A bunch of Yale Law School students wrote this open letter and have posted it as a Google doc for other Yale Law School students to continue to sign.
To Dean Gerken and the Yale Law School leadership,
We write today as Yale Law students, alumni, and educators ashamed of our alma mater. Within an hour of Donald Trump’s announcement that he would nominate Brett Kavanaugh, YLS ‘90, to the Supreme Court, the law school published a press release boasting of its alumnus’s accomplishment. The school’s post included quotes from Yale Law School professors about Judge Kavanaugh’s intellect, influence and mentorship of their students.
What the fuck? I’d be proud to have an alumni of my school nominated to SCOTUS.
Of course my first thought would be “how do I get on the list of new clerks for Justice Kavanaugh?” I think about the connections that I could make, the opportunities that might be available that I could take advantage of.
The former president of my graduate alma mater is now the Air Force Secretary. The first thing I did was send her a congratulatory email. You never know when having a connection like that may be useful for a job recommendation or in applying for a contract position.
Yet the press release’s focus on the nominee’s professionalism, pedigree, and service to Yale Law School obscures the true stakes of his nomination and raises a disturbing question:
So you agree he’s incredibly qualified. I know I wouldn’t want to publicly shit on my law school.
Is there nothing more important to Yale Law School than its proximity to power and prestige?
Let the shitting begin.
And to answer the question, no. You go to Yale for the connections to power and prestige. That’s the whole point of any Ivy League. This is the same school that erupted into riots over an email about Halloween costumes. It’s not like the school is making you into great philosophers.
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.
“I may have gone to one of the most prestigious and expensive law schools in the world. I may end up a multi millionaire because of the connections I made at this school and the doors that open up to me because I have a degree from this institution. BUT I AM A VICTIM GOD DAMNIT AND I SHOULD BE LISTENED TO!!!”
Since his campaign launched, 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.
If you can afford to go to Yale Law, you can get an abortion. You can probably fly to Switzerland to have one at some luxury concierge abortion clinic where the Hollywood starlets go when they suffer from “exhaustion” after their audition with Harvey Weinstein. Don’t bullshit me.
From here on there are several paragraphs going over Judge Kavanaugh’s judicial history and why those decisions are decidedly not woke.
Judge Kavanaugh would also act as a rubber stamp for President Trump’s fraud and abuse.
If elevated, the judge would pose an existential threat to the government’s ability to regulate for the common good and further twist the First Amendment beyond recognition, using it as a sword to advance his personal political preferences.
Not freedom of speech for Conservatives, we can’t have that.
His appointment would usher in a new era of Lochner, with “black-robed rulers overriding citizens’ choices.”
Like the NY SAFE Act? I guess when the citizens elect leaders to strip rights away from people, that’s fine. Overturning a mob rule decision that restricts fundamental rights is bad.
Judge Kavanaugh has consistently protected the interests of powerful institutions and disregarded the rights of vulnerable individuals.
“Identity politics and not the rule of law should be used to decide the outcome of any case.” I wonder what Yale Law is teaching because that is pretty bad.
The list goes on. We see in these rulings an intellectually and morally bankrupt ideologue intent on rolling back our rights and the rights of our clients. Judge Kavanaugh’s resume is certainly marked by prestige, groomed for exactly this nomination. But degrees and clerkships should not be the only, or even the primary, credential for a Supreme Court appointment. A commitment to law and justice is.
I think Judge Kavanaugh has shown that commitment. What they don’t like is that he has applied the traditional notion of justice in his decisions, not a social justice idea that prioritizes victim status over the rule of law.
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.
Yeah, Yale Law School, denounce your own graduate for an appointment to the Supreme Court over entirely partisan reasons. Why not just burn your school to the ground and piss on the ashes.
Why should any student go to any Law School that can’t stand behind one of its graduates being nominated to the highest court in the land and actively undermines its graduate’s futures over partisan reasons?
This is single-handedly one of the dumbest things I have ever read.
Look at the list of signatories. Most are from the Class of 2010 or newer. But if you ever find yourself needed a lawyer and find our your lawyer is from Yale, compare that name to this list.
It may save your ass. How can you be sure that your attorney is willing to put partisan feelings over your representation if they can’t put partisan feelings over scuttling their alma mater?