Harvard Law Students File Title IX Grievance Against Judge Kavanaugh

, Malcolm A. Kline, Leave a comment

Even with the elastic way that law has been stretched, this extracurricular activity was too much, even for law professors at Harvard sympathetic to Title IX and unsympathetic towards President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee.

“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,” Shera S. Avi-Yonah and Jamie D. Halper reported in The Harvard Crimson. Two of them advised the students to rethink their efforts:

~“Such an abuse of process would undermine the legitimacy and credibility of complaints that the Title IX process is intended to deal with, as well as of the Title IX office to focus on its duties,” Jeannie Suk Gersen wrote in an email. “It might be effective in drawing further attention to some students’ objection to Kavanaugh’s teaching appointment, but I don’t expect him to be found to have violated Harvard University’s Sexual & Gender-Based Harassment Policy based on the currently known public allegations against him.”

~“I urge the students to divert their energy from this implausible claim that he’s going to create a sexually hostile environment by teaching at the Law School to the really grand issue of whether he’s fit to be in his current judgeship or promoted to the Supreme Court,” Janet Halley said. Halley signed the letter from law professors opposed to Kavanaugh’s nomination which appeared in The New York Times and in the offices of senators voting on the nominee.

Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 is a federal law originally meant to stop discrimination. The original statute states that: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

During the Obama years, the U. S. Department of Education pretty much encouraged colleges and universities to use Title IX as a tool to fight sexual harassment.