In a joint letter, more than 80 Maine affiliated writers—including Pulitzer Prize-winners Richard Russo and Michael Chabon, Ann Beattie, Jonathan Lethem and John Hodgman—are calling on Sen. Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, to vote against the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court. Kavanaugh has been accused of sexual assault and misconduct, but has vehemently denied the allegations.
“In his recent testimony to Congress, he showed himself to be untruthful, temperamentally unsuited, and driven by partisanship,” says the letter from the novelists, poets, historians, journalists, playwrights and essayists. (Full text below.)
Portland novelist and food memorist Kate Christensen, who organized the effort with Russo, tells me she hand delivered a copy to the Maine senator’s Portland office yesterday and then tweeted it at her this morning. So far, Christensen says, Collins has not responded.
Full text of the letter:
October 3, 2018
Dear Senator Collins,
Putting aside for the moment the possibility that Brett Kavanaugh was a sexual predator in his youth, he is still unfit to be on the Supreme Court. In his recent testimony to Congress, he showed himself to be untruthful, temperamentally unsuited, and driven by partisanship. Supreme Court justices need not be paragons, but they should tell the truth under oath, demonstrate a measure of emotional self-control, and eschew political bias. His lies and self-serving exaggerations (words matter to us writers), as well as his snarling hostility toward women with the temerity to question him, don’t suggest a person who is deeply committed to the principles of fairness, or, for that matter, objective truth. Indeed, a magistrate on a county bench ought to be able to clear a bar as low as this one. The fact that Brett Kavanaugh couldn’t should be disqualifying. There are many viable, well-qualified candidates for this seat. To vote to confirm Kavanaugh, you would have to be confident that he wouldn’t abuse his power. Are you?
Kate Christensen, Richard Russo, Jessica Anthony, Monica Wood, Melissa Coleman, Joshua Bodwell, Margaret Broucek, Alex Irvine, Jule Selbo, Lewis Robinson, Lincoln Paine, Susan Conley, Ron Currie, Frank O. Smith, Debra Spark, Desi Van Til, Genevieve Morgan, Gerry Boyle, Cathie Pelletier, Christina Baker Kline, Adrian Blevins, Tanya Sheehan, Melissa Senate, Bill Roorbach, Deborah Joy Corey, Patricia O’Donnell, Jeffrey Thomson, Ann Beattie, Brian Kevin, Mike Paterniti, Amy MacDonald, Katy Kelleher, Virginia Wright, Sarah Stebbins, Caitlin Shetterly, Jodi Paloni, Gibson Fay-LeBlanc, Candace Karu, Sarah Braunstein, Lily King, Sara Anne Donnelly, Sara Corbett, Rebecca Falzano, Lisa Carey, Melissa Kim, Edgar Allen Beem, Amy Neswald, Kate Flora, Alison Paige, Wesley McNair, Caitlin Scholl, Clint Willis, Carl Little, Susan Grisanti, Kathryn Miles, Don J. Snyder, Daniel Kany, Melissa Sweet, Richard Foerster, Liza Bakewell, Arielle Greenberg, Jennifer Finney Boylan, Elizabeth Sholl, Suzanne Rico, Cate Marvin, Elizabeth Peavey, Nathaniel Bellows, Elizabeth Atkinson, Caitlin Gilmet, Michaela Cavallero, Elizabeth Strout, Bunny McBride, Joyce Kryszak, Jennifer Banash, Katherine Gaudet, Nicholson Baker, Kerri Arsenault, Susan Hand Shetterly, Julia Bouwsma, Penny Guisinger, Tanya Whiton, Jonathan Lethem, Ayelet Waldman, Michael Chabon, John Hodgman, Ben Marcus
Pictured at top: ‘Tell Jeff Flake To Reject Kavanaugh’ Rally in Boston, Massachusetts, Oct. 1, 2018.
Oct. 1, 2018: Photos: ‘Tell Jeff Flake To Reject Kavanaugh’ Rally In Boston
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