Lisa Blatt, a lawyer representing Atlantic Richfield Company in its bid to be heard before the U.S. Supreme Court, endorsed controversial Supreme Court justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh before the Senate last month.
A receptionist at Blatt's Washington D.C. law firm, Arnold and Porter, said Monday that Blatt was not taking any more press questions regarding Kavanaugh.
During her testimony before the Senate in early September, Blatt defined herself as a "liberal Democrat" and as an "unapologetic defender of a woman's right to choose." Despite that, Blatt said she was "raised to call it like I see it" and urged the Senate to confirm President Donald Trump's choice to replace former Justice Anthony Kennedy. Kennedy, 81, retired in June.
During her endorsement, Blatt said Kavanaugh had become a friend and mentor to her.
She called Kavanaugh's judicial temperament "flawless."
After Kavanaugh's testimony before the Senate on Friday — a performance which riveted the nation as he answered questions about an alleged sexual assault from his youth — critics have questioned Kavanaugh's ability to be impartial as well as his judicial temperament.
Kavanaugh was emotional and angry during the testimony, saying the effort to block his confirmation was "revenge for the Clintons" and part of a left-wing smear against him.
Kavanaugh worked under independent counsel Kenneth Starr in the 1990s when Starr investigated a variety of allegations against President Bill Clinton and then-first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton. That included Starr's inquiry into the president's affair with then-White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
Clinton was impeached but subsequently acquitted.
But Blatt said of Kavanaugh in September, "He understands life is not always perfect, and he responds to challenges with a self-deprecating sense of humor."
Blatt also spoke of Kavanaugh being "remarkably committed to promoting women in the legal profession."
Kavanaugh is currently under FBI investigation for an alleged sexual assault that took place when he was a teenager. Christine Blasey Ford, a professor at Palo Alto University, came forward with her story last week after her information was leaked to the press. Senate Republicans had hoped to confirm Kavanaugh in time for the 2018 Supreme Court session, which began Monday.
The U.S. Supreme Court could still hear Atlantic Richfield's petition to consider the Opportunity lawsuit. A jury trial in the lawsuit is set to begin at the Butte-Silver Bow County Courthouse on Oct. 29. (See related story.)
If the Supreme Court grants Atlantic Richfield the right to be heard before the highest appellate court, Blatt would likely argue the case before the court. She has argued more cases before the U.S. Supreme Court than any other woman.
Justin Stalpes, the Bozeman-based attorney representing the Opportunity and Crackerville litigants, said his firm has no comment. BP, Atlantic Richfield's parent company, did not comment by press time.