Yale Law School is facing more boycotts after a federal judge in Atlanta joined a Trump-appointed colleague in New Orleans who is refusing to hire students as clerks as the school was plagued by ‘cancel culture.’
U.S. Circuit Judge Elizabeth Branch of the Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has now confirmed her participation in the boycott that was proposed last week by U.S. Circuit Judge James Ho in a statement to National Review, a conservative publication.
Ho, a judge on the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in a speech delivered at a Federalist Society conference in Kentucky on September 29 said he would cease hiring clerks from Yale and urged other judges to do the same.
He cited incidents in which students had disrupted conservative speakers at New Haven, Connecticut-based Yale, where ‘cancellations and disruptions seem to occur with special frequency.’
Yale Law School is one of the most prestigious law schools in the country, having produced some of the nation’s most prominent leaders, including Presidents Bill Clinton and Gerald Ford, at least five current US senators and four current Supreme Court Justices.
Judge Elizabeth Branch has said she will also join the boycott that was launched in September by fellow Donald Trump-appointed Judge James Ho
US Circuit Judge James Ho gave a speech at a Federalist Society conference in Kentucky, where he said Yale ‘not only tolerates the cancellation of views – it actively practices it’
Yale Law School is one of the most prestigious law schools in the country, having produced some of the nation’s most prominent leaders, including Presidents Bill Clinton and Gerald Ford, at least five current US senators and four current Supreme Court Justices
Branch told the National Review that Ho raised ‘legitimate concerns about the lack of free speech on law school campuses, Yale in particular,’ and that she would not consider students from Yale for clerkships in the future.
‘Like Judge Ho, I am gravely concerned that the stifling of debate not only is antithetical to this country’s founding principles, but also stunts intellectual growth,’ she told the conservative outlet.
‘Accordingly, I accept Judge Ho’s invitation to join him in declining to consider students from Yale Law School for clerkships with me, with an exception for past and current students.’
Branch is the first judge to publicly join Ho’s call to boycott Yale. The school has also not responded to a request for comment.
‘I don’t want to cancel Yale,’ Ho, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump, said. ‘I want Yale to stop canceling people like me.’
‘Yale presents itself as the best, most elite institution of legal education,’ Ho said in remarks given to the Federalist Society earlier this month. ‘Yet it’s the worst when it comes to legal cancellation.’
Ho said Yale ‘sets the tone for other law schools, and for the legal profession at large,’ but it has set a poor example in recent years due to its ‘closed and intolerant environment.’
The judge then added, Yale: ‘not only tolerates the cancellation of views – it actively practices it.’
‘I want nothing to do with it,’ Ho concluded.
Judge James Ho was appointed by former President Donald Trump, pictured on Sunday
Judge Ho has previously railed against the woke culture at Yale, having defended Ilya Shapiro (pictured), former director of the Cato Institute’s Robert A. Levy Center, after students at Georgetown University’s law school urged that he be ousted from a new faculty position
Among the events he cited was one in March in which Kristen Waggoner, now the president of the conservative religious rights group Alliance Defending Freedom, was disrupted by students supporting the LGBTQ community during a talk, which police attended
Among the incidents Judge Ho cited was a free speech talk in March by Kristen Waggoner – who defended a Colorado baker who refused to make a cake for a gay wedding in a case before the Supreme Court – that was disrupted by nearly 120 students supporting the LGBTQ community.
Waggoner, who is now the president of the conservative religious rights group Alliance Defending Freedom, has supported Ho’s remarks.
‘Yale still hasn’t condemned the behavior of its law students last semester, so no one should be surprised when a federal judge notices,’ she said in a statement after the judge’s comments.
The havoc caused by the student demonstrators appeared to violate the university’s free speech policy and when they were reminded by moderator Kate Stith, she was met with chants and raised middle fingers, to which she replied: ‘Grow up.’
The students hit back, arguing that their disturbance was execution of ‘free speech’ and continued to scream at the panelists.
Police were forced to escort the guest speakers from Yale Law School’s free speech debate after the students intimidated the conservative panelist by yelling obscenities, including one person who shouted ‘I will literally fight you, b***h.’
Heather Gerken, Dean Yale Law School, insisted that the students hadn’t violated the college’s rules.
Ho has urged his fellow judges to likewise boycott the Ivy League institution, which produced several Supreme Court Justices
Judge Ho has previously railed against the woke culture at Yale, having defended Ilya Shapiro – former director of the Cato Institute’s Robert A. Levy Center – after students at Georgetown University’s law school urged that he be ousted from a new faculty position.
Shapiro caused outrage when he wrote tweets questioning President Joe Biden’s pledge to nominate a Black woman to the U.S. Supreme Court.
A prominent conservative legal scholar, Shapiro was suspended but later cleared to become the executive director of Georgetown Law’s Center for the Constitution.
He eventually quit, however, saying the school’s handling of the matter made working there ‘untenable.’
Ho said, ‘At Yale, ‘cancellations and disruptions seem to occur with special frequency.’
Senior US Circuit Judge Laurence Silberman had in March called on judges to think twice about bringing on Yale students who disrupted Waggoner’s event
Senior US Circuit Judge Laurence Silberman of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, an appointee of former Republican President Ronald Reagan, had in March called on judges to think twice about bringing on Yale students who disrupted Waggoner’s event.
He wrote in an email, ‘All federal judges – and all federal judges are presumably committed to free speech – should carefully consider whether any such student so identified should be disqualified for potential clerkships.’
Silberman said students at the event had ‘attempted to shout down speakers participating in a panel discussion on free speech.’
The incident ‘prompts me to suggest that students who are identified as those willing to disrupt any such panel discussion should be noted,’ he wrote.
Ho said that event was just one example. U.S. Circuit Judge William Pryor of the Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was also ‘disrupted by loud angry law students in the classroom’ at Yale a few years ago.
That incident, Ho said, was because as Alabama’s Republican attorney general, Pryor backed Texas’ defense of the anti-sodomy law struck down in 2003 in the landmark Supreme Court gay rights case Lawrence v. Texas.
Ho, according to NPR, is an outspoken opponent of abortion rights and a staunch advocate for gun rights, causing the public broadcaster to refer to him as potentially ‘President Trump’s most enduring legacy.’
One of Ho’s 5th Circuit colleagues, U.S. Circuit Judge Jerry Smith, has called the Yale boycott ‘regrettable’ and said he hoped to receive more applications from graduates of the prestigious university.
Smith, a Yale graduate, was appointed by former Republican President Ronald Reagan.
Wokeness at Yale: Controversies over free speech at the Ivy League institution
- In May, students posted messages online encouraging others to accost their more conservative classmates through ‘unrelenting daily confrontation’
- In the posts, a number of liberal law students took aim at their conservative peers – in particular, members of the law school’s Federalist Society
- In March, Yale Law students were filmed threatening two guest speakers and staff at a free speech event
- The students were protesting a conservative guest who defended a Supreme Court decision of a Colorado baker who refused to make a cake for a gay wedding ceremony
- October 2021, a Native American law student at Yale said he was being pressured into apologizing by a former Obama aide turned diversity tsar for sending a party invite that described the location as a ‘trap house’
- The Native American student told Daily Mail he was being persecuted for being a member of the Federalist Society
- The famous conservative society, which now has chapters at law schools across the country, was founded at Yale in 1982