Yale

Yale Law School — Brett Kavanaugh’s alma mater — appears to be reversing its support of Kavanaugh’s appointment to the Supreme Court.

Shortly after President Trump announced that he was picking Kavanaugh to fill the seat vacated by former Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy after he retired, Yale Law School published a post to its website praising their alumnus.

“I have known Brett Kavanaugh for many years,” Dean Heather K. Gerken said in July. “I can personally attest that, in addition to his government and judicial service, Judge Kavanaugh has been a longtime friend to many of us in the Yale Law School community. Ever since I joined the faculty, I have admired him for serving as a teacher and mentor to our students and for hiring a diverse set of clerks, in all respects, during his time on the court.”

“Judge Kavanaugh commands wide and deep respect among scholars, lawyers, judges, and justices,” Professor Akhil Reed Amar said at the time. “Good appellate judges faithfully follow the Supreme Court; great ones influence and help steer the Court. Several of Kavanaugh’s biggest ideas have found their way into Supreme Court opinions. Thanks to decades of high-level experience and close observation, Kavanaugh also understands the intricacies of the executive and legislative branches.”

However, in the wake of Palo Alto University psychology professor Christine Blasey Ford publicly accusing Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, dozens of Yale Law School faculty published an open letter calling for the Senate Judiciary Committee’s vote to confirm Kavanaugh to be postponed until Dr. Ford’s allegations can be properly investigated. As of this writing, the letter has been co-signed by 49 Yale Law professors.

“[A] partisan hearing alone cannot be the forum to determine the truth of the matter. Allegations of sexual assault require a neutral factfinder and an investigation that can ascertain facts fairly.  Those at the FBI or others tasked with such an investigation must have adequate time to investigate facts,” the letter reads. “The confirmation process must always be conducted, and appointments made, in a manner that gives Americans reason to trust the Supreme Court.  ”

“Some questions are so fundamental to judicial integrity that the Senate cannot rush past them without undermining the public’s confidence in the Court,” the letter continued. “This is particularly so for an appointment that will yield a deciding vote on women’s rights and myriad other questions of immense consequence in American lives.”

In a separate post commenting on the open letter from Yale Law School faculty, Dean Heather Gerken did not comment on the allegations, but simply reiterated that the school will not take a position either supporting or opposing a Supreme Court justice.

“It’s a thoughtful statement and I support the efforts of individual faculty members to engage with these important issues,” Gerken wrote.”

 

Jake Shepherd is a freelance writer from Cleveland, Ohio. He enjoys poring through financial disclosure statements, spirited debate, and good scotch. He remains eternally optimistic about the Browns. Email him at jake.d.shepherd.21 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

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