Chief counsel of the Judicial Crisis Network and a close ally of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, Carrie Severino, says the judge’s zealous — and at times confrontational — defense of his character corresponds with the wide range of emotions felt by the public at large after sexual misconduct allegations were lodged against him.
Speaking with The Daily Caller News Foundation after Thursday’s emotionally wrought hearings, Severino countered charges that Kavanaugh’s performance raised questions as to his temperament.
“I’m sure that range of emotions probably reflects what he and frankly a lot of the country has felt going through this crazy news cycle,” Severino told TheDCNF.
“You saw the real Brett Kavanaugh there,” she added.
Severino clerked on the Supreme Court for Justice Clarence Thomas, who was himself accused of sexual misconduct by Anita Hill at a late stage of his confirmation process.
In the course of his remarks Thursday, Kavanaugh noted his wife — Ashley Estes Kavanaugh — received death threats at her work email after Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations of sexual misconduct first appeared in The Washington Post. The U.S. Marshals Service is pursuing the matter. (RELATED: Kavanaugh Fight Leaves Supreme Court Shorthanded For New Term)
In the absence of evidence corroborating numerous claims of sexual misconduct on Kavanaugh’s part, some Democrats have adopted a slightly different posture, citing Kavanaugh’s performance at Sept. 27’s hearing as a legitimate ground of opposition. These lawmakers argue the judge’s rousing defense and sharp exchanges are unbecoming of the judiciary, where dispassion, patience, and generosity are essential.
“Judge Kavanaugh did not reflect an impartial temperament or the fairness and even-handedness one would see in a judge,” Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California said Friday. “He was aggressive and belligerent.”
The American Bar Association’s standing committee on the federal judiciary gave Kavanaugh high marks for temperament in its assessment of his qualifications for the Supreme Court, noting the lawyers and judges with whom he worked overwhelming praised his comportment.
“He always approaches cases intelligently and respectful of the views of others with whom he disagreed,” one anonymous reviewer wrote, whose comments were representative of feedback the ABA received.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the chamber would move on Kavanaugh’s nomination this week, in brief remarks Monday afternoon on the Senate floor.
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