‘People Will Die if He Is Confirmed.’ Students and Alumni Press Yale to Condemn Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh
Yale Law School may be proud to add another Supreme Court Justice to its long list of alumni, but many others do not share the sentiment.
After the school shared a press release lauding Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination, over 200 students, staff members, and alumni of Yale Law School signed an open letter condemning the press release and calling on the school to rescind its support.
“We write today as Yale Law students, alumni, and educators ashamed of our alma mater,” the letter begins.
Pointing to Yale Law School’s quick publication of the press release, the letter continues that focusing on “the nominee’s professionalism, pedigree, and service” to the school “obscures the true stakes of his nomination.”
It raises “a disturbing question,” the letter argues. “Is there nothing more important to Yale Law School than its proximity to power and prestige?”
In particular, the letter highlights Kavanaugh’s past opinions that reflect a strong conservative bent, including a ruling to deny an undocumented minor her right to abortion while in custody, and another that argued that the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate violated the rights of religious groups.
Noting that Kavanaugh has “consistently protected the interests of powerful institutions and disregarded the rights of vulnerable individuals,” the letter calls for Yale Law to exhibit “moral courage” and withhold its support.
“People will die if he is confirmed,” the letter concludes. “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.”
Yale issued a statement on the issue to Fortune, stating that its law school is a nonpartisan institution.
“We routinely acknowledge high-profile nominations of our alumni,” it said, in reference to the Kavanaugh press release. “We did exactly the same thing not so long ago when Justice Sonia Sotomayor ’79 received her nomination to the High Court.”
This story has been updated to reflect Yale’s statement.