Broken Norms Should End Business-As-Usual Nominations

Since the announcement of Brett Kavanaugh as Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, a parade of law professors — many of them with connections to Yale Law School — have made statements about Kavanaugh’s being a great person and a great mentor of clerks. Others have signed onto this campaign to humanize Kavanaugh by extolling his virtues as a “carpool dad” and middle school basketball coach. The law school itself issued a press release where various faculty argued he was a great person, and some argued he was a great judge.

Yale’s statement about Kavanaugh provoked a huge outcry from hundreds of its students. They wrote an open letter — which I signed as an alumna — excoriating the law school for being impervious to the ways that Kavanaugh would harm our country on the Supreme Court. While Yale has pointed to a similar statement it released following the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor, this is an evasive and false equivalency. Sotomayor never threatened to act as a swing vote against the rights of millions.

This article was originally published in Law360.