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The Brett Kavanaugh Snowflake ‘Emergency’

An anti-Kavanaugh protester at Yale Law (Aleksandr Simonov/Shutterstock)

Akhil Reed Amar is a prominent professor at Yale Law School, and a noted liberal. He wrote a piece for the NYT yesterday in praise of Brett Kavanaugh’s qualifications for the US Supreme Court. Excerpt:

The nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to be the next Supreme Court justice is President Trump’s finest hour, his classiest move. Last week the president promised to select “someone with impeccable credentials, great intellect, unbiased judgment, and deep reverence for the laws and Constitution of the United States.” In picking Judge Kavanaugh, he has done just that.

In 2016, I strongly supported Hillary Clinton for president as well as President Barack Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court, Judge Merrick Garland. But today, with the exception of the current justices and Judge Garland, it is hard to name anyone with judicial credentials as strong as those of Judge Kavanaugh.

Prof. Amar is a traitor to his class, it appears. Look at this open letter from some Yale Law School alumni, students, and teachers, addressed to the dean and faculty, regarding the school’s press release noting with pride that Judge Kavanaugh is a Yale Law graduate. Excerpts:

Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination presents an emergency — for democratic life, for our safety and freedom, for the future of our country. His nomination is not an interesting intellectual exercise to be debated amongst classmates and scholars in seminar. Support for Judge Kavanaugh is not apolitical. It is a political choice about the meaning of the constitution and our vision of democracy, a choice with real consequences for real people. Without a doubt, Judge Kavanaugh is a threat to the most vulnerable. He is a threat to many of us, despite the privilege bestowed by our education, simply because of who we are.

They list some of Kavanaugh’s rulings to which they object. And then:

We see in these rulings an intellectually and morally bankrupt ideologue intent on rolling back our rights and the rights of our clients. Judge Kavanaugh’s resume is certainly marked by prestige, groomed for exactly this nomination. But degrees and clerkships should not be the only, or even the primary, credential for a Supreme Court appointment. A commitment to law and justice is.

Now is the time for moral courage — which for Yale Law School comes at so little cost. Perhaps you, as an institution and as individuals, will benefit less from Judge Kavanaugh’s ascendent power if you withhold your support. Perhaps Judge Kavanaugh will be less likely to hire your favorite students. But people will die if he is confirmed. We hope you agree your sacrifice would be worth it. Please use your authority and platform to expose the stakes of this moment and the threat that Judge Kavanaugh poses.

It doesn’t bother me that liberals oppose Kavanaugh’s nomination. What makes me angry, though, are these supremely privileged twits declaring that the Kavanaugh nomination is an “emergency” and a threat to their “safety.” What they are declaring is that no matter how hard you work, and how much you achieve, if you don’t share their politics, your very existence is a cause for panic, and a justification for them to stop you by any means necessary. “People will die if he is confirmed.” Where do they think that kind of hysterical rhetoric is going to lead?

These signatories — who, note well, do not represent all of the Yale Law community — are among the most privileged people in the world, but they pose as victims. The ideology they live by is contemptible. How do they expect to live in the real world?

Prof. Amar points out in his piece that the hard truth is that Democrats control neither the presidency nor the Senate. In Amar’s view, Brett Kavanaugh, who was his student at Yale, is the best they can hope for from a Republican president. Perhaps the problem with the open letter’s signatories is not Kavanaugh per se, but that the existence of a supremely qualified Republican nominee is an “emergency” and a threat to their “safety.”

The GOP base doesn’t seem likely to be fired up by the Kavanaugh nomination, but you watch: liberals like this are going to have a napalm effect on conservatives. They can’t help themselves. They live in such a privileged bubble that they have no idea how they look and sound to those who aren’t so delicate.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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