“The credible allegations of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee and Harvard Law School lecturer Brett Kavanaugh have left us with more questions than answers,” the students wrote. “Women at this law school are already forced to opt out of clerkships and employment opportunities in order to avoid alleged sexual predators; they should not also be forced to opt out of classes. The administration diminishes women’s access to education when they fail to address allegations of abuse."
Christine Blasey Ford, a professor in California, publicly accused the nominee this week of sexually assaulting her at party in the early 1980s when the two were teenagers. And the students wondered how Harvard would deal with the accusation, in light of the fact that Kavanaugh is scheduled to teach a class in January focused on the Supreme Court from 2005 to the present.
The four students — Molly Coleman, Vail Kohnert-Yount, Jake Meiseles and Sejal Singh — are part of a group called the Pipeline Parity Project, which works to end harassment and discrimination in the world of law, according to HuffPost.
Kohnert-Yount told HuffPost that she wouldn’t be comfortable taking Kavanaugh’s class, saying that his presence at the school puts students in a “very uncomfortable position and necessitates that vulnerable people self-select out of a learning opportunity.”
Meiseles said that a course taught by Kavanaugh, who is known as an influential judge who can help students land prestigious jobs, would put an “unfair burden on women,” who would have to forgo potential career opportunities rather than take his class, according to the outlet.
Harvard did not return a request for comment on Thursday night.
Kavanaugh has taught law at Georgetown, Yale and Harvard, where he has had a post since 2008. In July, dozens of Kavanaugh’s former students signed a letter that described him as “a rigorous thinker, a devoted teacher, and a gracious person” who “was exceptionally generous with his time.”
Student reviews distributed by Kavanaugh’s confirmation team have been largely positive, with many focusing on “his mastery of legal materials, intellectual rigor, fair-mindedness and accessibility,” according to a New York Times report, which came out about two months before Ford stepped forward with her accusation.
The Pipeline Parity Project plans to hand out buttons that say “I Believe Christine Blasey Ford,” around Harvard’s campus in Cambridge, according to the Harvard Crimson.