Back & forth

Yale law professor says claims accusing her of grooming Kavanaugh’s law clerks are ‘100% false’

Author and Yale Law School professor Amy Chua gestures as she reads an excerpt from her book "Tiger Mothers" during DSC Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) in Jaipur on January 21, 2012. (PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images)

Clerking for Judge Brett Kavanaugh was apparently a high honor — with many law clerks going on to Supreme Court clerkships — and now one of the professors involved in vetting students is embroiled in a new drama over whether she “groomed” students to look or act in a certain way in order to gain the prestigious posts.

A story published by The Guardian, citing anonymous sources, claimed that Amy Chua, a prominent Yale law professor, said it was “not an accident” that all the female clerks on Kavanaugh’s staff “looked like models.” One student claimed that Chua said she would advise her on what to wear on an interview with Kavanaugh. Chua denies saying this and says she advises both male and female students to dress professionally — but that “substance is the most important thing” and that they should prep themselves and study hard.

She wrote an email to Yale’s law school, which she also posted on Twitter, stating, “I always tell students to prep insanely hard — that substance is the most important thing … I advise them to read every opinion, including dissents, the judge has ever written as well as important recent cases from the circuit and Supreme Court.”

Chua has been a supporter of Kavanaugh’s, writing an Op-Ed in The Wall Street Journal shortly after his nomination titled “Kavanaugh Is a Mentor to Women.” The Yale Law School dean, Heather Gerken, wouldn’t comment on any individual complaints, but said the school would “thoroughly investigate all complaints regarding violations of University rules and take no options off the table.”

Chua’s supporters came out in full force to back the professor and author, best known for her controversial 2011 parenting book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. Fellow author J.D. Vance described the claims about Chua as “garbage” and posted on Twitter a portion of what he said was a letter he sent to Gerken defending Chua.

Meanwhile, Yale law students canceled class over the latest allegations against prospective SCOTUS judge Brett Kavanaugh, and hundreds of students staged a sit-in, asking for the claims to be fully investigated before confirmation.

Read the full story at NBC News.

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