Brett Kavanaugh to Teach at George Mason, Sparking Outrage Among Students

George Mason University has hired Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh to teach this summer in Runnymede, England at the university’s Antonin Scalia Law School which has caused an uproar at the GMU Arlington campus.

Kavanaugh will be teaching a course on the origins of the U.S. Constitution with Jennifer Mascott, an assistant professor of law at the University. Mascott was also one of Kavanaugh’s former clerks on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit.

For roughly 10 years, Kavanaugh taught at Harvard Law School but decided not to return this year following calls from students and alumni to revoke his lecturer status. The battle to end his teaching career due to sexual assault allegations has continued past Harvard and has found a place at George Mason.

A petition, created by a group called “Mason 4 Survivors,” is asking the university to remove Kavanaugh from this position, issue a formal apology to victims of sexual assault and release documents related to the judge’s hire. The petition also requests a meeting at the town hall by April 25 to discuss how this addition to the staff will affect students.

Created about two weeks ago, the petition has nearly 3,500 signatures and some parents and alumni have pledged that they will withhold donations as long as Kavanaugh is teaching. The petition has been endorsed by the George Mason Democrats, a political group on campus.

Students have taken to social media to voice their concerns and have tied this event to other issues surrounding the universities policies on sexual misconduct and resources for victims. Protesters have also appeared at meetings (including teh Faculty Senate meeting show below) and have marched around campus chanting, “Kick Kavanaugh off campus!” “As a survivor of sexual assault, this decision has really impacted me negatively,” one student said in a meeting with the school board. “It has affected my mental health knowing that an abuser will be part of our faculty.”

The President of George Mason, Angel Cabrera has publicly defended the decision to hire Kavanaugh.

“I respect the views of people who disagreed with Justice Kavanaugh’s Senate confirmation due to questions raised about his sexual conduct in high school,” said Cabrera. “But he was confirmed and is now a sitting Justice. The law school has determined that the involvement of a U.S. Supreme Court Justice contributes to making our law program uniquely valuable for our students. And I accept their judgment.”

As of now, student protesters show no sign of backing down, yet the university still plans for Kavanaugh to teach this summer. The course is two weeks long and starts at the end of July and goes into the beginning of August. Within the course are several trips to British sites relating to the Constitution.  

 

Images:

1, 2