Harvard students demand university rethink Brett Kavanaugh’s teaching role
Students at Harvard University are questioning whether U.S. President Donald Trump‘s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh should be allowed to teach at the school following sexual assault allegations.
In a joint letter published in The Harvard Law Record, four students — Molly Coleman, Vail Kohnert-Yount, Jake Meiseles and Sejal Singh — asked what action the university is planning to take.
“Will Harvard Law School take seriously the credible allegation of Kavanaugh’s sexual assault against a young woman before he is allowed to continue teaching young women?” they asked.
The letter referred to allegations made this month that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted a 15-year-old girl in 1982 when they were both high school students.
Kavanaugh has called the allegations made by Christine Blasey Ford, who is now a university professor in California, “completely false.”
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Students at Harvard are demanding the school carry out its own inquiry before paying him using their tuition money — the letter says Kavanaugh has earned US$27,490 for nine days of teaching this year.
It adds that not doing so, and allowing Kavanaugh to teach, could make women at the school uncomfortable, and even lead some to opt out of classes.
While the U.S. Senate has said that it will not investigate allegations against Kavanaugh, students urged Harvard to take a different approach.
“As students, however, we will not accept that as the end of this matter.”
The four students who published the letter are part of a university group called Pipeline Parity Project, which seeks to end harassment and discrimination in legal professions. According to the Harvard Crimson, the group will also be handing out “I Believe Christine Blasey Ford” pins on campus.
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Several other students have also spoken out in support of Kavanaugh in another joint letter, but before allegations of sexual assault surfaced.
In July, 80 former students wrote: “We may have differing views on political issues surrounding the confirmation process, but we all agree on one thing: Judge Kavanaugh is a rigorous thinker, a devoted teacher, and a gracious person.”
Kavanaugh was hired as a professor by Harvard Law School in 2008, and has also taught at other universities, such as Yale and Georgetown. According to The Washington Post, he is scheduled to teach a class at Harvard in January on the Supreme Court.
Harvard University has not yet commented on the calls for an inquiry.
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