Five Gulfport law professors have signed a letter that says U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh "displayed a lack of judicial temperament" during his confirmation hearing last week.
The professors — Linda S. Anderson, Lance N. Long, Rebecca Morgan, Ellen S. Podgor and Candace M. Zierdt — teach at Stetson University College of Law.
Kavanaugh, a federal appeals judge in the District of Columbia and President Donald Trump's pick to fill the seat recently vacated by retired Justice Anthony Kennedy, has come under intense scrutiny after three women accused him of sexual misconduct in his youth. The letter does not address the accusations, but focuses on Kavanaugh's behavior before senators.
"Instead of being open to the necessary search for accuracy, Judge Kavanaugh was repeatedly aggressive with questioners," the letter says. "Even in his prepared remarks, Judge Kavanaugh described the hearing as partisan, referring to it as 'a calculated and orchestrated political hit,' rather than acknowledging the need for the Senate, faced with new information, to try to understand what had transpired. Instead of trying to sort out with reason and care the allegations that were raised, Judge Kavanaugh responded in an intemperate, inflammatory and partial manner, as he interrupted and, at times, was discourteous to senators."
The letter has garnered support from more than 1,700 law professors nationwide, including 65 others from Florida. It stops short of asking senators to reject Kavanaugh's confirmation.
"But we are united," the letter says, "as professors of law and scholars of judicial institutions, in believing that he did not display the impartiality and judicial temperament requisite to sit on the highest court of our land."
Below is a list of the number of signatories from each of Florida's accredited law schools:
Ave Maria School of Law, Naples: 0
Barry University Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law, Orlando: 8
Florida A&M University College of Law, Orlando: 0
Florida Coastal School of Law: 1
Florida International University College of Law, Miami: 9
Florida State University College of Law, Tallahassee: 2
Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad College of Law, Fort Lauderdale: 10
Stetson University College of Law, Gulfport: 5
St. Thomas University School of Law, Miami Gardens: 3
Western Michigan University Cooley Law School – Tampa Bay Campus, Riverview: 0
University of Florida Levin College of Law, Gainesville: 10
University of Miami School of Law, Coral Gables: 22