A top aide to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign is now backing a push by activists to get Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh fired from his job as a teacher at George Mason University.
Kavanaugh is scheduled to teach a course this summer at the school.
A student group, “Mason For Survivors,” began circulating a petition in March that has attracted almost 5,000 signatures.
The petition urges school officials to “terminate AND void ALL contracts and affiliation with Brett Kavanaugh at George Mason University.” It cites unsubstantiated allegations against Kavanaugh that arose during the tense confirmation hearings.
Three of the allegations led to criminal referrals for the people who made them and, according to lawmakers, clear evidence of lying emerged. Jeffrey Catalan claimed that he witnessed Kavanaugh commit assault but later recanted his claim; Julie Swetnick, represented from now-disgraced lawyer Michael Avenatti, claimed that Kavanaugh raped women in the 1980s before changing her story; and Judy Munro-Leighton accused Kavanaugh of assaulting her in a car but later admitted she’d made up the alleged incident.
Christine Ford, the woman who made the first allegation and featured prominently by opposition to President Donald Trump, was unable to provide evidence to support her claim that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her decades prior. All four people she named as being present at the house where the alleged abuse said they couldn’t recall the incident, with several swearing they’d never met her.
The fresh campaign against Kavanaugh has been backed by Brian Fallon, a former press secretary for Clinton’s failed campaign who now heads Demand Justice, a liberal advocacy group that doesn’t disclose its funding, a practice known as “dark money.”
The group began running advertisements on Facebook on April 10 urging people to sign the petition, targeting people with a connection to George Mason, reported the openly left-wing Huffington Post.
“Brett Kavanaugh has been credibly accused of sexual assault by multiple women whose allegations have not been thoroughly investigated,” Fallon said in a statement. “His confirmation to the Supreme Court does not absolve him of guilt, and he should not be given a platform to teach. We stand with survivors and urge the George Mason University administration to fire Kavanaugh.”
Fallon’s group spent over $5 million in 2018 in an attempt to defeat Kavanaugh’s nomination, reported the Washington Free Beacon.
While students and the “dark money” group attempt to get Kavanaugh fired, university officials have so far not bowed to the demands.
“Justice Kavanaugh’s appointment was approved by the law school faculty in January. The class was announced to law school students soon thereafter and an information session was held in early February (for additional information, I’m pasting the announcement to students below). At this time, the class, which is elective, is oversubscribed,” wrote Angel Cabrera, George Mason’s president, in a statement.
“I respect the views of people who disagreed with Justice Kavanaugh’s Senate confirmation due to questions raised about his sexual conduct in high school. But he was confirmed and is now a sitting Justice,” he added. “The law school has determined that the involvement of a U.S. Supreme Court Justice contributes to making our law program uniquely valuable for our students. And I accept their judgment.”
If he remains in his position, Kavanaugh and professor Jennifer Mascott will teach the summer course “Creation of the Constitution” in England starting on July 22. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s other Supreme Court nominee, will also teach a class in Italy about “the historical roots and the modern application of the separation of powers in the national security context,” according to Cabrera.
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Author: Zachary Stieber