Open Letter to Senate Judiciary Committee from Yale Law Faculty

As the Senate Judiciary Committee debates Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination, we write as faculty members of Yale Law School, from which Judge Kavanaugh graduated, to urge that the Senate conduct a fair and deliberate confirmation process. With so much at stake for the Supreme Court and the nation, we are concerned about a rush to judgment that threatens both the integrity of the process and the public’s confidence in the Court.

Where, as here, a sexual assault has been alleged against an individual nominated for a lifetime appointment in a position of public trust, a partisan hearing alone cannot be the forum to determine the truth of the matter. Allegations of sexual assault require a neutral factfinder and an investigation that can ascertain facts fairly.  Those at the FBI or others tasked with such an investigation must have adequate time to investigate facts. Fair process requires evidence from all parties with direct knowledge and consultation of experts when evaluating such evidence. In subsequent hearings, all of those who testify, and particularly women testifying about sexual assault, must be treated with respect.

The confirmation process must always be conducted, and appointments made, in a manner that gives Americans reason to trust the Supreme Court.  Some questions are so fundamental to judicial integrity that the Senate cannot rush past them without undermining the public’s confidence in the Court. This is particularly so for an appointment that will yield a deciding vote on women’s rights and myriad other questions of immense consequence in American lives.

Amy Kapczynski
Reva Siegel
Doug NeJaime
Muneer Ahmad
Owen Fiss
Harold Hongju Koh
Robert Post
Abbe Gluck
Judith Resnik
Dennis E. Curtis
Scott Shapiro
Steven Duke
Gideon Yaffe
Paul W. Kahn
Doug Kysar
Bruce Ackerman
John Fabian Witt
Claire Priest
J.L. Pottenger, Jr. 
Stephen Wizner
Cristina Rodríguez
W. Michael Reisman
Fiona Doherty
Alvin K. Klevorick
Oona Hathaway
Jack Balkin
David Singh Grewal
Mike Wishnie
Issa Kohler-Hausmann
James Silk
James Forman, Jr.
Taisu Zhang
Monica Bell
Miriam Gohara
Carol Rose
Anika Singh Lemar
Zachary Liscow
Marisol Orihuela
Daniel Markovits
Vicki Schultz
Lea Brilmayer
Yair Listokin
Tom Tyler
Ian Ayres
Tracey Meares
Jean Koh Peters
Susan Rose-Ackerman
Anne Alstott
Teresa M. Miguel-Stearns
Robert W. Gordon