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Iowa Law Professor: The Senate Should Not Confirm Kavanaugh

Matt Wade

On this news buzz edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks with Paul Gowder, one of more than 2400 U.S. law professors who signed the New York Times Opinion piece, The Senate Should Not Confirm Kavanaugh.

Gowder is a law professor at the University of Iowa, and he believes that Judge Brett Kavanaugh has neither the temperament nor the impartiality to sit on the nation's highest court.

Gowder was particularly concerned with aspects of Kavanaugh's opening statement at the Senate hearings on September 27th, in which Kavanaugh claimed that a coordinated political strategy was being enacted by Democrats to prevent his confirmation.

"The code of conduct for United States judges specifically requires judges to be non-partisan. It requires them to act in such a way as to promote confidence in the integrity and in the impartiality of the judiciary," Gowder says. "Every principle that we've written into our ethical standards for judges in this country is inconsistent with blatant partisan attacks and conspiracy theorizing."

The letter, which was presented to the Senate on October 4th, also brought forward concerns about Kavanaugh's general demeanor during the hearings. 

"Demeanor isn't specifically mentioned in these ethics codes, but the idea of what a judge should be that underlies these ethics codes is they should remain calm and focused on the facts, rather than reacting in anger," Gowder says.

Also, Iowa State University economist Chad Hart joins to discuss how trade disruptions are impacting the Midwest, an interview with a German writer with Saudi roots who is one of this year's International Writing Program fellows, and a conversation with Gov. Kim Reynolds. 

Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River