CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts, October 4, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Several students at Harvard Law School have filed Title IX complaints against Judge Brett Kavanaugh, claiming the judge’s very presence on campus would constitute sexual harassment.
Just before the U.S. Senate was set to vote on President Donald Trump’s nominee to replace the retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court, a trio of women – Christine Blasey Ford, Deborah Ramirez, and Julie Swetnick – came forward to accuse Kavanaugh of sexual assault.
The judge forcefully denies all of their claims, and many conservatives suspect the last-minute attacks are really part of a partisan effort to prevent Kavanaugh from potentially voting to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Nevertheless, senior Jacqueline Kellogg came up with the Title IX idea and inspired several of her fellow students to do the same, the Harvard Crimson reports. Kellogg’s efforts, including an email to students at both the college and the law school with instructions on how to file complaints with the university’s Office for Dispute Resolution, lead to at least 48 students signing an online petition claiming to have filed complaints.
Harvard’s policies define gender-based harassment as “verbal, nonverbal, graphic, or physical aggression, intimidation, or hostile conduct based on sex, sex-stereotyping, sexual orientation or gender identity.” Kellogg claimed that simply having Kavanaugh on campus, where he has taught a well-received course on the Supreme Court since 2008, would create a “hostile environment” violating students’ “right to our feeling of being safe.”
“If you had a meeting in Wasserstein, you don’t know if he’s going to be there,” fellow senior Julia Wiener added. “It would be pretty terrifying for any survivor or any person to walk into a building on campus and see someone who has been alleged of a very serious crime.”
Several Harvard Law professors specializing in Title IX law told the Crimson that they see the effort as misguided.
“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 said. “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.”
But while the effort may not have had any legal potential, the intensity of student opposition may have pressured the judge into staying away just the same.
“Today, Judge Kavanaugh indicated that he can no longer commit to teaching his course in January Term 2019, so the course will not be offered,” Harvard Law’s Catherine Claypoole informed students Monday, USA Today reports. The news follows a group of Harvard Law alumni claiming to have collected more than a thousand signatures claiming the allegations “should disqualify him from any position of esteem, including lectureships at HLS.”
Despite anti-Kavanaugh students’ assertion that the allegations “are credible and grave,” all three sets of claims lack corroborating evidence.
None of the individuals Ford claims attended the party where she says Kavanaugh tried to rape her can recall any such event, and critics have noted numerous inconsistencies in her different accounts of the incident. Swetnick changed multiple details of her own story in a recent interview, and has been involved in multiple lawsuits pertaining to false sexual harassment claims and other forms of fraud. Ramirez, meanwhile, had admitted to former classmates she wasn’t even sure of her alleged assaulter’s identity.
The FBI just completed a series of interviews concerning the allegations – the bureau’s seventh background check of Kavanaugh – with Democrat Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware admitting “there is nothing in here that is some bombshell that is unknown.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has scheduled a cloture vote and final vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination for Friday and Saturday, respectively. Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Jeff Flake of Arizona, moderates seen as holding Kavanaugh’s fate in their hands, hinted Thursday that they are satisfied with the FBI’s findings.