Was it worth it? That’s the question I’m left with following Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court.

On the plus side, at a normal life expectancy, he will serve on the Court for 30-plus years.

On the negative side, I’m not sure lawyers and judges who saw his loss of self-control at his Senate hearing can ever look at him the same.

Professional decorum is a fundamental tenant of our profession. To be blunt, lawyers and judges can’t lose their shit in formal proceedings. Ever. No matter what someone else says. It’s maybe, the first rule.

How long will law schools show Kavanaugh’s performance as an example of how students can’t act when they become attorneys? 100 years? When will there ever be a better example?

I don’t think Kavanaugh lost his shit. I think it was a performance. He planned to act unprofessionally because–apparently–someone told him he had to to save his nomination. Which makes it even worse.

Lawyers who are willing to break rules and cut corners sometimes benefit more fame and fortune than they otherwise would. Yet most lawyers think it’s a mistake to sacrifice their professional reputation. I’m guessing just about all judges agree, since judges choose to be public servants.

Which leaves me deeply perplexed by Kavanaugh’s performance. It’s the last thing I would have expected from a federal court of appeals judge.

Maybe it was worth it. But even so, most of us wouldn’t have done it.