Former Yale law school dean: Kavanaugh's confirmation is an 'American tragedy'

Robert Post, the former dean of Yale Law School, minced no words in excoriating Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court in an op-ed published in Politico on Saturday.

Kavanaugh, who graduated from the law school in 1990, had “stoked the fires of partisan rage and male entitlement,” Post wrote of the judge’s behavior following multiple allegations of sexual misconduct. Kavanaugh will “undermine the [Supreme Court’s] claim to legitimacy,” Post said, calling the judge’s confirmation “an American tragedy.”

Kavanaugh was confirmed by the Senate on Saturday afternoon and quickly sworn in as a justice on the nation’s highest court.

“He had apparently concluded that the only way he could rally Republican support was by painting himself as the victim of a political hit job,” Post said of Kavanaugh and the way the judge had attempted to defend himself from the accusations of sexual assault and harassment. “He therefore offered a witches’ brew of vicious unfounded charges, alleging that Democratic members of the Senate Judicial Committee were pursuing a vendetta on behalf of the Clintons. If we expect judges to reach conclusions based solely on reliable evidence, Kavanaugh’s savage and bitter attack demonstrated exactly the opposite sensibility.” 

RELATED: Kavanaugh is sworn in as Supreme Court justice as protesters rally

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Brett Kavanaugh sworn in as Supreme Court justice as protesters rally
Judge Brett Kavanaugh is sworn in as an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court by Chief Justice John Roberts as Kavanaugh's wife Ashley holds the family bible and his daughters Liza and Margaret look on in a handout photo provided by the U.S. Supreme Court taken at the Supreme Court building in Washington, U.S., October 6, 2018. Fred Schilling/Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States/Handout via Reuters ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 6: In this handout photo provided by the Supreme Court of the United States, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, (Retired) administers the Judicial Oath to Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh as his wife Ashley Kavanaugh holds the Bible while joined by their daughters Margaret and Liza, in the Justices Conference Room at the Supreme Court Building on October 6, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Fred Schilling/Supreme Court of the United States via Getty Images)
A protester sits on the lap of "Lady Justice" on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court building as demonstrators storm the steps and doors of the Supreme Court while Judge Brett Kavanaugh is being sworn in as an Associate Justice of the court inside on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., October 6, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Demonstrators protest in the street behind the U.S. Supreme Court building as they wait for Justice Brett Kavanaugh to depart after he was sworn in as an Associate Justice in ceremonies at the court on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., October 6, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
Demostrators chant ion front of the locked doors at the top of the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court building while Judge Brett Kavanaugh is being sworn in as an Associate Justice of the court inside on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., October 6, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Protesters overrun the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court as Brett Kavanaugh is sworn in as an Associate Justice in Washington, U.S., October 6, 2018. REUTERS/James Lawler Duggan
A man prays amidst protesters demonstrating on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court building as Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh is sworn in inside in Washington, U.S. October 6, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Protester in support of and against the appointment of Judge Brett Kavanaugh demonstrate on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court building as Judge Kavanaugh is sworn in as an Associate Justice of the court inside on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., October 6, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Annabella Helman of Indianapolis, Indiana, and Olivia McAuliffe of McLean, Virginia join hands as protesters overrun the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court as Brett Kavanaugh is sworn in as an Associate Justice in Washington, U.S., October 6, 2018. REUTERS/James Lawler Duggan
A protester stands on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court building in front of police after they cleared the steps of demonstrators while Judge Brett Kavanaugh was being sworn in as an Associate Justice of the court inside on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., October 6, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
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Post, who described Kavanaugh as a “casual acquaintance” whom he’d known for a decade, said he’d been “shell-shocked” by the judge’s behavior. “This was not the Brett Kavanaugh I thought I knew,” he wrote. “Having come so close to confirmation, Kavanaugh apparently cared more about his promotion than about preserving the dignity of the Supreme Court to which he aspired to join.”

Post, a Sterling Professor of Law at Yale Law School who specializes in constitutional law, went on to lambast the senators who voted for Kavanaugh as caring “more about controlling” the court than the institution’s legitimacy.

“There will be hell to pay,” he warned.

Referring to a Wall Street Journal editorial penned last week by Kavanaugh in which the judge admitted to having been, perhaps, “too emotional at times” during his hearing before the Senate Judicial Committee and in which he vowed to be “an independent and impartial” judge, Post stressed that Kavanaugh “cannot have it both ways.”

“He cannot gain confirmation by unleashing partisan fury while simultaneously claiming that he possesses a judicial and impartial temperament,” said Post.

Kavanaugh, Post continued, will therefore “join the court as the black-robed embodiment of raw partisan power inconsistent with any ideal of an impartial judiciary.”

“His very presence will undermine the court’s claim to legitimacy; it will damage the nation’s commitment to the rule of law. It will be an American tragedy,” Post concluded.

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
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