Brett Kavanaugh

Yale Law Professors Cancel Classes So Students Can Protest Brett Kavanaugh

"For civil disobedience to be praiseworthy and serious, protestors must be willing to bear the costs of the then-extant sanctions."


Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Newscom

At least 30 Yale law professors cancelled classes Monday to allow students to travel to Washington, D.C. and protest Brett Kavanaugh, a graduate of the law school and President Trump's nominee to the Supreme Court.

More than 100 students took advantage of the opportunity, and others protested on the campus in New Haven, Connecticut. Not all students were happy about this: Yale law student Emily Hall told Campus Reform she disagreed with the professors' decision to humor the protesters.

"It effectively encourages students to participate in the protests and penalizes those who choose not to by disrupting the class schedule," she said.

Nicholas Christakis, the former dean of Yale's Silliman College who was furiously denounced by activists for refusing to humor their demands for intellectual safe spaces, wrote that cancelling classes in this case "seems hard to defend."

Despite so many Yale professors making it easier for students to protest Kavanaugh, this was still not good enough for at least one activist: Dana Bolger, a Yale law student and co-founder of Know Your IX, an advocacy group for sexual assault victims. On Twitter, she accused Yale of institutional "complicity," presumably because the school's administration has failed to denounce Kavanaugh.

Heather Gerken, dean of Yale Law School, has refused to take an official position on the nomination—and has maintained this would be inappropriate, given her position—but said she is proud of the Yale community for calling attention to issues of "fair process, the rule of law, and the integrity of the law system."