Bench Memos

Law & the Courts

Refuting Anti-Kavanaugh Smears—Introduction

Instead of opposing the Kavanaugh nomination on grounds of judicial philosophy, some on the Left are resorting to smearing Judge Kavanaugh by contending that he lied to the Senate Judiciary Committee on various topics both at his hearings in 2004 and 2006 on his D.C. Circuit nomination and at his hearing last week. See, for example, this Mother Jones article from last Friday, titled “Five Times Brett Kavanaugh Appears to Have Lied to Congress While Under Oath.” (See also, in response to such dreck, David French’s “The Character Assassination of Brett Kavanaugh.”)

No one who paid attention to last week’s hearing could think that Senate Democrats made any actual headway on these charges. Above the Law’s David Lat has done some excellent Twitter threads on the topics, and I’ve added some threads as well. But given how broadly these smears have circulated, I think it important to address and expose them in comprehensive stand-alone blog posts.

As I will show, no intelligent and fairminded person would peddle these smears. On a full understanding of each matter, there is no basis whatsoever for calling into question the truthfulness of Kavanaugh’s testimony.

I’ll add here that I am grateful to count Brett Kavanaugh as a friend. I’ve known him for some 25 years and have worked with him both in the private sector and in government, including in the early years of the George W. Bush administration, when I was principal deputy in DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel and Kavanaugh worked in the White House. My high regard for him gives me additional motivation to refute the smears against him. But as you will see, my arguments stand on their own and do not depend on my personally attesting to his character.

Adding links to posts in series here:

Refuting Anti-Kavanaugh Smears—Manny Miranda Controversy

Refuting Anti-Kavanaugh Smears—NSA’s Warrantless Wiretapping Program

Refuting Anti-Kavanaugh Smears—Interrogation

Refuting Anti-Kavanaugh Smears—Pryor Nomination

Refuting Anti-Kavanaugh Smears—Pickering Nomination


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