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Yale Law Students Refuse to Go to Class, Stage ‘Sit-in’ Over Brett Kavanaugh Assault Claims


First it was Yale Law School faculty and now it’s Yale Law School students.

It’s Monday morning and students dressed in black are filling the halls at Yale Law School, as part of a sit-in. Students are reportedly seeking an investigation of sexual misconduct allegations against President Donald Trump‘s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, a Yale undergrad and law school alumnus.

It happens after Yale alumna Deborah Ramirez alleged on Sunday in a New Yorker story that Kavanaugh committed sexual misconduct by exposing himself when she was drunk during a dorm room party. Kavanaugh has also been accused of attempted sexual assault by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.

31 classes have been cancelled as a result of the protest.

Alumni like Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Sen. Chris Coons (D-Delaware), Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton and “more than 100 Yale Law School (YLS) students will host a press conference” at the Russell Senate Office Building at 3:15 p.m. on Monday.

“Student speakers at the event, some of whom identify as survivors of sexual violence, will urge the Senate to delay the confirmation vote in order to afford Dr. Blasey Ford and Debbie Ramirez the fair process that every survivor deserves,” the press release says. “The press conference will also include remarks from students who will share stories regarding the ways in which judicial decisions on sexual violence, abortion, LGBT rights, and healthcare could affect them personally.”

As referred to in the opening, a number of faculty members (dozens) at Yale Law School have already demanded that the Senate Judiciary Committee pause confirming Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

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.”

[Image via Twitter screengrab]

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