Hundreds of Alaska women attorneys join national letter-writing campaign opposing Kavanaugh

More than 350 attorneys from Alaska, all women, on Thursday delivered a letter to the state's two U.S senators asking them to vote against the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, saying he's unsuitable for a life of service on the U.S. Supreme Court.

The attorneys work "in a variety of settings, including public interest organizations, government agencies, and private practice," the letter states. "Among us are Republicans, Democrats, Nonpartisan and Undeclared voters."

They ask Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, "as your constituents and as fellow lawyers," to vote against Kavanaugh's confirmation.

The letter is only a little over a page long but swells to five pages with the list of alphabetized names that includes deputy attorneys general as well as lawyers in civil and criminal practice.

[PDF: Alaska Women Lawyers Letter to Senators]

The attorneys join thousands across the country opposing Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court following his testimony on sexual assault allegations before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week. Nearly 1,000 law professors signed a similar letter, according to Law.com.

The Senate could vote this weekend on Kavanaugh, with Murkowski among a handful of undecided GOP and Democratic senators who could swing the vote.

Kavanaugh responded with anger and tears during last week's hearing in which Christine Blasey Ford provided sworn testimony that he sexually assaulted her in the 1980s during a drunken high school party. He also called the allegation a political hit against him by Democrats.

The Alaska lawyers say Kavanaugh's conduct "fell far short of our standards as citizens and as lawyers. He displayed uncontrolled anger, sarcasm, and open contempt for Senators — particularly female Senators — and he made numerous unapologetically partisan statements."

They call Kavanaugh's behavior evasive and combative, raising questions about his credibility and trustworthiness and diminishing "public confidence, and our confidence, in his ability to uphold the independence and impartiality of the Court."

The attorneys say their opposition also stems from "our deep concern for survivors of sexual harassment and sexual assault" who are following the process.

"The question the Constitution asks you to consider is not whether Judge Kavanaugh could be convicted of a crime, but rather, whether he has demonstrated over the course of his life and his career — including during the confirmation process itself — his suitability to serve for a lifetime on our highest court," the letter says.

The attorneys note that sexual assault survivors watched Kavanaugh's response, and the Senate's, to Ford's sworn allegations.

"In his testimony, the judge displayed no appreciation that this seat on the Court is much larger than one man and much larger than Dr. Ford and her story," the attorneys say. "His focus rested entirely on himself and his own outrage; his words and actions were not those of the dedicated public servant this country deserves."

Zaz Hollander

Longtime ADN reporter Zaz Hollander is based in the Mat-Su and is currently focused on coverage of the coronavirus in Alaska. She also covers the Mat-Su region, aviation and general assignments. Contact her at zhollander@adn.com.