Yale Law Students Stage Sit-In To Protest Kavanaugh Nomination

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Hundreds of students who share the alma mater of Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh staged a sit-in at Yale Law School Monday while more than 100 others traveled to Washington, D.C. to protest the nomination and demand an investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against him.

In the capital, students held signs and umbrellas to protect themselves from the rain as they protested outside of the Supreme Court, Bloomberg is reporting. Back in New Haven, hundreds of students, many of whom were wearing black, filled the hallway of the law school. Additionally, more than 30 professors canceled or rescheduled their classes on Monday to accommodate the protesters, Bloomberg noted. Last week, faculty members signed a letter asking the Senate Judiciary Committee to take the accusation against Kavanaugh seriously, according to the Washington Post.

“We are interested in making sure that the judicial confirmation process can be as fair and thorough as possible,” law school student Dianne Lake told the New Haven Register, as quoted by Bloomberg. “And that we as a community, as a country, as a nation, take allegations of sexual violence and sexual misconduct seriously and that we value the voices of women that come forward and treat them with the respect that they deserve.”

Kavanaugh, an alum of the university and its law school, was accused of sexual assault by Christine Blasey Ford, a professor in Northern California, who contended he pinned her down and attempted to unclothe her during a house party. Since then, reportedly two more women have joined Ford, 51, in bringing forward allegations of sexual misconduct. The sit-in comes just a day after the third woman asked to testify at a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, as The Guardian reported.

Protestors, including current Yale University Law student Jesse Tripathi (2 from R), rally against Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh in the rotunda of the Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill, September 24, 2018 in Washington, DC.
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Deborah Ramirez, the second woman to come forward, alleged Kavanaugh exposed himself to her during a drunken dorm party when they were students at Yale during the 1983-84 academic year. Ford said her alleged assault took place in 1982 when the two were high school students. Kavanaugh has categorically denied the accusations.

“The allegations of sexual misconduct against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh are rightly causing deep concern at Yale Law School and across the country,” Yale Law School Dean Heather Gerken said in a statement, Bloomberg quoted. “As dean, I cannot take a position on the nomination, but I am so proud of the work our community is doing to engage with these issues, and I stand with them in supporting the importance of fair process, the rule of law and the integrity of the legal system.”