On the opening day of Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Judge Brett Kavanaugh, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice shed new light on him revealing characteristics that are desperately needed in today’s partisan world.

Dr. Rice was one of three officials to introduce Kavanaugh to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Her comments about her former White House colleague were both personal and professional, but provided yet another view into the character of the nominee. She noted, “I can personally attest to his character and integrity as a colleague.”

Here’s what we learned about Judge Kavanaugh from Dr. Rice:

His motivation and work ethic

“Here’s the Brett Kavanaugh that I know. He is hard working. He has a sense of humor. He seeks truth in facts. There is no detail too small to gain his attention. “

His impact on the people around him

“He makes those around him better. Brett is wise. He is an old soul who is made to help steady us in these complicated times.”

He’s a listener – even to opposing views

“Brett listens, especially to those with whom he disagrees. And in our charged environment, when we have become almost tribal, living in echo chambers and often finding comfort in the company of only those with whom we agree, this is an indispensable quality for the responsibilities of the Supreme Court.”

A willingness to step outside of one’s political camp to listen and understand others is needed into today’s hyper-partisan environment.

Sadly, the coordinated disruptive protests by activists and contentious interruptions by some members of Congress during the start of this hearing underscores just how vital it is that we nominate to the Court individuals who will not allow politics to dictate how they approach issues of national and historical importance.

We need thoughtful and respectful debate that makes room for differing opinions, especially in the highest court of the land.