PUSHBACK: Federal Judges Boycott Radical Clerks From Yale Law School — Blame Yale’s Anti-Free Speech Scandals
Judge James C. Ho announced that he will no longer be hiring law clerks from Yale.
He cited examples of speakers being censored on campus as one of the reasons he is boycotting Yale clerks.
Judge James C. Ho of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit announced Thursday that he would no longer be hiring law clerks from Yale Law School and urged other judges to follow suit. In a keynote address to the Kentucky Chapters Conference of the Federalist Society, titled “Agreeing to Disagree — Restoring America by Resisting Cancel Culture,” Ho cited a number of high-profile examples of speakers being shouted down or otherwise censored at law schools across the country but singled out Yale Law as “one particular law school where cancellations and disruptions seem to occur with special frequency.”
A dozen federal judges are now joining him.
Yale has long had students choose them over other law schools because they have a good chance of clerking for high-profile judges – this could damage that reputation.
A dozen federal judges say they are no longer hiring clerks from Yale Law School, citing a slew of scandals that they say have undermined free speech and intellectual diversity.
In addition to Fifth Circuit judge James Ho, who announced on Thursday that he would no longer hire law clerks from the nation’s top-ranked law school, 12 federal judges—both circuit and district court jurists—told the Washington Free Beacon they are joining the boycott.
If the boycott catches on among other right-leaning judges, it could deal a serious blow to Yale Law School, which has maintained the top spot in the U.S. News and World Report rankings since the publication began ranking law schools in the 1980s. Clerkships, particularly on the federal bench, are coveted jobs in the legal profession, and many students choose Yale over other elite law schools because its graduates have historically had the best shot of clerking for prominent judges. A boycott could change that calculus, forcing Yale administrators to rein in activist students and colleagues if they want to keep attracting the best and brightest—and if they want to maintain even a fig leaf of ideological diversity.
The judges joining the boycott, all of whom requested anonymity in order to speak freely, cited a series of incidents where they say free speech has come under attack at Yale Law, starting with a September 2021 controversy in which administrators pressured second year law student Trent Colbert to apologize for an email in which he referred to his apartment as a “trap house.” The law school’s diversity director Yaseen Eldik, also described Colbert’s membership in the conservative Federalist Society as “triggering,” according to leaked audio obtained by the Free Beacon.
Back in March, over 100 Yale Law School students disrupted a bipartisan panel on civil liberties.
More than 100 woke Yale Law School students disrupted a bipartisan panel on civil liberties by trying to shout down and intimidate the speakers — who had to be escorted out of the building by police, according to reports.
The panel hosted by the Federalist Society featured Kristen Waggoner, a constitutional rights US Supreme Court litigator with the conservative Alliance Defending Freedom, and Monica Miller, an associate at the progressive American Humanist Association, the Washington Free Beacon reported.
The discussion on March 10 was held in hopes of showing how a liberal atheist and a conservative Christian could agree on free-speech issues, a member of the Federalist Society told the news outlet.
But about 120 students showed up to protest the event, where they outnumbered the audience members, and held up signs attacking the Alliance Defending Freedom, which won several Supreme Court cases establishing religious exemptions from civil rights laws.
Will Yale feel the heat?