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Yale Law Prof. Amy Chua's Statement on Her Advice to Clerkship Applicants

Yale law professor Amy Chua has recently been accused of telling law students that Brett Kavanaugh hired only women who "looked like models," and therefore urged them to dress to interviews with him in a way that "exude[d] a 'model-like' femininity" (I'm quoting here the characterization from The Guardian). Chua had recommended many clerks to Judge Kavanaugh, and her daughter has clerked (or perhaps is clerking, I'm not sure) for him.

I have no idea whether Judge Kavanaugh has indeed preferred good-looking women as clerks; and, if Prof. Chua thought he did, I don't think giving advice based on that should be viewed as alleged "faculty misconduct" on Prof. Chua's part: Even according to these reports, she was basically doing what I think older women mentors have long done (and been expected to) for young women -- teling them about what she thought (rightly or wrongly) real life (good or bad) operated in this situation, and about how to dress in order to get ahead. Nor would advice to dress "model-like" suggest to me dressing unprofessionally (though I have to confess that I pay very little attention to models or how they dress), but rather dressing in a particular professional style.

But in any event, Prof. Chua (who I'm told has had serious health problems for some month) has sent around the following statement (paragraph breaks added):

Everything that is being said about the advice I give to students applying to Brett Kavanaugh -- or any judge -- is outrageous, 100% false, and the exact opposite of everything I have stood for and said for the last fifteen years.

I always tell students to prep insanely hard -- that substance is the most important thing. I advise them to read every opinion, including dissents, the judge has ever written as well as important recent cases from the circuit and Supreme Court. I tell them to review all the black-letter courses they've taken and to be prepared to answer hard questions about their writing sample. I tell them to be courteous to everyone, including the staff and clerks.

I advise students, male and female, to dress professionally -- not too casually -- and to avoid inappropriate clothing. I remind them that they are interviewing with a member of the judiciary.

I always try my best to be frank and transparent, and to hold students to the highest professional standard, and every year for the last decade I have been invited by affinity groups like Yale Law Women, the Black Law Students Association, and Outlaws to host clerkship advice sessions. My record as a clerkship mentor, especially for women and minorities, is among the things I'm most proud of in my life.

Disclosure: I don't personally know Prof. Chua (I don't think we've ever met); I have met her husband, Jed Rubenfeld, who writes on constitutional law, at conferences, though I don't think I've spoken to him or corresponded with him in years; I know Judge Kavanaugh from clerking, though I likewise haven't talked to him in a long time. But he has cited my book and my law review articles in his opinions, which is enough to strip the impartiality from all but the strongest of law professors ....

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  • Lee Moore||

    I'm kinda getting the impression that the lefties are all in on the 5th conservative on SCOTUS = the end of civilisation thing.

    More Kavanaugh rape claims to come over the weekend, methinks. Perhaps even a blood sacrifice with little boys and a goat. The bribe taking revealtions are on deck for Monday. Wonder how it's all playing in Indiana and Missouri ?

  • TwelveInchPianist||

    Not the end of civilization, but clearly a credible court with a conservative majority is not useful to the left, so they will do what they can to make the court irrelevant.

  • Sarcastr0||

    Would you say the conservative drumbeat about judicial overreach over the past decades has been in similar bad faith?

    People you disagree with can care about the Court for legitimate, non-instrumental reasons.

  • ||

    No. The left DOES objectively act in bad faith with respect to the judiciary. There's no good faith way to argue that when the drafters wrote the 14th Amendment in 1868, they were intending to protect the "right" of a woman to kill her fetus and of a gay man to insert his penis into another man's butt.

  • Krayt||

    I'm fine with judicial activism that increases personal rights like killing one's fetus and inserting one's penis into another man's butt. I have no problem with taking your freedom by force if necessary, of which this is a highly abstract kind.

    It is judicial activism that *increases* government control in unforseen ways, and ways those who approved the Constitution or amendment would not have agreed was part of it. History shows a demagogue merely opening his mouth to increase his power is...not so good.

  • ||

    I can see the argument for that, but the problem is that what constitutes "increasing personal rights" is often subjective. For example, a baker being forced to bake a wedding cake at government gunpoint. Is that increasing the gay couple's personal rights, or is it decreasing the baker's personal rights?

  • Lee Moore||

    Obviously it's increasing the gay couple's rights and decreasing the baker's rights. Consequently the total effect is undefined - it requires ascribing values to each right on an arbitrary basis.

    But there is a logically coherent way to answer a slightly different question, which is whether there is a net increase or decrease in liberty. The baker has the liberty, but not the obligation, to bake and sell cakes. The gay couple has the liberty, but not the obligation, to buy cakes. Any "association" between them, to be consistent with their pre existing liberty, has to be voluntary on both sides. So if you force the baker to bake and sell to the gay couple against his will, you are reducing his liberty. But you are not increasing the liberty of the gay couple. Because their liberty - the liberty to do what they choose with whoever they choose on a voluntary basis - isn't what gets them the cake. What gets them the cake is their power to force the baker into an associaton against his will. Power and liberty are not the same thing. (eg I have the liberty to play golf on the moon, but not the power.)

    Consequently when you grant someone a power to coerce another, you do not thereby increase their liberty you merely increase their power. Consequently you are reducing liberty net, because there is nothng to offset the baker's loss.

  • TwelveInchPianist||

    "Would you say the conservative drumbeat about judicial overreach over the past decades has been in similar bad faith?"

    Well, I don't recall any serious conservative proposals about court packing, like FDR's, or like the proposal your ideological compadre is making on this very page, so no.

  • Leo Marvin||

    You won't even pay lip service to the possibility Kavanaugh's accusers are telling the truth?

  • Lee Moore||

    Actually on other threads i have paid more than lip service, I've conceded there's a small chance that Dr Ford is telling the truth. Though with each ludicrous extra excuse for delay, the chances shrink.

    But the Ramirez thing is obviously minor league shark jumping. As I said, little boys, goats and bribery allegations are on deck.

  • Joe_dallas||

    Fords allegation - Roughhousing, wedgie, pretending to hump her - possible to likely to have happened (but by whom?). Actual attempted rape, "feared that he was going to inadvertantly kill me" highly unlikely,

    Lee moore's comment and the repetitive delays and objections to any normal form of presentation by Ford also raises the question of the truthfulness of Fords allegation

    Ramirez's claim is even more questionable.
    Apparently, the new yorker couldnt find anyone to verify the story, The could find a few people that heard about it, but none could name the perp.

    The dorms at Yale are relatively small, The party was attended by 10-12 people, Someone supposedly ran down the hall yelling the kav stuck his "____" in Carol's face. Word travels fast. Does anyone really believe the word would not have reached on of the RA's within a few hours or at least by the next day, No discinplanary action? No reports? No first hand accounts? only vague accounts that say to the effect - we have no knowledge of the event, but it could have happened -

  • Lee Moore||

    Indeed. Ford's allegations could be true. A couple of aspects of them lend them some credence - some allegations were apparently made in 2012, Kavanaugh's friend appears to have been a bit of a hell raiser. Some aspects detract from their credibility - that no other alleged witnesses recall the incident, or even being at such a party, that Ford didn't speak of it until recently, that she claims to have found it traumatic.

    But the feature that does most to undermine her story is motive. She has a motive to lie, and the "Surprise !" right at the end of the process, and then the extended, indeed unfinished, pantomime with the cast of political hacks to the fore adds to the suspicions of her motives. Inextricably tangled with motive is of course the political convenience of her story. If Kavanaugh did sexually assault a girl 36 years ago, what are the odds that she would grow up to be a Bernie bro lefty Professor ? If she was assaulted by a teenage boy 36 years ago, what are the odds that he would grow up to be a conservative SCOTUS nominee ? If it happened, what are the odds that it would traumatise her into a fear of flying ?

    It could be true. Coincidences happen. Boys do grope girls. But it's just so much more likely that she's lying than that she's telling the truth.

  • Krayt||

    They may be but the info is being sat on to delay.

    I'd like to ask them to testify under oath that they aren't holding back any more info for any reason.

    If Kav needs to go, well, anything that must happen eventually should happen immediately, so everyone can get on with stuff.

    Is that the case here? I dunno.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    End of civilization?

    A conservative majority on the Supreme Court might not last three years.

  • Paladin_44||

    Civilization is a bit shaken right now, Art. None too certain 3+ years will do it.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    I believe America is amply tough enough to withstand its most recent bout of ignorance and intolerance until its better elements can enlarge the Supreme Court.

  • Jeff_Kleppe||

    "More Kavanaugh rape claims to come over the weekend, methinks."

    Yep, they just broke.

  • apedad||

    Sooooooo….the #metoo movement has finally reached the law profession.

  • Ben_||

    Thanks for your comments ... about someone's alleged, denied comments ... about how to dress for interviews.

    This is what we talk about when SCOTUS nominees might or might not have made a 30-second-long mistake in high school in 1982. Because we are all very serious people, talking about weighty matters.

  • Harvey Mosley||

    Ben do you think I could get the web address for your blog? I'm sure you've written plenty on these issues and I'd like to read it.

    Thanks!

  • Procyon Mustelid||

    "A 30-second long mistake in high school in 1982" is an interesting way to describe attempting a crime that could be eligible for the death penalty until the Supreme Court fucked up in Coker v. Georgia back in 1977.

  • Ben_||

    Lots of things can be described lots of interesting ways. But phony drama gets old.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    But phony drama gets old.

    As stale as right-wing bigotry, Ben? Including misogyny?

    Have the Republicans found a few token women to send out to question the witness for the cameras yet?

  • TwelveInchPianist||

    Arthur, I'm willing to bet that you voted for Bill Clinton twice, dispute the allegations against him. Was that due to misogyny? Have you become a better feminist since the Clinton presidency?

    Or was it because you non-misogynistically determined that the women who accused him were lying?

    Or do you, like Gloria Steinem, believe that it's OK for a governor or a president to grope and expose himself to his employees, as long as he "takes no for an answer"?

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    I voted for Clinton the first time. I do not remember much scandal surrounding Clinton at that time, and I had developed increasing distaste for the consequences of the Reagan presidency.

    Clinton did a good job as president, in my judgment, but I voted for Bob Dole because Clinton's personal conduct offended me, I believed self-inflicted problems were diminishing his effectiveness, and I respected Dole's personal story (and liked him when I met him).

    I would not have voted for Clinton after the Lewinsky scandal. His conduct was reprehensible and it shackled his presidency to the country's detriment.

  • damikesc||

    "A 30-second long mistake in high school in 1982" is an interesting way to describe attempting a crime that could be eligible for the death penalty until the Supreme Court fucked up in Coker v. Georgia back in 1977.

    Funny that literally nobody corroborates her story, ain't it?

    "Believe the women" led to lynchings.

  • Procyon Mustelid||

    Funny, the part where I disputed Ben saying "might or might not have" doesn't show up when I look my comment... It's almost like you're deliberately missing my point: whether the accusation's true or false, it's an accusation of what is rightfully a serious felony. There's a difference between a frivolous accusation and an accusation of something frivolous. That difference matters.

  • Eugene Volokh||

    I'm with Procyon Mustelid on this point (and not just because my wife went to the University of Michigan). It's an allegation of a serious offense, not just of a "mistake." Whether the allegation is true is a very different matter.

  • Rigelsen||

    Let's say we were still capable of studious detachment about such matters instead of dialing things up to 11. Could there be something besides actual attempted rape that led to her understanding things the way she did? That's the thing. If she had reported this at the time, it might have been resolved with an apology for over-aggressive horseplay between drunk 16 year olds instead of an attempted rape that continued to haunt her to this day. As well, if this was a case of mistaken identity, that would have been resolved easily too.

    Memory is funny. And eyewitness identifications are notoriously suspect. So, it's quite possible that something did indeed happen, but her memory of who and what, just like the where and when, is much fuzzier than she has revealed, or even knows herself. Was she ever even an acquaintance of Kavanaugh?

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    She has been reported to have said she had been a previous acquaintance of Kavanaugh's.

    In the absence of a formal investigation, I form no opinion.

  • Absaroka||

    You're missing EV and Procyon's point.

    If I say 'When I was six years old Mother Teresa and a gang of aliens from Alpha Centauri kept me as a sex slave and harvested many of my organs' that is simultaneously:

    A)Very obviously untrue and
    B)An allegation of a serious offense.

    Or for a more down to earth :-) example, the false Duke Lacrosse allegations were both untrue and serious accusations. Accusations of a felony are tautologically allegations of a serious offense, no matter how implausible.

  • iowantwo||

    So I shoot and kill some one. Am I to be accused of a serious offense? Or do you make a serious allegation?

    Because the facts are the same for 1st degree murder, or self defense. The point is, the state makes the charge, not the victim.

  • Joe_dallas||

    EV - the allegation is an allegation of a serious offense.

    However - The description of the event in the letter doesnt rise to a level that supports an actual attempted rape. The level of emotional trauma doesnt appear to rise even close to the level of emotional trauma that would be expected from an attempted rape.

    Another point - Every profession has terms and verbage that have very precise distinct definitions and meanings, while those same terms are very generic and broad to laymen. "Medical treatment' vs counseling have very different and distinct meanings in the medical profession and the psychiatric and psychology professions. The use of term medical treatment to describe marriage counseling can only be contrued to be intentionally deceptive by someone with a Phd in Psychology.

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    Joe_Dallas, don't you suppose their might be some anti-depressants or sleeping pills involved. Not medical treatment?

  • Ben_||

    It would be serious, or at least potentially serious, if the current year were still 1982 or so. In 2018, it's an account of a weird, half-remembered thing from high school. And unless someone changes their story, or produces Polaroids or a dusty journal, it can never really be any more than that.

    There's not enough basis for a probable conclusion either way — people forget, or remember falsely, or get mixed up, or see events a different way. The opportunity to draw an objective conclusion without very strong doubt was lost long ago.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Watching birthers parse this one is entertaining.

  • Paladin_44||

    ;}

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    Oh boy, Ben, you're in luck! Kavanaugh has a dusty calendar!

    If he refers to it, Ds ought to be able to string the hearings out for weeks, getting forensic confirmation of its age—which, of course, will prove out, whether or not it's a fake. Or the Rs could just say, no, no, no, no confirmation, we're going confirm our calendar guy! He saved his calendar for the Smithsonian! And by the way, forget about all that stuff from Yale. Probably the calendar exonerates him on that, too.

    At what point do Rs just say, you know, putting this guy on the court isn't the right path to a legitimate court, no matter how much we believe him? What's wrong here? Is the Federalist Society out of names?

  • CJColucci||

    Who keeps calendars from high school? And why? I don't have calendars from 1982 and I was graduating law school. Kavanaugh should be voted down because he is a dweeb.

  • Joe_dallas||

    "A 30-second long mistake in high school in 1982" is an interesting way to describe attempting a crime that could be eligible for the death penalty until the Supreme Court fucked up in Coker v. Georgia back in 1977."

    You may wish to re read the letter. - The description of the event far more closely resembles a wedgie than an actual attempted rape.

    talk with any criminal investigator - virtually no police office is going to waste their time with this claim, even assuming the claim was fresh ie recent.

  • bernard11||

    Name one person actually lynched.

    Let's not use the term as a metaphor. Lots of people were really, literally, lynched for the crime of being black. It's a very ugly part of American history.

  • TwelveInchPianist||

    "Name one person actually lynched."

    Huh? Emmett Till. Get it now?

  • gormadoc||

    #StandWithHer

  • TwelveInchPianist||

    And the odds are good that none of this happened anyway. False accusations are a huge problem in this area. In fact, according to RAINN, an anti-sexual violence organization, only about 2% of rape reports are determined to be true.

  • Eugene Volokh||

    ?

  • AmosArch||

    The numbers I've seen are wildly different from each other. The basic pattern I've noticed is that the numbers MSM and feminist organizations like to cite tend to treat only proven cases where for example the accuser ended up recanting or getting convicted as false while everything else was considered true. The vast majority of surveys have some variant of this fatal flaw of being prone to being misrepresented as this crime is fundamentally she said he said.

    However the few surveys that follow cases where the authorities dig into into them as much as possible tend to have higher false accusation rates, in one case I recall 50%. The usual suspects of course hate this study. Here's a link to one.

    https://tinyurl.com/yc9y6mqv

  • Toranth||

    The claim made by RAINN and other organizations is that only 2% of rapist accusations result in the rapist being convicted.

    12" just phrased it the same way that these organizations phrases the "false rape accusations are rare" claim - by only listing the number of convictions, and ignoring all the cases that are dropped for insufficient evidence, prosecutorial discretion, actual innocence, etc.

    Using that phrasing, since only 2% of rape accusations result in a conviction, only 2% are "true".

  • Ben_||

    If it were true, the smart strategy would be to say it happened, but it was just innocent high school goofing around. Lying means you could be contradicted by one of the other witnesses.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    The strategy Judge Kavanaugh and his handlers -- who include Ed "ZillowMaster" Whelan -- were preparing appeared to be 'she mistakenly identified me as the guy who tried to rape her.'

  • Ben_||

    What's your complaint about Ed Whelan? Are you not a fan of poorly-supported accusations?

  • Naaman Brown||

    What evidence is there that Ed Whelan wasn't just tossing out an opinion?

    What evidence is that Brett Kavanaugh or his handlers put Ed Whelan up to that?

    What evidence is there that Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland is not just tossing out opinions but is being handled by the Farces of Evil As We Suspect Them?

  • Sarcastr0||

    Read his twitter thread. It's got floor plans and whatnot. He's making a factual claim.

    Popehat doesn't think it's libel, but he called it 'beach house libel' where it's close enough to the line that a lawyer may be able to pay for a beach house proving it's OK.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Ed Whelan is one of Kavanaugh's handlers.

    Whelan also began to discuss Dr. Ford's identity after a newspaper asked Kavanaugh and his handlers for comment but before that identity was publicly revealed.

    Other than that, though . . . great comment!

    Carry on, clingers.

  • bernard11||

    Scumbag Whelan looked at Ford's LinkedIn page within 90 minutes of the Post checking with the White House.

    The notion that he was just throwing out an opinion, all by himself is ridiculous beyond belief. There was talk in conservative circles before his tweet the he was going to announce something big.

    Come on. Did Kavanaugh know abut the farcical plot? Maybe not, but a lot of people involved in the nomination surely did.

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    Ben, I am having a little trouble taking you literally. Kavanaugh is supposed to say he turned the music up loud, and covered her mouth, in support of an argument that it was "innocent high school goofing around?"

  • Ben_||

    No, he'd say it didn't happen like that at all because he never ever treated anyone that way, but there was a party and he can't remember for sure, but he thinks those people were all there. It would be really easy to come up with a story where it was all innocent, completely different than her story, but safe from other witnesses contradiction.

    If he was going to lie, that's a useful way to do it.

    As it is, he said none of it ever happened and other witnesses agree with him.

    (I still understand that we can never actually know and the whole thing is lost to time and therefore was always probably pointless.)

  • iowantwo||

    Maybe the legislature should make a law that requires a crime to be reported before memories and evidence become impossible to make an informed charge of a crime. Just a thought from a non lawyer.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    The relevant standard in this context is not "making an informed charge of a crime."

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    The relevant standard in this context is not "making an informed charge of a crime."

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    and other witnesses agree with him

    Who has asserted 'it didn't happen' . . . other than some old white men serving as Republican senators?

  • Ben_||

    It's impossible to witness something not happening.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    'I know it never occurred' and 'I do not remember anything' are distinguishable.

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    Ben, I like that notion, ". . . other winesses agree with him." Seems like the agreement is all coming from alleged non-witnesses.

    Do you suppose Judge's testimony, confirming your scenario, would, on balance be taken as exculpatory? I suggest his admitting to being there would tend to convince wavering bystanders that there was something to what Ford claimed.

  • Procyon Mustelid||

    Isn't that the exact opposite of what they say?

  • Rigelsen||

    What they say is a bit of truth surrounded by a whole lot of BS. The 2-5% number is the number of accusations that are provable lies, as in the accuser provably lied. It doesn't include cases of insufficient evidence, mistaken reporting, probabe but not egregious lies, etc. The number of actual provable assaults are much lower than generally reported. Keep in mind, prosecutors do not prosecute lies except in the most egregious of cases, and these are the only ones that go into the oft cited statistic.

  • Procyon Mustelid||

    Right, but whether or not RAINN's numbers are accurate has no bearing on whether or not TwelveInchPianist's statement of what numbers they use is accurate.

  • Toranth||

    12" seems to be using their own phrasing right back at them.
    Here's the most "famous" of the RAINN charts. Notice how there's no question of whether or not a rape accusation is even true? It's just assumed that all are true, and that when prosecutors decline to charge, or even when a jury declines to convict, it's just sexism and bigotry.
    However, when talking about false rape accusations, only those that result in convictions for a false report are assumed to be "truly false", with all others being "actual rapes".

    By their own logic, if only 2% of reported rapes (310) result in a conviction (7) then that means 98% were "not true".

  • TwelveInchPianist||

    Exactly. Using proven cases as your numerator seems like a terrible way to look at the problem, but if that's how the gender studies pros are doing it, who am I to argue.

    Of course, all the studies acknowledge that it's difficult to get an accurate number of cases determined to be false because of inconsistent methodologies in classifying false allegations, different definitions of "false" and "unfounded", etc. But fortunately there is a consistent method of classifying allegations as true, which is conviction.

    So if we apply a slightly more rigorous version of the current methodology used in the gender studies field, and apply the IAPC definition of "false allegation" to "true allegation", we can estimate the true reporting rate for rape at about 2%.

  • Procyon Mustelid||

    Ok, but I don't see how "According to RAINN" stays honest if you're reprocessing their numbers instead of just quoting their numbers verbatim.

  • TwelveInchPianist||

    I'm dividing two of their numbers. As Toranth pointed out, 7 convictions out of 310 reports is about 2%. And I'm paraphrasing, trials and convictions are how we determine reports to be true.

  • bernard11||

    I think the question of whether a SCOTUS nominee is lying during his confirmation hearings is pretty weighty, especially since some of his answers to other questions are dubious.

    This either happened or it didn't. If it didn't, fine. If it did the question is not jus whether we hold a "30-second-long mistake" against Kavanaugh, but whether we hold his lies against him.

    The excuse that it should be ignored because it was a long time ago, etc., is no longer available.

  • hugh59||

    I guess Kavanaugh was breaking his own rules back at that party in 1985 with Debbie Ramirez...assuming her reconstructed memories are correct.

  • Eric VonSalzen||

    I had read that Chua said would-be Kavanaugh clerks (if female) should look like models. Until I read this post I hadn't seen that she denied saying that. What's the saying about a lie getting halfway around the world before the truth gets its boots on? Just as a matter of interest, if you saw a MSM report that Chua denied saying this, could you please say so in a response to this comment? Thanks.

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    Eric, why is it so hard to bring yourself to say that there is stuff you can't know without more evidence? When you say "lie," you beg the question by assuming the answer.

    Let me offer 3 points in favor of hesitating about your conclusions.

    1. Take a look at Chua's denial. It is very forceful. But it never particularizes what is being denied. It says everything is being denied. Chua never once says, "I never once told clerk applicants that for Kavanaugh, they had to look like models," or anything like that.

    2. A lot of corroboration from other folks, saying that Chua did give them that kind of advice, is now being reported. In a very cautiously balanced story, the New Yorker, which has established a reliable record on this beat, reports similar accounts from at least 3 other people.

    3. Yale, which almost surely has information not yet made public, has put out a formal call for anyone who knows more to submit it in support of an ongoing investigation.

    Given that, I suggest your characterization of lying is unlikely to hold up.

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    @Stephen Lathrop

    "Eric, why is it so hard to bring yourself to say that there is stuff you can't know without more evidence? "

    Why is it so hard for you to bring yourself to admit that for a lot of these allegations, you could investigate until 2030 and you will have not one shred more evidence than we already have (none).

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    Another unfounded assumption. Just with regard to interviewing Judge, I'd make it about 50-50 that something relevant would turn up. Judge has been accused of conduct which could be charged today as a felony. We don't know if, or what, Judge told other people in the intervening time. On his own description, Judge does not sound like he has been the soul of discretion. If he did say anything to anyone, and that person is located by investigators, don't you think Kavanaugh is at least done with regard to the appointment, and maybe convicted himself? Presumably, if Judge testifies and puts Kavanaugh in the bedroom with Ford, Kavanaugh, at a minimum, loses not just the appointment, but also his seat on the DC circuit.

    And who knows what else there may be? Finding out the answer is why you investigate. Demanding that nobody investigate is how you cover up. You are commenting as if you want a coverup.

  • mad_kalak||

    The pool of women hot enough to be models, who decide to go to law school, get into Yale Law School, and want to clerk, I surmise, is going to be very small. I bet Kav's clerk's looked like everybody else, average.

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    mad_kalak, you don't have to wonder. You can find pictures of Kavanaugh online, posing with clerks. The pictures I found seemed mostly to omit the men, or at least prioritize women. And the women did strike me as notably above average, but of course not Vogue-ready. YMMV.

    By the way, if you look at posed pictures of Amy Chua, there is a definite model inflection there too. More than with the clerks, I thought. Made me wonder if Chua's advice wasn't based more on being in love with her own style, instead of being attributable to Kavanaugh.

  • Eugene Volokh||

    I think she just circulated the statement this morning, and I blogged about it a few hours later; Above The Law has also picked it up, but I'm not surprised that the mainstream media hasn't yet written about it.

    Above The Law reports that "In late August, she was admitted to the emergency room as a result of a massive internal infection; she underwent major surgery, then spent three weeks in the hospital." It sounds like she was understandably more occupied with her health than with the "models" claim, which just arose a few days ago, and that's likely why she didn't respond until now, other than in the original statement to The Guardian, which read,

    "For the more than 10 years I've known him, Judge Kavanaugh's first and only litmus test in hiring has been excellence. He hires only the most qualified clerks, and they have been diverse as well as exceptionally talented and capable.

    "There is good reason so many of them have gone on to supreme court clerkships; he only hires those who are extraordinarily qualified. As I wrote in the Wall Street Journal, he has also been an exceptional mentor to his female clerks and a champion of their careers. Among my proudest moments as a parent was the day I learned our daughter would join those ranks."

  • Eddy||

    It's a good thing she's tough, because it must be a real challenge to face a major illness and unfounded charges within the same time frame. :(

  • Eddy||

    I call her tough, not because I know her but because of her reputation based on her works and media coverage.

  • iowantwo||

    Her professional reputation? That's all out the window because I know a guy who says she used to ride her bicycle with out underwear when she was 15, just to drive the boys nuts. I cant respect a slut like that.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    "For the more than 10 years I've known him, Judge Kavanaugh's first and only litmus test in hiring has been excellence"

    Unless Judge Kavanaugh has hired more non-conservatives and movement conservatives, that statement is risible.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    'more non-conservatives than movement conservatives'

  • AmosArch||

    So telling someone to dress nice is harassment? Am I being assaulted everytime I watch a youtube video about life advice or interviews? Oh I'm not a woman nvrmind.

  • floridalegal||

    An example of clarification and correction given to vague statements spun out of control without substance and detail that could not be corroborated by anyone. Until there is the basic when, where, who, what day, what year, what address, what time of day etc from the accuser, there is little for anyone to actually investigate and corroborate. Investigations are to verify evidence. ANY accused needs to know those details and basics in advance so they know what they are or are not accused of doing. Judge Kavanaugh is unable to provide an alibi or defense until he knows what day and place. For all anyone knows, he might have home movies of a trip to Walt Disney World on that unknown date.

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    That is why I support an FBI investigation. How about you? Assuming Kavanaugh is headed for the Supreme Court, don't you think it would better for him, and better for the court, if he did so after the charges had been thoroughly debunked by professional investigators?

  • iowantwo||

    The FBI does not do criminal investigations as a result of a background check. They take the information and hand it over to local authorities. They do the followup investigation. In this case, the local authorities would pass because of statue of limitations. That leaves Ford responsible to do the work to corroborate her accusations. No law enforcement agency has jurisdiction.

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    Iowantwo, seems like you are unfamiliar with the FBI. It is a law enforcement agency. It is separately an investigatory agency deeply engaged in vetting candidates for positions in government. The fact that a disqualifying allegation arising in the vetting process happens also to be an allegation of a crime does not somehow remove the FBI from jurisdiction. More the contrary. Crimes committed by candidates being vetted are of signal interest in the vetting process.

  • AmosArch||

    What is the FBI supposed to investigate? The case consists solely of some crazy random woman who can't even remember anything about the incident saying Kav grabbed her butt 3-4 decades ago with absolutely no evidence. Once a Democrat comes back into office do you think a full FBI investigation should be launched each time someone somewhere in the world simply accuses them of a crime?

  • Toranth||

    Do you how the FBI conducts a background investigation?
    They start with a records check, but they also send out people to talk to acquaintances and neighbors. There, they ask questions like "How do you know this person", "Have you ever heard anything bad about this person" or "Can you think of any reason this person should not have a position of trust in the US government". Finally, they ask for additional references - and go talk to them, too.

    In this case, what do you think an "FBI investigation" would be? There's no physical evidence, obviously. So, they'd have to send people out (to anyone that lived in Montgomery County in 1982 or 1983) and ask... "Have you ever heard anything bad about this person", etc.

  • dew||

    "Do you how the FBI conducts a background investigation?"
    Last week NPR interviewed the deputy head of the FBI's criminal division under Obama. His comments were basically - yes, the FBI could investigate this, but the Senate Judiciary committee professional staff investigators also could. The senate staffers would ask the same questions of the same people as the FBI, and come to the same conclusions. Contra the comment you replied to, the FBI has no special magical abilities in that area.

  • bernard11||

    the Senate Judiciary committee professional staff investigators also could.

    Under the direction of Grassley, no doubt. Impartial.

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    Energetic and thorough, too.

    Just wondering, dew, why do you object to the FBI doing it? Why would you suggest it would be better investigated under the direction of obvious partisans?

  • TW||

    Why not have the local police investigate? If any "crime" were committed, it is they and not the FBI that would have jurisdiction. Ford can go to the cops and swear out a criminal complaint and let the process proceed as it's supposed to. AFAIK there's no immunity for sitting Supreme Court Justices and if Kavanaugh is tried and convicted, they can then bring impeachment proceedings against him.

  • Sarcastr0||

    It's a federal nomination - jurisdiction is baked in.
    And like it or not, Feds have better people and resources than local.

  • TwelveInchPianist||

    "Under the direction of Grassley, no doubt. Impartial."

    As opposed to the FBI, under the direction of Trump

  • iowantwo||

    Read my comment. The FBI forwards the the appropriate law enforcement agency.The put the findings in their report to whoever is ordering the background check, That agency will pursue with the LEO that got the report of a crime, and see if it is actionable. The FBI is forbidden by law to investigate matters outside their jurisdiction.
    In this case the FBI never knew, because, the investigations don't start until the subject is 18. So in this specific case, the most they could have done is alert Maryland, and as every other law enforcement agency in the Nation, refused to look at an accusation that occurred 36 years ago. Again because its the law.

    Ms. Ford has no legal standing and if she wants to corroborate her story, she has to hire her own investigators. You want witnesses to be put under oath, except after 36 years, no law enforcement has jurisdiction, Largely because the is no longer a viable crime to investigate.

    The FBI is not the private PI's for every crackpot that surfaces, no matter how hard you wish for it.

    See all so, US Constitution

  • iowantwo||

    ps.
    Do you really want the precedent that President Trump can order up an investigation on any person he wishes?

    See US Constitution

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Again because its the law.

    Is that a Regent, or Liberty, or Ave Maria law degree talking, or are you trying to remember something your mother said from a discount homeschooling outline?

  • Bill Poser||

    In the current hypersensitive climate it seems to be impossible to give realistic advice without running the risk of being accused of some form of bigotry. When my uncle Joe, a refugee who had escaped from the Nazis to the United States, returned from military service and translating at Nuremburg, he enrolled to study engineering. He initially planned to become a chemical engineer, but the dean advised him that the field was hostile to Jews and that he would have much better job prospects in electrical engineering. My uncle took his advice and went on to have a successful career as an electrical engineer. He felt that the dean had done him a favor, but remarked, in his retirement, that a dean would be reluctant to mention such an issue today for fear of being accused of impropriety.

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    I have no idea whether Judge Kavanaugh has indeed preferred good-looking women as clerks; and, if Prof. Chua thought he did, I don't think giving advice based on that should be viewed as alleged "faculty misconduct" on Prof. Chua's part: Even according to these reports, she was basically doing what I think older women mentors have long done (and been expected to) for young women -- telling them about what she thought (rightly or wrongly) real life (good or bad) operated in this situation, and about how to dress in order to get ahead.

    Professor Volokh, I think you are wrong to reckon this as a question of, "how to dress," and nothing more. I suggest your remark falls outside appropriate standards in the cases of any would-be women clerks who, no matter how they dressed, were incapable of meeting Judge Kavanaugh's "good-looking women," standards—if indeed he had those.

    I will leave to legal academics the task of figuring out what correct faculty conduct might be in such a challenging circumstance. I'm pretty sure an otherwise qualified, but physically disfigured, law student could justifiably count herself as discriminated against by faculty who adopted your view.

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    Professor Volokh, I note also this question: with regard to Chua's alleged characterization of Kavanaugh's taste in clerks, is the problem merely the quality of her sartorial advice, or does it touch also on which students she herself treats as qualified? The Guardian story throws open to question Chua's willingness to recommend an otherwise-qualified woman candidate whom Chua did not believe could meet Kavananaug's criteria on appearance. Note also, the apparent acceptance by Chua of a vetting standard for women which would not be applied alike to men.

    Of course, that all presumes the Guardian story was substantive and correct, and that Chua's denial is self-serving and discountable. In the absence of further investigation, I withhold my own opinion. But I do suggest you have too liberally construed Chua's alleged misconduct.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    It appears Prof. Volokh is one of the Kozinski clerks who, like Judge Kavanaugh, has declined to share what he knew about and whether he participated in the casual, repeated abuse of powerless women in the professional circle in which they voluntarily traveled for decades. They also have refrained from mentioning what they thought of it then, what they think of it now, or anything they ever did to try to do the right thing.

    Of course, as Republicans dedicated to Kavanaugh's confirmation, they will tell you that no one can prove they did anything wrong.

    I wonder what people like that tell their daughters and spouses.

  • Paladin_44||

    Indeed...

  • AmosArch||

    I'm quite amused how people find judging by beauty to be inherently more objectionable to judging based on intellect end stop. Physical appearance often signals underlying effort and mental competence. Theres a reason why humans are wired to seek out beauty and its not because its a purely meaningless surface characteristic. I've seen some of those youtube makeup vids and a lot of those gals are virtuosos on par with the Yoyo mas and Mozarts of other fields. Not to mention physical appearance is in some ways much more malleable than intellect. A plain jane can with a little effort become a Belle but how much luck would she have jumping from arithmetic to hypermanifold geometry in the same amount of time? Okay so intellect may be the more important thing for stuff like the law but c'mon we're so ashamed of beauty pageants nowadays we have justify it by adding in segments about saving the whales or education that nobody cares about.

  • Eddy||

    There's always going to be plenty of room for beauty, but I'd like the know that (say) a tire store is hiring based on competence rather than getting distracted by beauty.

    The danger isn't that beautiful people will be ignored, but that people will hire them because they're more aesthetically pleasing to be around. But maybe the ugly guy or gal can fix tires better.

  • Eddy||

    Now, if you're a hairstylist or whatever, being beautiful yourself will be relevant if you're trying to reassure customers that your people can take care of themselves the way the customers would like to be. So it's not as if it's never relevant.

  • Purple Martin||

    "My Daddy advised me that when getting your hair cut in a two-man barbershop, always choose the barber with the worse looking hair. You see, they cut each other's hair."

    [quote, because the story's not original to me]

  • mad_kalak||

    Beauty is more a signal of fertility, than intelligence, though there is perhaps overlap. We are hardwired to look for good genes.

  • Eddy||

    Because beautiful people have less need of intelligence, the stereotype seems to have grown up that they don't *have* intelligence. That and envy at someone who is overly-blessed with qualities others want.

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    More criticism of Chua in today's Guardian:

    But another former law student who was advised by Chua and approached the Guardian after its original story was published on Thursday said his experience was consistent with the allegations presented in the article.

    The male student, who asked not to be identified, said that when he approached Chua about his interest in clerking for Kavanaugh, the professor said it was "great", but then added that Kavanaugh "tends to hire women who are generally attractive and then likes to send them to [supreme court Chief Justice John] Roberts".

    It was a reference to Kavanaugh's role as a so-called "feeder" judge, whose clerks often go on to win highly coveted clerkships at the US supreme court.

    The student alleged that Chua then added: "I don't think it is a sexual thing, but [Kavanaugh] likes to have pretty clerks."

    The former student told the Guardian that in the following year, he advised two female classmates who were also interested in clerking for Kavanaugh to talk to Chua.

    "They got the same advice: 'He likes girls who are pretty'," the student said. "Another girl … she got the same advice, and [Chua told her] to wear heels."

  • rsteinmetz||

    This whole thing has some marks of jealousy, the pretty gird get the clerkship, not me, that must be the reason. It's also possible some students view any advice on appearance as inappropriate. Then assuming this actually happened, such a comment may have been meant to discourage a student who had no realistic chance of getting a clerkship.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    That's possible.

    It also is possible that some judges expend taxpayer dollars to hire clerks who not only are reliably partisan but also are there to provide eye candy to the judge -- or to provide opportunity for inappropriate, unprofessional jokes, stares, and/or gropes.

    If only someone at the Volokh Conspiracy were in a position to illuminate this point.

  • Seamus||

    It also is possible that some judges expend taxpayer dollars to hire clerks who not only are reliably partisan but also are there to provide eye candy to the judge -- or to provide opportunity for inappropriate, unprofessional jokes, stares, and/or gropes.

    If only someone at the Volokh Conspiracy were in a position to illuminate this point.

    And if only one of Kavanaugh's female clerks could tell us about the judge making inappropriate, unprofessional jokes, stares, and/or gropes--instead of unanimously (except for those whose jobs don't allow them to comment) standing up for him.

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    Yup, rsteinmetz, in a case, that could happen. But your comment actually doesn't respond to the comments made about Chua, and quoted above. Those say she wasn't talking about one case, but about a general tendency. And she apparently took that line while separately briefing at least would-be 3 clerks, including one male. So with multiple accounts, all in pretty good agreement, and a complete absence in Chua's reply of any specific denial on Kavanaugh-likes-the-model-types, I'm taking this one as proved true on the preponderance of the evidence—with the reservation that maybe more evidence will show up, to move the truth-o-meter either way.

  • bernard11||

    And then there is this.

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    Turns out my concerns that Chua and Kavanaugh would not apply the same beauty standards to men may have been misplaced. As the quote noted above from today's Guardian seems to show, it may have been more like, "No men need apply." That at least ought to be easy to check factually. Has Kavanaugh hired predominantly female clerks?

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    So, turns out Kavanaugh hires men and women in approximately equal numbers: 25 women, 23 men, over 12 years. No apparent discrimination against men.

  • jph12||

    Which calls into question either the honesty of the male student or the quality of Chua's advice.

  • santamonica811||

    And now that a second, different, allegation of sexual assault has been raised (and this one was reported by the alleged victim to her friends within days), one wonders what the response will be. I, of course, have no idea at all if this second claim is true. But it does make it obvious that there should be an actual investigation before a vote takes place.

    The most powerful pro-confirmation argument had been, IMHO, that this took place (if ever) in the distant past, and there were no other allegations. So, if it did happen, it was a one-off. And since most abusers do their bad acts more than once, it suggested that he might, in fact, not have done this.

    But if this second claim turns out to be true, and both allegations involve him assaulting women who were drunk and unable to fully resist (and the suggestion is that he was himself drunk at the time(s)), then it starts to show a pattern. With Al Franken, his "one-off" turned out to be just one in a line of incidents. Same with Donald Trump. And maybe, just maybe, true about this chap as well.

    There is plenty of time for Trump to nominate another person and have her/him confirmed. Even in the lame-duck session, if Dems beat the odds and retake the Senate. The Heritage Foundation has a long list of reliably conservative judges. This just seems like an odd hill to die on, for Republican Senators.

  • AmosArch||

    Actually I'm shocked that it took them this long to dredge up another accuser. There are >150million females in the US. A guy like Kav probably runs in the circles of thousands of women over the years. I'm not a betting man but I'd lay done good money that with a stack of bennies or the promise of fame you could dig up accusers saying anybody on earth groped them one day.

    >>>>>>>>
    This just seems like an odd hill to die on, for Republican Senators.
    >>>>>>>>

    Its something called principle. If you let them get away with this they do it again and again. Also I like how you and the media are elevating this farce into Watergate proportions. In a sane world this would be seen for what it is, random accusations with no evidence so far. No more honorable than crazy ranting on the streets or vicious village gossip.

  • santamonica811||

    Except this woman DID report it at the time. To multiple people, apparently. Are you paranoid enough to believe that women go around--falsely!!--telling their friends, "Hey; shhh...Bob Smith on the floor above us just exposed himself to me. Don't tell anyone..." And then sit on that info, JUST IN CASE Bob Smith decides to run for president, or gets nominate for a judgeship 30 years into the future. Wow, talk about playing a long game!!!

    I guess that a handful of woman have made false accusations against AmosArch in the past. And that info is just percolating, waiting, in case you become a threat to the left. Then, those two women (or, in Trump's case, those dozen women) will come forth. I guess there is a stable of women with false accusations against Prof. Volokh, and David Bernstein, and (etc etc etc). I mean; this sounds like a great conspiracy. Brilliant of these women to think so far in advance. Simply brilliant. [slow clap]

    Out of curiosity; how many moons are there back on your home planet?

  • AmosArch||

    Okay I looked over the New Yorker article and I found the reference to the one anonymous classmate they're trumpeting all over the headlines that claims Ramirez told him at the time. I'm sure there's absolutely no way a witness named by the accuser herself could be in on some sort of scam with her. Theres also a bunch of people supposedly there named by her that contradict her story I don't see mentioned anywhere else. Honest mistake I'm sure.

    Alright I guess thats case closed. Next time a Democratic President gets in we'll be sure to remember this is the bar you guys are setting.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    I don't perceive this to be a Democratic vs. Republican issue.

    Bill Clinton and Barack Obama appear to be on different ends of this one, as are Donald Trump and Mike Pence.

  • TwelveInchPianist||

    The New Yorker article doesn't say that she told her friends within days, it says that she recently had to rack her brain for days to be sure that it was Kavanaugh who exposed himself, and that her best friend at the time does not remember her saying anything about it. Another student says he remembers being told about it.

    The pro-confirmation argument is that, if you let people sandbag nominations, then people will sandbag nominations. And regardless of the truth of the allegations, this is an attempt to sandbag the nomination.

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    TwelveInch, assuming everything you say is true, what do you suppose is going to happen if Kavanaugh is confirmed, absent an impartial investigation thorough enough to debunk these charges? What effect will that have on the Court, and on American politics? I suggest the effect would be long lasting and severely disruptive. Do you think otherwise?

    If I believed as you do, that this is a plot to sandbag the nomination, then I would greatly prefer the investigation, to the effects of no investigation. And indeed, what better corrective for plots to sandbag nominations could there be, than the certain knowledge that they would be found out by thorough investigations?

  • M.L.||

    Just confirm and if something concrete comes up, impeach.

  • tkamenick||

    "And indeed, what better corrective for plots to sandbag nominations could there be, than the certain knowledge that they would be found out by thorough investigations?"

    Wait, what? Lengthy investigations are going to encourage, not discourage, sandbagging accusations like this, because the goal of sandbagging is to delay delay delay until it's too late. It's highly unlikely that a thorough investigation can either conclusively prove or disprove any of these allegations, so the risk of being "found out" is basically non-existent.

  • TwelveInchPianist||

    Exactly. If there is an investigation of this allegation, when Kauvanaugh is cleared there will just be another allegation and a demand for an investigation of that allegation. At some point you have to draw the line, and the line was at the end of the hearing. You know, the one that was supposed to investigate these things.

  • apedad||

    If this was April, then there would be time to review the issues and no one would have a problem with that.

    However, since the elections are six weeks away, AND REPUBLICANS ARE AFRAID OF LOSING THE SENATE, the clock is ticking.

    The Dems did NOT set the schedule for the confirmation hearings and the Dems did NOT set the schedule for the election.

  • TwelveInchPianist||

    "The Dems did NOT set the schedule for the confirmation hearings and the Dems did NOT set the schedule for the election."

    But they did sit on the allegations until the hearings were over.

  • Sarcastr0||

    Considering the delay the GOP gleefully enjoyed pushing (and threatened to make infinite) the last go-round, I'm not going to have a lot of sympathy for complaining about delaying tactics this time.

    I hope testimony happens, though an after-the-fact investigation is probably the best way to get at the truth.

    As to sources, Avenatti is a hack, and I suspect it will turn out he's making a mountain out of a mole hill. But has Farrow ever lead us astray? I know the NYT couldn't corroborate, but this isn't the first time he's been able to run something into the ground that no one else could and it was legit.

  • AmosArch||

    The next time you sit on my promotion and openly admit you just don't want to get around to it I'll have you labeled a rapist and ruin your professional career when you're up for promotion and we'll call it even. Kay?

  • Sarcastr0||

    Assuming Kav goes down, what's happening to Kav is the same as what happened to Garland.
    I expect Kav will get to keep his job in merely the second most powerful court in the land.

    Except this time there will be a candidate-based reason his nomination failed.

  • TwelveInchPianist||

    Going down because of an elected body exercising a political perogative is the same as going down due to specious allegations of rape?

  • Sarcastr0||

    You do not know it is specious - that's very much begging the question.

    Amos was talking about the effect on poor judge Brett, who will be fine.

    As for the procedural differences, I see no functional difference between the systemic damage done from delay via carefully timed muckraking versus delay via pure partisanship. Both are technically legal abuses of the system, and both encourage more of the same from the other side.

  • jph12||

    "I see no functional difference between the systemic damage done from delay via carefully timed muckraking versus delay via pure partisanship."

    Anyone who isn't a partisan piece of shit recognizes clear distinctions between carefully timed muckraking and pure partisan delay. No republican attacked Merrick Garland's character. No republican claimed the Supreme Court would be illegitimate if Merrick Garland was confirmed.

    "Amos was talking about the effect on poor judge Brett, who will be fine."

    You are an irredeemable partisan piece of shit, which explains your position.

  • Sarcastr0||

    Feeling especially nonpartisan today, eh?

  • SFAlphaGeek||

    Clown nose on, clown nose off - don't pretend you're being any less partisan than he is, and a good bit more disingenuous in your arguments.

  • jph12||

    "Feeling especially nonpartisan today, eh?"

    Not particularly. But I've never been so blinded by partisanship that I pretended denying a someone a vote and accusing someone of attempted rape were equivalent. I leave that for cretins like you.

  • Sarcastr0||

    For your condemnation to work, you must assume the accusations are false.

    That betrays some real partisan blinders, jph.

  • jph12||

    No it doesn't, you fucking moron.

  • Sarcastr0||

    Um, chill out a bit? If you think I'm wrong, I'd be interested in how.

    Because to me, the only way being so indignant on Kav's behalf makes sense is if you assume the accusations are false. Am I misunderstanding something?

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    Sarcastr0, he has to assume more than that the accusations are false. He has to assume that the accuser did not come forth on her own non-partisan initiative, but was put up to it by Democratic Party partisans. Or, I suppose, that she herself is a Democratic Party partisan, has no other basis for making her charge, and that by fabricating the charge she inspired the whole Democratic Party power structure to jump aboard. That's some superior quality paranoia.

    Contrast that with McConnell and Garland, where the entire conspiracy was out in the open, and proudly announced.

  • TwelveInchPianist||

    "You do not know it is specious - that's very much begging the question."

    Part of the allegation is that Kavanaugh's attack rendered her unable to fly, so her testimony has to be delayed so she can drive to DC. That sounds pretty darn specious.

    "Both are technically legal abuses of the system, and both encourage more of the same from the other side."

    Well, I agree that carefully timing rape accusations is an abuse of the judicial nomination process, but perhaps you can elaborate on how withholding consent that the Senate is under no obligation to provide, is an abuse of the system?

    And given that you agree that this is merely carefully timed muckracking, it makes sense that the repubs should simply ignore the allegations and vote.

  • Sarcastr0||

    perhaps you can elaborate on how withholding consent that the Senate is under no obligation to provide, is an abuse of the system?

    Because the Senate is under an obligation to provide such consent. It was a norm, not a law, but it sure was an obligation.

    Senate just said 'no' with no nominee-specific reason, just a purely partisan one. That was new, and not the way the Republic was designed. What the Senate did was unexpected and unprecedented. Pointing to something Biden said doesn't make an entire party doing it any less new and bad.

  • jph12||

    If it was actually a norm, Miguel Estrada would be on the DC Circuit (or possibly the Supreme Court by now).

  • Sarcastr0||

    Surely you must see the difference between the Supreme Court and an inferior court.

  • TW||

    Surely you must see the difference between the Supreme Court and an inferior court.

    Not insofar as why it is a "norm" that one deserves a vote and the other does not.

  • Sarcastr0||

    Not all norms are equal. Why do you think there is no norm of blue slips for Justices?

    Certainly, the present imbroglio demonstrates that there is quite a functional difference between Appeals Court and the Supreme Court, no?

  • TwelveInchPianist||

    Lots of things were norms. The filibuster was a norm. Not changing the rules in the middle of the term was a norm. Contra your assertion, none of these are particularly fundamental. These are political prerogatives of the body with the majority.

    Waiting until a nominee can no longer defend himself to accuse him of rape, otoh, is in a different league. Allegations made under such circumstance should simply be ignored.

  • Sarcastr0||

    I do not buy that meta 'any norm breaking means all norms are on the table' reasoning. It's a case-by-case.

    The Republic can do just fine without the judicial fillibuster. It cannot do just fine when one party rejects all Supreme Court nominations from the other just because they can.

    I'm not defending ending the judicial fillibuster, but the GOP is in a whole different arena.

    I have no idea what you're talking about re: Kavanaugh no longer being able to defend himself.

  • TwelveInchPianist||

    "I'm not defending ending the judicial fillibuster, but the GOP is in a whole different arena."

    What you're doing is equating a majority party rightly or wrongly withholding consent, with a minority party waiting until the hearing is over and sandbagging the nominee with rape allegations. As I said, the GOP should simply ignore the sandbagging.

  • letters2mary||

    This is not the first time women have gone on the attack when proper attire is discussed. A few years ago someone at biglaw suggested omitting decolletage and the like when appearing in court. There were wails of sexism.

    I have no idea whether Chua made the statement that Judge Kavanaugh hires women who look like models and offer no speculation on this point.

    If Ms. Chua was earnestly trying to encourage professionalism, she is to be commended. In my work life I can think of a good number of individuals who I would think more of if I saw less of.

    No need to (repeatedly) deny acquaintance with Chua.

  • hugh59||

    Chua and Rubenfeld probably won't be teaching at Yale for much longer. They have spoken out against the hive and the hive will demand their exile.

  • Sarcastr0||

    Except outspoken conservative profs very much exist, even in this partisan time.

    I know paranoia needs not evidence, but it's not very convincing to other people without it.

  • hugh59||

    Just because I am paranoid does not mean that there are not people out to get me.

  • M.L.||

    Chua and Rubenfeld do not seem particularly conservative, based on the recent article in the Atlantic by both of the, which dances around immigration issues and ignores the President's proposed reforms.

  • Seamus||

    They aren't joining the mob braying for Kavanaugh's head. That makes them conservatives.

    The Red Guards knew how to deal with such right-wingers during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution.

  • ScottK||

    There is now just one Kavanaugh topic on page 1 of the VC, and it's this one that says EV doesn't know Amy Chua.

    Guess there hasn't been anything interesting happening the last few days.

  • AmosArch||

    The VC contributors sometimes immediately write about and other times seem to randomly decide to avoid interesting or trending topics for some reason. Quite a few times there will be an contentious SC announcement and Eugene will be off blogging about some obscure wordplay and Ilya will be ocding about open borders as usual. Maybe they think its beneath them or they're afraid this place will become too popular. I have some theories about other possible career related reasons too.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    As soldiers for movement conservatism, the Conspirators -- especially any who are familiar with Judge Kavanaugh and with any matters that might be relevant to the nomination -- are keeping their heads down until the Kavanaugh nomination has been resolved.

    Plowing ahead, one might say.

    Just as important, it might be reasonable for a conservative legal academic to figure that Donald J. Trump might be the only Republican nominating people for the bench for quite a while, and every Conspirator is smart enough to recognize that Donald Trump prizes flattery, expected loyalty, and at least a perceived lack of personal criticism above all other factors.

  • ScottK||

    Just as Scalia-for-Bork was not a particularly useful trade, one wonders about a possible Mr. X-for-Kavanaugh trade, especially if X=Cruz.

    Never say never. We're lawyers.

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    ScottK, a point I was just about to make myself. There is a pattern. When a fast breaking news story which embarrasses the political right—like this one, or a mass shooting, or a prominent conservative caught out somehow—VC almost always turns reticent. It's a bad look.

  • ScottK||

    Time will tell if Ed Whelan and Rich Lowry are still A-listers. I have a guess.

  • hugh59||

    Nope. Quiet as a tomb around here.

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