Politics

‘Liberal Feminist’ Lawyer Heartily Endorses Kavanaugh for SCOTUS

'Sometimes a superstar is just a superstar,' explains an attorney in a personal essay about her interactions with the nominee

Image Credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Donald Trump nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh nearly a month ago to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy on the highest court in the land.  Since then, many on the Left continue to unleash a torrent of vitriol against the appeals court judge — despite his impeccable credentials.

They have become, in a word, apoplectic — as their tweets indicate.

“@realDonaldTrump is using this nomination as a destructive tool on a generation of progress for workers, women, LGBTQ people, communities of color & families, & to radically reverse the course of American justice & democracy,” fumed House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

“President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh will be a rubber-stamp for an extreme, right-wing agenda pushed by corporations and billionaires. We must mobilize the American people to defeat Trump’s right-wing, reactionary nominee,” prompted Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

“The nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh will threaten the lives of millions of Americans for decades to come and will morph our Supreme Court into a political arm of the right-wing Republican Party,” huffed former Virginia governor and former Bill Clinton powerbroker Terry McAuliffe.

This display of unhinged histrionics stands in sharp contrast, though, to a personal essay in Politico by Lisa Blatt, a Washington, D.C.-area lawyer who has argued 35 cases before the high court — more than any other woman, she notes — and who describes herself as “a liberal Democrat and feminist.”

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Her piece is as courageous as it is unexpected, especially in this age of divisive and rancorous identity politics.

“Sometimes a superstar is just a superstar,” she begins. “That is the case with Judge Brett Kavanaugh, who had long been considered the most qualified nominee for the Supreme Court if Republicans secured the White House. The Senate should confirm him.”

Blatt, who worked in the solicitor general’s office for 13 years — during the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations — says she expects her words will result in some raised eyebrows.

“Because I am a liberal Democrat and feminist, I expect my friends on the Left will criticize me for speaking up for Kavanaugh,” she notes. “But we all benefit from having smart, qualified and engaged judges on our highest court, regardless of the administration that nominates them.”

The lawyer and essayist also shares comments from Kavanaugh made while he was participating on a Georgetown Law panel in 2009.

“When a law student asked him [Kavanaugh] how debate had shaped his career, he answered: ‘I actually never debated, but I did play football, and the two are basically the same,'” Blatt recalls.

Related: Ad War Raging Over Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh

“He then offered this advice: ‘Practice, learn to get along with all of your teammates, learn from your mistakes, and have fun.’ It was clear that judge cared about mentoring and teaching law students and was invested in helping others to succeed.”

She also knows Kavanaugh to be an equal-opportunity employer.

“Kavanaugh is a great listener, and one of the warmest, friendliest and kindest individuals I know,” notes Blatt. “And other than my former boss, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, I know of no other judge who stands out for hiring female law clerks.”

At the same time that Blatt praises Kavanaugh, she also urges her party to rise above petty politics.

“But unless the Democrats want to stand on the principle of an eye for an eye — and I don’t think they should — folks should stop pretending that Kavanaugh or his record is the issue,” she says. “He is supremely qualified.”

Elizabeth Economou is a former CNBC staff writer and adjunct professor. Follow her on Twitter.

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