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Faculty at Brett Kavanaugh’s Alma Mater Are Demanding Screeching Halt to His Confirmation


WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 05: Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh answers questions during the second day of his Supreme Court confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill September 5, 2018 in Washington, DC.

A number of faculty members at Yale Law School are demanding that the Senate Judiciary Committee pause confirming Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court due to the attempted sexual assault allegation against him by Christine Blasey Ford.

It happens as Yale Law School investigates problems of its own, namely whether two professors, Jed Rubenfeld and Amy Chua (husband and wife), advised female law clerk candidates that “look[ing] like models” could help them get a gig working for Kavanaugh.

According to, 48 Yale Law School faculty members (and this number may rise) have signed their names on an open letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

They asked that the committee to delay the vote on Kavanaugh until Ford is given more than a “partisan hearing.”

“With so much at stake for the Supreme Court and the nation, we are concerned about a rush to judgment that threatens both the integrity of the process and the public’s confidence in the Court,” they write. “Where, as here, a sexual assault has been alleged against an individual nominated for a lifetime appointment in a position of public trust, 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,” they continued. “Fair process requires evidence from all parties with direct knowledge and consultation of experts when evaluating such evidence. In subsequent hearings, all of those who testify, and particularly women testifying about sexual assault, must be treated with respect.”

At the end of the open letter, the faculty members said that this is a particularly issue because Kavanaugh’s appointment “will yield a deciding vote on women’s rights and myriad other questions of immense consequence in American lives.”

The names of aforementioned professors Chua and Rubenfeld were not on the list of signees, nor was Akhil Reed Amar‘s name. Amar was roundly criticized for his New York Times op-ed in which he made a “Liberal’s Case” for Kavanaugh’s appointment.

Kavanaugh went to Yale for his undergraduate and law education. He got his JD in 1990.

The Senate Judiciary Committee invited Ford and Kavanaugh to testify on Monday before the committee about accusations, but Ford has asked for the FBI to investigate in advance of any hearing.

It remains to be seen exactly if (when?) Ford will testify before the committee and how that will unfold.

[Image via Win McNamee/Getty Images]

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Matt Naham is the Senior A.M. Editor of Law&Crime.