The Hill Op-Ed: Brett Kavanaugh's Opportunistic Corner Cutting

by Rena Steinzor

August 30, 2018

This op-ed originally ran in The Hill.

Tens of thousands of thoughtful — and not so thoughtful — words have been written about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s substantive positions on issues the court will face. At least one question has not been addressed, however: Is Judge Brett Kavanaugh so ideological about certain topics that he veers toward sloppiness?

As a law professor, I spend a lot of time around first-year law students, introducing them to the professional standards that define a good lawyer. My advice includes three things they must never do: ignore inconvenient language in a law to distort its meaning; rocket off on tangents that have little to do with the subject at hand; and cite one law to support a conclusion in another area to which it does not apply.

Kavanaugh has done all three things in D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals opinions of significance and his colleagues have rightly called him out for this professionally dubious behavior. The three examples have to do with administrative law, his specialty, and an area where he will try to lead the Supreme Court if confirmed.

Read the full op-ed in The Hill.

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Also from Rena Steinzor

Rena Steinzor is a Professor of Law at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, and a past president of the Center for Progressive Reform. She is the author of Why Not Jail? Industrial Catastrophes, Corporate Malfeasance, and Government Inaction.

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