Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s reputation as a jurist has suffered, the perception he can rule fairly on several major issues has been diminished, and the public's view of the fairness of the court will decrease, high court experts told NBC News on Sunday.
All of the eight experts with which NBC spoke, regardless of political leaning or judicial philosophy, offered a stark prognosis for Kavanaugh
"I don't think he'll ever be able to disassociate himself from what just happened," said University of Tennessee College of Law Prof. Benjamin Barton. "For Kavanaugh, this is a first-paragraph-of-his-obituary type of situation. He's going to be known for this and stuck with this for his career."
The experts said they were shocked at Kavanaugh's unsteady, fiery temperament during his testimony and his blatant partisanship and defiance of Democrats on the Judiciary Committee.
"I think it just puts his partisanship front and center," said Drexel University's Kline School of Law Prof. Anil Kalhan, referring to Kavanaugh's contention that the "national disgrace" of a confirmation process was caused by opposition from "the left" and based on "revenge on behalf of the Clintons."
"He may have been entitled to anger and raw emotion, even indignance based on what happened to him," Kalhan added. "But the partisanship and then his hostility and manifest disrespect to senators? It doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence.”
However, some of the experts said public perception of the Supreme Court would eventually recover, with Cornell Law School Prof. Michael Dorf stressing that, "Over time, memories will fade and other issues will gain greater prominence."
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