Yale Law School students, alumni denounce Trump Supreme Court pick
More than 400 current and former Yale Law School students are banding together to denounce President Trump’s latest Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, saying that “people will die” if the Yale alum is confirmed.
“Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination presents an emergency — for democratic life, for our safety and freedom, for the future of our country,” they wrote in an open letter published earlier this week.
“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.”
Kavanaugh graduated from Yale Law School in 1990 and has spent the past 12 years as a federal judge on the nation’s second most powerful court — the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He was nominated by Trump on Monday to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court.
His nomination led to glowing praise from Yale and Yale law professors. In an op-ed for The New York Times, professor Akhil Reed Amar made a liberal’s case for Kavanaugh. In addition, the school sent out a press release with multiple endorsements from the university’s faculty.
The current and former students, however, condemn the praise Kavanaugh received from the school, asking if there is “nothing more important to Yale Law School than its proximity to power and prestige?”
They argue that Kavanaugh’s nomination is a way to fulfill Trump’s oath of overturning Roe v. Wade — the landmark case that legalized abortion — and that it could endanger countless lives. To help justify this argument, they point to Kavanaugh’s past ruling 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. But Judge Kavanaugh clearly did not feel constrained by precedent,” they wrote.
The letter also raises concerns about his experience working on the investigation led by Kenneth Starr into former President Clinton, adding that Kavanaugh has since “called upon Congress to exempt sitting presidents from civil suits, criminal investigations, and criminal prosecutions.”
“At a time when the President and his associates are under investigation for various serious crimes, including colluding with the Russian government and obstructing justice, Judge Kavanaugh’s extreme deference to the Executive poses a direct threat to our democracy,” the letter reads.
The letter comes as many Democratic senators voice opposition to Trump’s Supreme Court nominee. His confirmation hearings are expected to be highly contentious.
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) responded to the letter shortly after it was released, mocking the students and alumni.
Over 375 Yale Law school alumni have signed a letter about Judge Kavanaugh that says “if he is confirmed, people will die.”
It’s good that we are all approaching this process rationally. https://t.co/49b7b11LH7
— Senator Hatch Office (@senorrinhatch) July 11, 2018