Second federal appeals judge boycotts Yale Law School grads; others anonymously indicate plans to do so

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Yale Law School

Yale Law School. Photo from Shutterstock.

Updated: A second federal appeals judge has said she will no longer hire Yale Law School graduates as law clerks because of concerns about the “stifling of debate” at the school.

The judge is Judge Elizabeth Branch of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at Atlanta, the National Review reports in stories noted by Reuters and How Appealing.

The first judge to announce a boycott was Judge James Ho of the 5th Circuit at New Orleans. He said the school “tolerates” and “actively practices” the cancellation of conservative views.

Ho and Branch are conservative. In a statement, Branch told the National Review that Ho “raised legitimate concerns about the lack of free speech on law school campuses, Yale in particular. Like Judge Ho, I am gravely concerned that the stifling of debate not only is antithetical to this country’s founding principles but also stunts intellectual growth. Accordingly, I accept Judge Ho’s invitation to join him in declining to consider students from Yale Law School for clerkships with me, with an exception for past and current students.”

A dozen other federal judges at the appellate and trial levels told the Washington Free Beacon that they are also joining the boycott. None agreed to be identified. All but one of the judges said the boycott would apply only to future Yale Law students.

Ho’s boycott also applies to future Yale Law students. Ho cited a couple of incidents.

In March, Yale Law students disrupted a speaker from the conservative group Alliance Defending Freedom.

And last year, Yale tried to get a law student to apologize for sending an invitation to a “trap house” Constitution Day bash in connection with the Federalist Society. The phrase trap house was once associated with inner city crack dens but has come to mean a party place. The student promised to serve Popeye’s chicken and “American-themed snacks” such as apple pie.

Yale Law posted a message to alumni Oct. 12 that said it has taken several concrete steps to reaffirm its commitment to free speech.

The steps include:

• Making “unequivocally clear” that attempts to disrupt campus events are unacceptable.

• Emphasizing “the importance of respectful engagement” during orientation.

• The hiring of a new dean of students, who will encourage students to resolve disagreements among themselves, “rather than reflexively looking to the institution to serve as a referee.”

See also:

ABAJournal.com: “Yale Law School touts dedication to a ‘vibrant intellectual environment’ after complaints of cancel culture”

ABAJournal.com: “After 5th Circuit judge boycotts Yale Law School grads, his conservative colleague hangs out welcome sign”

Updated Oct. 14 at 10:05 a.m. to include Yale Law School’s message to alumni.

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