A federal judge said he will no longer hire clerks from Yale Law School and urged other judges to do the same.
Judge James Ho of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit announced Thursday that he will no longer take clerks from the Ivy League school because of its rampant cancel culture.
Yale “not only tolerates the cancellation of views — it actively practices it,” Ho said in keynote remarks at a Federalist Society conference in Kentucky.
While censorship happens at other schools as well, at Yale Law, “cancellations and disruptions seem to occur with special frequency,” Ho said.
Ho urged other judges to join him and stop hiring clerks from the elite school as well.
“If they want the closed and intolerant environment that Yale embraces today, that’s their call,” Ho said. “I want nothing to do with it.”
“I don’t want to cancel Yale,” Ho said according to his prepared remarks. “I want Yale to stop canceling people like me.”
Yale has not commented on Ho’s remarks.
Ho was nominated to the Fifth Circuit by former President Donald Trump in 2017 and took his seat on the court in 2018. In September, 2020, Trump included Ho on a list of potential Supreme Court nominees.
The judge mentioned several recent incidents at Yale Law, including one where more than 100 students tried to shout down a bipartisan panel on civil liberties, and police were called to escort the panelists from the building.
In another incident, Yale Law administrators pressured a student for weeks to apologize for a “triggering” email in which he referred to his apartment as a “trap house.” The administrators said that the email was “triggering” in part because the student was a member of a conservative organization.
Ho has previously voiced his spirited criticism of censorship at other elite schools, including Georgetown.
In February, Ho defended legal scholar Ilya Shapiro after Shapiro was suspended and investigated over a series of tweets before he could take his new job as a senior lecturer and executive director at Georgetown University’s Center for the Constitution.
Shapiro had tweeted that D.C.-based federal judge Sri Srinivasan was the best Supreme Court pick for Biden, but he “doesn’t fit into the latest intersectionality hierarchy so we’ll get lesser black woman.”
Ho defended the substance of Shapiro’s tweets, saying any perceived racial discrimination does not come from Shapiro.
“Make no mistake: If there is any racial discrimination in statements like these, it’s not coming from the speaker — it’s coming from the policy that the speaker is criticizing,” the judge said.
“If Ilya Shapiro is deserving of cancellation, then you should cancel me too,” Ho said.
Ho’s conservative interpretation of the Constitution has been evident in several of his judicial rulings.
In one of his judicial opinions, the conservative judge said that the current U.S. government “would be unrecognizable to our Founders.”
Ho wrote in another opinion that bishops have the right to “express their profound objection to the moral tragedy of abortion.”
In his speech Thursday, Ho suggested judges might still be able to influence campus culture by taking action.
“We’re not just citizens,” he said. “We’re also customers … I wonder how a law school would feel, if my fellow federal judges and I stopped being its customers.”