Yale Law School is, according to U.S. News & World Report, the top-ranked law school in the country. It has produced two presidents and innumerable other notable legal and political figures. In the early 1980s, Yale Law School — along with Harvard Law School and the University of Chicago Law School — produced one of the three founding chapters of the Federalist Society, which grew over the ensuing decades into one of the most influential groups on the broader political/legal Right.
But times have been better at Yale Law for conservatives. Earlier this month, current Yale Law School student Aaron Haviland took to The Federalist to lament Yale Law’s current anti-conservative, anti-Christian institutional biases:
[M]y friends and I sent out a school-wide email announcement about a guest speaker event for the upcoming week. A lawyer from Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), the Christian legal group that has won numerous First Amendment cases at the Supreme Court, would be discussing Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission.
Given that ADF has been smeared as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, we expected some controversy. But what we got was over-the-top even by Yale standards.
The first condemnation was from Outlaws, the law school’s LGBTQ group. They attacked the Federalist Society for inviting ADF to campus and called for a boycott of the event. Over the next 24 hours, almost every student group jumped onto the bandwagon and joined the boycott. …
I came to Yale Law School feeling optimistic and grateful for the opportunity. I knew that I would be in the intellectual minority, but I hoped that I could reasonably disagree with and learn from my peers. A lot of smart people come to this school, I thought to myself. Although we held different political beliefs, we probably shared a common passion for the rule of law.
I was wrong. And now I am deeply disappointed.
The Daily Wire has obtained a copy of Haviland’s aforementioned Yale Law School-wide condemnation email sent by the Outlaws student group. The email, sent on February 25, reads in part, “Let’s call a spade a spade: ADF is a hate group that does not belong on our campus and does not deserve legitimization.” Even worse, the day prior, on February 24, the Outlaws student group board wrote to the entire student body to seemingly urge that the admissions office crack down on admitting conservatives:
Additionally, we are asking the Yale Law School administration to clarify its [Summer Public Interest Fellowship (“SPIF”)] and admissions policies regarding organizations that discriminate against members of its community. Will students be able to receive SPIF funding to push discriminatory agendas during their summers? Will students be admitted to this community who, for example, have worked to sue cities and states for passing anti-discrimination laws and ordinances?
Now, according to documents provided to The Daily Wire, Yale Law School Dean Heather Gerken — a longtime legal leftist activist who clerked on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit for famously left-wing Judge Stephen Reinhardt and later worked for famously left-wing law firm Jenner & Block — has responded to the kerfuffle by means of an email to the entire Yale Law student body. In the email, sent last week, Gerken completely capitulates to Outlaws at the expense of those Christian Yale Law students who might be interested in participating in ADF’s popular Blackstone Legal Fellowship, held each summer. Gerken’s email reads, in part:
We write to announce that the Law School’s nondiscrimination policy will extend to the Summer Public Interest Fellowship (SPIF), Career Options Assistance Program (COAP), and our post-graduate public interest fellowships. …Nondiscrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression is a key component of the Law School’s nondiscrimination policy. …
We are grateful to members of the LGBTQ for their leadership, their friendship, and their intellectual engagement. And we reaffirm our commitment that these students, faculty, and staff should not experience discrimination inside or outside this Law School.
We appreciate the leadership of Outlaws for raising the issue of the applicability of our nondiscrimination policy to student employment opportunities funded by the Law School.
In summation, Yale Law School, the number one law school in the country, responded to a vituperative paroxysm of anti-conservative, anti-Christian activism on campus by doubling down and furthering an anti-conservative, anti-Christian school-wide policy with respect to sponsoring summer opportunities for law students who would like to participate in such programs.
Defunding one’s foe is here, there, and everywhere a powerful tactic. Alas, the academy’s war on conservatives, which William F. Buckley, Jr. once called attention to at Yale itself, continues apace.