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October 3 2018

Harvard Law Students File Title IX Complaints Against Kavanaugh Teaching at Harvard

by Charlotte Hays

The anti-Kavanaugh tactics are beginning to remind me of the French Revolution.

But those mobs had an excuse:  they were hungry.

Not so the cosseted, privileged Harvard Law students who have filed Title IX complaints aimed at preventing having Judge Brett Kavanaugh continue to teach a course on constitutional law at Harvard.

Word of the Title IX complaints came after it had been announced that Judge Kavanaugh will not teach the course he has taught since 2008 next year. When I checked, it looked like nearly 50 Harvard Law students have signed this Title IX complaint.

The Harvard Crimson reported:

Over the past week, several students filed formal complaints alleging Kavanaugh’s presence in Cambridge would violate Harvard’s policy prohibiting sexual and gender-based harassment — though several Title IX experts said this strategy was unlikely to succeed.

Jacqueline L. Kellogg ’19 — who said she has filed a complaint against Kavanaugh with the University’s Office for Dispute Resolution — came up with the idea several days ago.

She began urging fellow students to follow suit over the weekend, at one point sending an email to a group of students at the College and the Law School that offered specific instructions on how to bring a formal complaint to ODR.

. . .

Kellogg and Julia B. Wiener ’19 — who also signed the petition and filed a complaint against Kavanaugh — both argued the nominee’s presence on campus would create a “hostile environment” as defined in Harvard guidelines related to sexual harassment.

Kellogg said she hopes students who have previously felt reluctant to file complaints with the University — whether related to Kavanaugh or to other experiences — will see that the formal process gives them “power” and “a right to our feeling of being safe.”

Legal Insurrection notes, "This is a perversion of what Title IX is for, but none of that matters to this student mob, which just wants what it wants."

It is particularly significant that law students at one of the most prestigious law schools in the country have signed this document, as one of the prime reasons the law exists is to protect people against false accusations.

There is perhaps a fig leaf in that the students indicate further investigation of Kavanaugh should be done, but in the meantime these aspiring lawyers are perfectly willing to hound a man out of a teaching position.

Robby Soave of Reason comments:

One of the reasons Title IX reform has been so urgently necessary is that aggrieved students have weaponized the process in order to silence people—other students, invited speakers, faculty members—who offend them. Using Title IX to get rid of Kavanaugh, who is not accused of anything that would sustain a hostile educational environment charge, is a perfect example of this.

Soave quoted Samantha Harris, a lawyer with FIRE:

"This is such an absurd contortion of Title IX that I suspect even those filing the complaint know it's unlikely to succeed as a matter of law, and are doing it more as a publicity stunt than anything else," Harris wrote in an email to Reason.

"While it is obviously their right to protest, they might consider whether forcing Harvard's Title IX office to devote its time and resources to this particular claim would undermine the office's ability to provide services to students in need."

Jacqueline Kellogg replied to a query from Reason. She said, "Using the Title IX process to file formal complaints against known abusers and harassers is exactly what the process is designed to do."  But Kavanaugh is not a "known abuser or harasser." He is a man who has been accused and, most legal students might be able to notice the uncorroborated nature of the complaints against Kavanaugh.

Just one question: who's harassing whom?

Using Title IX in this way seems awfully close to harassing somebody.

Does any of this remind you of another smug lawyer who didn't care over much about the evidence?

It ended badly for him--but not before many innocent people had suffered.



Independent Women's Forum is an educational 501(c)(3) dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities. IWF is the sister organization of the Independent Women’s Voice.​
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