Following a press release from Yale Law School celebrating President Trump’s nomination of alumnus Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, a group of Yale Law “students, alumni, and educators” have signed on to an unhinged letter denouncing Kavanaugh and demanding that the school do likewise.
More than 200 individuals have signed the open letter, which is addressed to Dean Heather Gerken and school leadership. The undersigned declare that they are “ashamed of our alma matter” and take issue with the Yale press release, which focused on the “nominee’s professionalism, pedigree, and service to Yale Law School.”
Incredibly, the aggrieved undersigned ask a “disturbing question:” “Is there nothing more important to Yale Law School than its proximity to power and prestige?”
Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination presents an emergency — for democratic life, for our safety and freedom, for the future of our country. His nomination is not an interesting intellectual exercise to be debated amongst classmates and scholars in seminar. Support for Judge Kavanaugh is not apolitical. It is a political choice about the meaning of the constitution and our vision of democracy, a choice with real consequences for real people. 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.
Among the grievances listed against Kavanaugh is the fear that his textualist and originalist approach to interpreting the Constitution would overturn Roe v. Wade, which would “endanger the lives of countless people who need or may need abortions — including many who sign this letter.” The letter cites Kavanaugh opinions in an attempt to show that Kavanaugh is somehow too conservative for the court and that his opinions are hostile to precedent.
“Judge Kavanaugh would also act as a rubber stamp for President Trump’s fraud and abuse,” the letter states. It points to the judge’s past writings on the separation of powers, focusing on Kavanaugh’s belief that “a serious constitutional question exists regarding whether a president can be criminally indicted and tried while in office.” The assertion is that Kavanaugh, who formerly worked with independent counsel Ken Starr to investigate President Bill Clinton, is a hypocritical partisan who would prevent Trump from being investigated.
The letter goes on to raise concerns about his judicial philosophy with respect to administrative law and the environment and to declare that “Judge Kavanaugh has consistently protected the interests of powerful institutions and disregarded the rights of vulnerable individuals.”
“We see in these rulings an intellectually and morally bankrupt ideologue intent on rolling back our rights and the rights of our clients,” the letter states.
Then it concludes with the most jaw-dropping assertion of all.
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. We hope you agree your sacrifice would be worth it. Please use your authority and platform to expose the stakes of this moment and the threat that Judge Kavanaugh poses. [Emphasis added.]
More than 200 individuals pursuing or holding degrees from one of the nation’s premier Ivy League law schools believe that Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court and constitutionalist jurisprudence will literally kill people.
This is utterly insane.
Chris Pandolfo is a staff writer and type-shouter for Conservative Review. He holds a B.A. in politics and economics from Hillsdale College. His interests are conservative political philosophy, the American founding, and progressive rock. Follow him on Twitter for doom-saying and great album recommendations @ChrisCPandolfo.
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