Women Make Up Majority of Law Clerks at the High Court for First Time in U.S. History
Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh kept his promise to the U.S. Senate and hired the first ever all-female law clerk team at the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS). On Sunday, Justice Kavanaugh held at meeting with his four female law clerks in chambers previously occupied by Justice Samuel Alito, who recently moved to those belonging to Justice Anthony Kennedy.
Kim Jackson, Shannon Grammel, Megan Lacy and Sara Nommensen, along with Justice Kavanaugh were preparing for hearing the first round of cases this week. Ms. Jackson is one of three black law clerks currently working this term at the U.S. Supreme Court. Justice Kavanaugh previously hired Ms. Jackson and one of the other black clerks.
The U.S. Senate voted 50-48 on Saturday to confirm Brett Kavanaugh as the 114th justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. It was the closest vote ever for a confirmed justice and almost became the first time the vice president ever needed to cast the tie-breaking vote in the U.S. Senate to confirm a justice to the High Court.
Justice Kavanaugh, 53, served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit before he was nominated by President Trump to replace Justice Kennedy in July. The Roberts Court’s traditional swing vote announced a few weeks before that he would retire, effective July 31.
He is the second justice nominated by President Trump and confirmed by the U.S. Senate, the first being Justice Neil Gorsuch. Both jurists clerked for Justice Kennedy, and Justice Gorsuch was the first ever to hire a Native American law clerk at the U.S. Supreme Court.
Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. administered the Constitutional Oath and retired Justice Kennedy administered the Judicial Oath. A swearing in ceremony is scheduled Monday night at the White House.
With the retirement of Justice Kennedy, the gutter-bound battle over the ideological lean of the High Court hit a new low. The Senate Judiciary Committee began holding hearings for the confirmation on September 4. Despite Democrats’ repeated attempts to obstruct, pay protestors and stage outbursts, they didn’t land a glove on him.
He told the committee at the time four female law clerks were ready to work for him “on a moment’s notice” and that it would make him “the first justice in the history of the Supreme Court to have a group of all-women law clerks.”
“A majority of my 48 law clerks over the last 12 years have been women,” the judge told members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. “In my time on the bench, no federal judge — not a single one in the country — has sent more women law clerks to clerk on the Supreme Court than I have.”
It was and is well-known among D.C. circuit law clerks that disparaging remarks about women will not be tolerated by “the judge’s judge.”
Six of his former law clerks are working at the U.S. Supreme Court this term, which is twice the number of any other appeals court judge, and four of them are women.
Then, Professor Christine Blasey Ford, a liberal activist and Palo Alto University psychology professor, alleged Justice Kavanaugh attempted to rape her at a high-school party in or about 1982, when he was 17 and she was 15. The allegation was made in a letter to Senator Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
She withheld it for 6 weeks and it was only until after the committee confirmation hearings that the letter was leaked, allegedly against Professor Ford’s wishes to remain anonymous.
With Senate Democrats and their media allies willing to believe any allegation no matter how flimsy, one uncorroborated charge after another followed. all of which crumbled under scrutiny. Professor Ford’s story subsequently began to fall apart, as well.
For Democrats, the loss of credibility regarding the allegations won’t sway them from claiming the Court won’t “fully recover from a confirmation process marked by raw anger and partisan polarization,” as The New York Times put it.
Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., the Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, is vowing to open a congressional investigation into allegations if Republicans lose control of the U.S. House to Democrats in November. He declared the U.S. Senate “failed to do its proper constitutionally mandated job of advise and consent.”
For supporters, the hiring of the first ever all female law clerk team at the U.S. Supreme Court is just more proof Justice Kavanaugh will be a fair judge. He kept his promise to the U.S. Senate and it’s time for Democrats to allow Justice Kavanaugh to put these uncorroborated accusations behind him.
With the addition of Justice Kavanaugh’s first ever all-female team, women make up a majority of law clerks at the U.S. Supreme Court for the first time in U.S. history.