Politics

Former Harvard law students praise Kavanaugh in letter

Brett Kavanaugh was hired as a professor at Harvard in 2008 as part of an effort to bring more ideological diversity to the school.
Manuel Balce Ceneta/Associated Press/File 2018
Brett Kavanaugh was hired as a professor at Harvard in 2008 as part of an effort to bring more ideological diversity to the school.

WASHINGTON — A group of former Harvard Law School students tsent letter Thursday to the Senate Judiciary Committee, offering high praise for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

“We . . . represent a broad spectrum of political and ideological beliefs, as well as perspectives on judicial philosophy,” reads the letter, which was signed by 80 former students. “We may have differing views on political issues surrounding the confirmation process, but we all agree on one thing: Judge Kavanaugh is a rigorous thinker, a devoted teacher, and a gracious person.”

Kavanaugh was hired as a professor at Harvard in 2008 — brought there by Elena Kagan, who was dean at the time and could soon be his colleague on the Supreme Court — as part of an effort to bring more ideological diversity to the school. He often taught during the winter term for a short course that would cram an entire semester’s work into a several-week period.

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He was generally well-liked, according to a Globe report last week about his time at Harvard, and got along with professors and made himself accessible to students.

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“Judge Kavanaugh was an inspiring professor and impressive intellect,” the students wrote in the letter. “During classroom discussions, he displayed a keen interest in exploring all sides of a question. Judge Kavanaugh invited robust discussions and consistently encouraged his students to voice different viewpoints — even if others (or the judge himself) might disagree.”

The writing of the letter was spearheaded by two students, Colleen Roh Sinzdak, who graduated in 2010, is a senior associate at Hogan Lovells, and has worked on cases that went before the Supreme Court, and Cameron Pritchett, who is in the class of 2018.

“[Kavanaugh] was exceptionally generous with his time, making himself available to meet with students not only to discuss the class, but also to assist with their scholarly writing or to offer career advice,” the letter reads. “In many instances, he has continued to provide advice and support long after the class ended by writing letters of recommendation and serving as a valued mentor. In our view, his genuine interest in helping young lawyers demonstrates a deep commitment to the legal community as a whole.”

Matt Viser can be reached at matt.viser@globe.com.