'No accident' Brett Kavanaugh's female law clerks 'looked like models', Yale professor told students (The Guardian link): A top professor at Yale Law School who strongly endorsed supreme court nominee Brett Kavanaugh as a “mentor to women” privately told a group of law students last year that it was “not an accident” that Kavanaugh’s female law clerks all “looked like models” and would provide advice to students about their physical appearance if they wanted to work for him, the Guardian has learned.
Amy Chua, a Yale professor who wrote a bestselling book on parenting called Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, was known for instructing female law students who were preparing for interviews with Kavanaugh on ways they could dress to exude a “model-like” femininity to help them win a post in Kavanaugh’s chambers, according to sources.
Kavanaugh is facing intense scrutiny in Washington following an allegation made by Christine Blasey Ford that he forcibly held her down and groped her while they were in high school. He has denied the allegation. The accusation has mired Kavanaugh’s confirmation in controversy, drawing parallels to allegations of sexual harassment against Justice Clarence Thomas by Anita Hill in the 1990s.
Yale provided Kavanaugh with many of the judge’s clerks over the years, and Chua played an outsized role in vetting the clerks who worked for him. But the process made some students deeply uncomfortable.
One source said that in at least one case, a law student was so put off by Chua’s advice about how she needed to look, and its implications, that she decided not to pursue a clerkship with Kavanaugh, a powerful member of the judiciary who had a formal role in vetting clerks who served in the US supreme court.
In one case, Jed Rubenfeld, also an influential professor at Yale and who is married to Chua, told a prospective clerk that Kavanaugh liked a certain “look”.
“He told me, ‘You should know that Judge Kavanaugh hires women with a certain look,’” one woman told the Guardian. “He did not say what the look was and I did not ask.”
Sources who spoke to the Guardian about their experiences with Chua and Rubenfeld would only speak under the condition of anonymity because they feared retribution and damage to their future careers. Some elements of this story were first published by the Huffington Post.
Chua advised the same student Rubenfeld spoke to that she ought to dress in an “outgoing” way for her interview with Kavanaugh, and that the student should send Chua pictures of herself in different outfits before going to interview. The student did not send the photos.