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Yale-educated Supreme Court nominee ‘is a threat’ to Yale students and alumni, they say

Led by prominent anti-rape activists

As an appeals-court judge, Brett Kavanaugh dissented in a case involving a detained immigrant minor’s pursuit of an abortion while in custody.

He saw nothing in Supreme Court precedent that compels the state to furnish someone in her position an abortion.

This is why the new Supreme Court nominee, educated at Yale Law School, “is a threat” to his alma mater’s law students and alumni, more than 200 of them as of Tuesday night wrote in an open letter to Yale Law’s leadership.

What power does Yale Law have over the confirmation of Kavanaugh, you may ask? The school released a statement quoting its dean and some professors lightly praising him. That’s it.

The signatories, most of whom appear to be current students and recent graduates, are “ashamed” to be associated with Yale Law because of this predictable response from a law school, which already has three alumni on the Supreme Court.

People will die – yes, die – if Kavanaugh is confirmed, the passionate young people (and a handful of their professors) claim:

Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination presents an emergency — for democratic life, for our safety and freedom, for the future of our country. … Without a doubt, Judge Kavanaugh is a threat to the most vulnerable. He is a threat to many of us, despite the privilege bestowed by our education, simply because of who we are. …

Since his campaign launched, [Donald] Trump has repeatedly promised to appoint justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade. Overturning that decision would endanger the lives of countless people who need or may need abortions — including many who sign this letter. …

Now is the time for moral courage — which for Yale Law School comes at so little cost. Perhaps you, as an institution and as individuals, will benefit less from Judge Kavanaugh’s ascendent power if you withhold your support. Perhaps Judge Kavanaugh will be less likely to hire your favorite students. But people will die if he is confirmed.

MORE: Yale punishes male student for essay that calls rape ‘irrational’

The signatories portray Kavanaugh’s opinions on the immigrant abortion case and others – on Obamacare’s contraception mandate, the environment, for-profit colleges and even network neutrality – as beyond the pale for a judge:

We see in these rulings an intellectually and morally bankrupt ideologue intent on rolling back our rights and the rights of our clients.

Perplexingly, they are mad at Kavanaugh for coming to the conclusion during President Obama’s first term that presidents should only face legal actions after they leave the White House – an opinion borne of Kavanaugh’s role in special counsel Kenneth Starr’s investigations of President Clinton. (They do not discuss the prescribed avenue for removing a president so he can be prosecuted – impeachment.)

The first names on the letter are familiar to those who follow campus sexual-assault debates: Dana Bolger and Alexandra Brodsky. They founded Know Your IX, which claims that America is permeated by “rape culture” and advocates for state and federal policies they believe will help alleged victims of campus rape.

Know Your IX was part of a conference call with former Vice President Joe Biden, the primary mover behind the Obama administration’s Title IX framework. Biden compared supporters of due process for accused students to the “Nazis” who marched a month earlier in a Charlottesville rally for Confederate statues.

The organization also released its own style guide for journalists that urges them to refer to parties in a disputed sexual encounter as “survivor” and “rapist,” even before the adjudication has concluded, as Ashe Schow noted in the Washington Examiner in 2014.

The guide goes so far as to instruct journalists not to use variants of the word “alleged” and to give “prior review” to accusers – a practice forbidden by mainstream journalism ethics.

Read the open letter.

MORE: Biden compares due-process supporters to ‘Nazis’

IMAGE: MSNBC/YouTube

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Greg spent several years as a technology policy reporter and editor for Warren Communications News in Washington, D.C., and guest host on C-SPAN’s “The Communicators.” He co-founded the alternative newspaper PUNCH and served as a reporter, editor and columnist for The Falcon at Seattle Pacific University.

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