matter their political stripe, including Sen. Susan Collins and every other senator, should want it on their consciences that they put someone like that on the highest court in the land.

David Plimpton

Cape Elizabeth


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