Citing trauma to the psyches of sexual assault survivors, students at George Mason University are calling for George Mason University President Angel Cabrera to fire U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh from his new post as a visiting professor at GMU’s Antonin Scalia Law School.
So far, Cabrera is holding firm. At a recent board of visitors meeting, the GMU President said that Kavanaugh’s appointment was approved by the law school faculty in January and that he stands behind the decision, according to The College Fix website.
So far nearly 3,300 students have signed a petition demanding that GMU “terminate and void all contracts and affiliation with Brett Kavanaugh at George Mason University.” Several students, including some who said they were sexual assault survivors, made their concerns known during a public-address session of the Board of Visitors.
Said one female student: “As someone who has survived sexual assault three times I do not feel comfortable with someone who has sexual assault allegations like walking on campus.”
Ironically, the class Kavanaugh is scheduled to teach this summer, “Creation of the Constitution,” will be held in Runnymede, England, where the Magna Carta was signed — about 3,500 miles away. Kavanaugh will be paid $25,000 to teach the two-week elective.
In related developments, at a Faculty Senate meeting this week, members of the GMU faculty called for a probe into the sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh, According to College Fix, which videotaped the session. Cabrera took a “somewhat incredulous tone” as he defended the Kavanaugh hire.
“He has been confirmed by — this is not a crazy appointment. This is a Supreme Court justice who is going to be teaching about the United States Constitution,” Cabrera said.
“So from that standpoint,” he continued, “I believe I am not going to question the judgment of that. It’s not a crazy appointment … Having a Supreme Court justice is going to create value for the students. The students, by the way, have agreed. The students have signed up to this class.”
Cabrera added he is not making a judgment about the accusation lodged against Kavanaugh or whether he is guilty or innocent. That created an opening for Professor Bethany Letiecq, president of the GMU chapter of the American Association of University Professors, to suggest that’s what warrants an investigation.
“Well, should we investigate that? I mean, should we investigate that,” Letiecq said to Cabrera as snaps of approval rose out in the room. (Snapping has largely replaced clapping on college campuses as a way to show support.)
“He’s been accused, and there has not been a full investigation as far as I’m … that I can see,” she said.
Cabrera responds: “So, I mean, George Mason University … investigate a Supreme Court justice who has been confirmed by the United States Senate?”
“Yes,” a woman calls out.
Bacon’s bottom line: If you believe that Brett Kavanaugh is guilty of sexual assault and that his appointment to the Supreme Court was a massive miscarriage of justice, I suppose the demands of the GMU protesters make sense. It’s a free country, and they have the right to make their case. But they don’t have the right to impose their views on others. Not everyone believes that Kavanaugh committed sexual assault; many think he was viciously smeared. The Scalia law school faculty supported the Kavanaugh hire, and students are signing up to take the class. They have rights, too.
There is an ironic symbolism, probably unintended, in the photo atop this post, which shows how demonstrators plastered blue tape over the mouth of the campus George Mason statue. Protesters signaled their intolerance of other views and the totalitarian nature of their movement. It’s one thing to express their views of Kavanaugh, as everyone supports their right to do. It’s another to drive opposing views off campus.
In the world view of the protesters, the mere existence of Kavanaugh on campus (or 3,500 miles away) is a triggering event. And their right not to be triggered outweighs the rights of other people to hear what Kavanaugh has to say. (A cynic might observe that the woman who claimed to have survived three sexual assaults probably has more clear-and-present threats to her safety and mental health than Brett Kavanaugh.) The GMU drama follows a classic pattern in which Leftists assume the mantle of victimhood, which gives them the moral authority to badger others into submission.
University administrators share many of the same assumptions, which explains why so many cave so easily to pressure from campus Leftists. Cabrera, who appears to be mystified by the ruckus, may be an exception. Let us hope, if the controversy escalates, that he has the backbone to stand firm.There are currently no comments highlighted.