Yale Students & Alumni Sign Open Letter Urging Law School To Rescind Support For Brett Kavanaugh
Yale Law School praised newly-appointed Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh for his achievements in a press release earlier this week, and members of the university’s current and former student body and staff were quick to respond.
As of Tuesday evening, more than 200 Yale Law School students, alumni and staffers signed an open letter urging for the school to rescind its comments about Kavanaugh, who was appointed by President Donald Trump on Monday to replace the retired Anthony Kennedy.
A former Washington, D.C. Appeals Court judge who also served as White House staff secretary under George W. Bush, 53-year-old Kavanaugh has raised concerns because of his ultra-conservative stance on abortion and women’s reproductive rights. Roe vs. Wade is said to be in danger because of Kavanaugh’s appointment. The judge also believes a president cannot be sued while in office. Kavanaugh, who graduated from Yale Law School in 1990, worked as a clerk for Kennedy.
“Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination presents an emergency — for democratic life, for our safety and freedom, for the future of our country,” the letter reads. “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.”
Yale Law students and graduates went on to emphasize how much of a threat to the nation and women’s rights specifically Kavanaugh would pose, citing his history of making decisions that severely limit women. The letter implored Dean Heather Gerken and the rest of the school’s leadership to reconsider their support for the judge for these reasons.
“Since his campaign launched, Trump has repeatedly promised to appoint justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade,” the letter continued. “Overturning that decision would endanger the lives of countless people who need or may need abortions — including many who sign this letter. Trump’s nomination of Judge Kavanaugh is a reliable way to fulfill his oath. Just a few months ago, Judge Kavanaugh ruled to deny a detained immigrant minor her constitutional right to abortion. Decades-old Supreme Court precedent makes clear that the government may not place an undue burden on a pregnant person’s access to abortion.”
Members of the Yale Law community also recalled a 2015 dissent in which Kavanaugh maintained that Obamacare’s mandate on contraceptives “violated the rights of religious organizations, even though those organizations were granted an accommodation that allowed them to opt out of providing contraceptive coverage.”
Finally, the letter noted how Kavanaugh’s apparent unwavering allegiance to the president is particularly concerning given the fact that Trump and his allies are still being investigated for possibly colluding with the Russian government to win the 2016 election.