Yale cancels some classes as law students protest Brett Kavanaugh nomination

NEW HAVEN — Dozens of students dressed in black staged a sit-in at Yale Law School on Monday to protest the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court and demand an investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against him.

Organizers said allegations of sexual assault and harassment should be taken seriously, and Kavanaugh poses a ‘‘real threat’’ to the country. Other Yale students traveled to Washington to protest Kavanaugh’s nomination on Monday.

Yale student Jishian Ravinthiran, center, raises his fist during a protest against Judge Brett Kavanaugh in the Russell Senate Office Building Rotunda, on Capitol Hill, Monday, Sept. 24, 2018 in Washington. A second allegation of sexual misconduct has emerged against Judge Brett Kavanaugh, a development that has further imperiled his nomination to the Supreme Court, forced the White House and Senate Republicans onto the defensive and fueled calls from Democrats to postpone further action on his confirmation. President Donald Trump is so far standing by his nominee. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Alex Brandon/Associated Press
Yale student Jishian Ravinthiran, center, raised his fist during a protest against Brett Kavanaugh on Capitol Hill on Monday.

The sit-in came the morning after new allegations against Kavanaugh were reported by The New Yorker, which published an account by a woman, Deborah Ramirez, who alleged Kavanaugh exposed himself to her during a drunken dorm party when they were students at Yale during the 1983-84 academic year.


Another woman, Christine Blasey Ford, is accusing Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her at a party when they were teenagers. Both Kavanaugh and Ford will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.

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Kavanaugh denies both women’s allegations, which President Donald Trump called ‘‘totally political.’’

Some Yale faculty members cancelled or rescheduled law classes Monday to accommodate the protest.

‘‘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. ‘‘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.’’

Gerken said 50 faculty members have signed a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee urging a ‘‘fair and deliberate’’ confirmation process.


The law school had issued a press release about Kavanaugh’s nomination in July, with Gerken and other faculty members praising his work. But Yale Law School spokeswoman Janet Conroy told the Yale Daily News the press release was not an endorsement of the nomination.

Senator Richard Blumenthal, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and a Yale Law School graduate, was at the law school protest Monday.

‘‘The United States Senate cannot in good conscience vote on this nomination without a full, fair FBI investigation, and without an opportunity for these sexual assault survivors to be heard,’’ the Connecticut Democrat said.