Are Judges Meant To Be Above The Follies Of Youth? [Opinion]

Sexual assault is definitely unforgivable, but how much weight should really be put behind Kavanaugh's past of heavy drinking and partying?

SEPTEMBER 27, 2018 - WASHINGTON, DC: Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh testified in front of the Senate Judiciary committee regarding sexual assault allegations at the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill Thursday, September 27, 2018. (Photo by Gabriella Demczuk-Pool/Getty Images)
Gabriella Demczuk-Pool / Getty Images

Sexual assault is definitely unforgivable, but how much weight should really be put behind Kavanaugh's past of heavy drinking and partying?

A letter recently given to the New York Times clearly shows what Brett Kavanaugh was like as a drinking, partying teenager back in 1983. It’s a letter about Beach Week, an event marked on Kavanaugh’s calendars that were presented to the Senate Judiciary Committee as evidence last week.

The two-page letter, images of which the Times has published in full, was handwritten by Kavanaugh. It was written to seven of Kavanaugh’s then-schoolmates at Georgetown Prep, according to the Times.

In a postscript at the end, the letter says to “warn the neighbors that we’re loud, obnoxious drunks with prolific pukers among us.”

“Our problem down there might be too many people,” the letter says. “We’re going to have to decide while we are there who want and don’t want.”

“I think we are unanimous that any girls we can beg to stay there are welcomed with open…Anyway I think we’re all set,” the letter reads.

“The danger of eviction is great and that would suck because of the money because this week has big potential. (Interpret as wish).”

Kavanaugh declared “I like beer” several times during his sworn testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, an oft-repeated admission that has since been mocked in various forms of media. The impassioned and emotional man who addressed the Committee was accused by many of having a temperament not truly befitting a judge.

Because judges are regarded as calm professionals with an unflappable demeanor. This is an image cultivated by the long black robes, stern expressions, and daytime TV. An old expression tells of being “as sober as a judge.”

And a beer-swilling party animal hardly fits that image. Many have come forward to paint Brett Kavanaugh in this way, and Kavanaugh himself is clearly not shy about enjoying a brew…or a few.

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 01: Front row from left, U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, and Associate Justice Stephen Breyer, back row from left, Associate Justice Elena Kagan, Associate Justice Samuel Alito Jr., Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, and Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch pose for a group portrait in the East Conference Room of the Supreme Court June 1, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
  Photo by Alex Wong / Getty Images

Most people have consumed alcohol to excess — and lots of people have done it more than once. Many people attended parties as teenagers, and alcohol is very often present at these gatherings. So why is it such a big deal that a few decades ago, Brett Kavanaugh and his buddies drank lots of beer and had parties?

Because, again, Brett Kavanaugh is a judge. He rules on important legal matters, and he’s on the brink of becoming a lifetime Supreme Court Justice who serves on the highest court in the country. Tellingly, Kavanaugh didn’t renounce his earlier wild ways while testifying to the Senate Judiciary Committee. He didn’t explicitly state that all that beer-drinking behavior is behind him now that he’s an adult.

No, Brett Kavanaugh cried out “I like beer” repeatedly.