Brett Kavanaugh

GMU Student: 'The Hiring of Brett Kavanaugh Threatens the Mental Well-Being of All Survivors on Campus'

Some students want GMU to #CancelKavanaugh. Some professors want the school to investigate the justice.


Screenshot via Mason 4 Survivors

A group of George Mason University students is demanding that Associate Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh not take a position as a visiting law professor—and some professors are voicing support for them.

"The hiring of Kavanaugh threatens the mental well-being of all survivors on this campus," said one female student during the public comment period of GMU's board meeting last week, according to video footage obtained by The College Fix.

Another student, a survivor of sexual violence, claimed that her mental health had already suffered as a result of the Antonin Scalia Law School's decision to hire Kavanaugh. "It is affecting my mental health knowing that an abuser will be part of our faculty," she said.

A third student said, "As someone who has survived sexual assault three times, I do not feel comfortable with someone who has sexual assault allegations walking on campus."

But Kavanaugh, who was accused of sexual misconduct by several women during his confirmation hearings, will not actually be present on GMU's campus. He is slated to teach a summer course on "Creating the Constitution" in Runnymede, England, where the Magna Cart was signed.

During a meeting with the Faculty Senate last week, GMU President Angel Cabrera sounded perplexed about the opposition to Kavanaugh. He correctly noted that it would be insane to pass up an opportunity for students to learn from one of just nine current Supreme Court justices.

"This is not a crazy appointment," said Cabrera. "This is a Supreme Court justice who is going to be teaching about the United States Constitution….The students have signed up for the class."

At the meeting, Professor Bethany Letiecq, president of GMU's chapter of the American Association of University Professors, wondered why the university had not investigated the charges against Kavanaugh. Note the exchange, according to The College Fix:

"Well, should we investigate that? I mean, should we investigate that," Letiecq said to Cabrera as snaps of approval rose out in the room. (Snapping has largely replaced clapping on college campuses as a way to show support.)

"He's been accused, and there has not been a full investigation as far as I'm…that I can see," she said.

Cabrera responds: "So, I mean, George Mason University…investigate a Supreme Court justice who has been confirmed by the United States Senate?"

"Yes," a woman calls out.

"We do our due diligence on all hires. This is a hire," a man added, drawing more snaps as someone else calls out "agreed!"

It's hard to imagine what such an investigation would even look like, given that the incidents in question do not involve GMU, were made three decades ago, and were already explored by the federal government and the news media.

But even if an investigation were to take place, this would hardly placate the student activists: They want the university to #CancelKavanaugh immediately. This follows from the fourth-wave feminist presumption that all self-proclaimed survivors of sexual misconduct must be telling the truth—even though at least one of the Kavanaugh accusations is extremely dubious.

It would be a terrible blow to the principles of fairness and academic freedom if a university were to un-person one of the foremost judicial figures in the country over this. Cabrera should continue to reject the activists' demands.