CHICAGO --- With Democrats pushing to postpone the hearings, U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh began his hearings with the Senate Judiciary Committee today (Sept. 4). Northwestern Law professors Ronald Allen and Adam Hoeflich, along with Jorg Spenkuch of the Kellogg School of Management, are available for comment.

Adam Hoeflich is a professor of practice at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, focusing on legal ethics and complex litigation and has been lead counsel in high-profile individual litigation across the United States. He can be reached at  adam.hoeflich@law.northwestern.edu or 312-503-5943 (office).

Quote by Professor Hoeflich

“We have a civic obligation to evaluate judicial nominees based on their qualifications, and to turn Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination into a partisan fight because we are angry that Sen. McConnell belied his Constitutional charge by failing to move forward with Judge Garland or because we have grave concerns about the President who nominated him is to betray our values and instead embrace actions that we rightly condemn by others. As Michelle Obama reminded us, going high when our opponents go low is a virtue.”

Jorg Spenkuch is an associate professor of managerial economics and decision sciences in the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He can speak to the political sensitivity of Kavanaugh’s hearing.

Spenkuch’s research focuses on political economy, political mass communication, strategic behavior and “money in politics,” and his recent work on this topic finds “justices tend to polarize rather than moderate” in split votes or when rulings matter greatly. He can be reached by contacting Molly Lynch at 773-505-9719 or molly@lynchgrouponline.com.

Quote from Professor Spenkuch

“The Supreme Court is a political court. It’s political not because the liberals and conservatives on the bench have different interpretations of the Constitution but because justices’ personal ideology directly influences how they vote on individual cases, especially on cases that are narrowly decided. My work with Pablo Montagnes and Tom Clark shows this very clearly.”

Ronald Allen is the John Henry Wigmore Professor of Law and a constitutional and criminal law expert. He can be reached at rjallen@law.northwestern.edu 

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