At the time, it they were accused of pandering in order to get prestigious federal and Supreme Court clerk positions.
Both of them, particularly Chua, were prominent in part for their ability to get these clerkships, and The Guardian reported that Chua told applicants to Kavanaugh to, “Dress to exude a “model-like” femininity to help them win a post in Kavanaugh’s chambers.” (Chua’s daughter ended up clerking for Kavanaugh shortly after the Op/Ed.)
There were also allegations that Rubenfeld, one of the most prominent critics of Title IX sexual harassment protections, routinely sexually harassed female students.
Well, the investigation is completed, and Jed Rubenfeld, a tenured professor, has been suspended for 2 years, and after he returns, he will be forbidden from teaching small group or required classes.
I’m kind of surprised that he has not been fired, but tenure provides an enormous amount of protection to professors.
My guess is that Rubenfeld will not be returning to Yale after his suspension ends:
On Monday morning, members of the Yale Law School faculty received a terse message from their provost informing them that Professor Jed Rubenfeld “will leave his position as a member of the YLS faculty for a two-year period, effective immediately,” and that upon his return, Rubenfeld would be barred from teaching “small group or required courses. He will be restricted in social gatherings with students.” As of Tuesday morning, he was no longer listed on the Yale Law faculty site.
Three people familiar with the investigation that led to Rubenfeld’s suspension said it stemmed from the university finding a pattern of sexual harassment of several students. The allegations, which spanned decades, included verbal harassment, unwanted touching, and attempted kissing, both in the classroom and at parties at Rubenfeld’s home.
In a phone conversation Tuesday, Rubenfeld told me, “I absolutely, unequivocally, 100 percent deny that I ever sexually harassed anyone, whether verbally or otherwise. Yes, I’ve said stupid things that I regret over the course of my 30 years as professor, and no professor who’s taught as long as I have that I know doesn’t have things that they regret that they said.”
He added, “Ironically, I have written about the unreliability of the campus Title IX procedures. I never expected to go through one of them myself.”
In 2014, for example, Rubenfeld wrote an op-ed for the New York Times that said that the university that puts in place affirmative-consent standards “encourages people to think of themselves as sexual assault victims when there was no assault” and that it is “illogical” to claim “intercourse with someone ‘under the influence’ of alcohol is always rape.”
Also a liar:
That’s not true, according to Yale’s stated policies — and one of the complainants. “License to write about sexual harassment is not license to sexually harass,” she told me. “I reported because I was sexually harassed. Now he’s being dishonest about even this aspect of the Title IX process. For example, as Yale’s policy requires, I identified myself to him. I had to, and I did so at considerable risk given his influence in the legal community.”
Multiple women told me that a whisper network about Rubenfeld operated on campus, and that as law-school students, they were warned by peers to be careful around him. One said she was told by a male alum, “You’ve not scraped the bottom of the barrel when it comes to Rubenfeld’s behavior. Stay away.”
Rubenfeld is married to fellow Yale Law professor Amy Chua, author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, [a paean to abusive parenting] and both wield power in the high-stakes race for judicial clerkships. In the summer of 2018, it was Chua who took to the pages of the Wall Street Journal to vouch for then–Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh as a “mentor for young lawyers, particularly women.” (That was before allegations of sexual assault against Kavanaugh were made public.) The op-ed noted that the couple’s daughter had been about to clerk for Kavanaugh on the appeals court, and a year later, the Supreme Court acknowledged Sophia Chua-Rubenfeld would clerk for Justice Kavanaugh on the Court instead.
The Guardian first reported on the existence of the investigation into Rubenfeld’s conduct in the fall of 2018. He told the paper that he hadn’t been informed of the specifics but that he had been “advised that the allegations were not of the kind that would jeopardize my position as a long-tenured member of the faculty.” Female students also said that Rubenfeld and Chua discussed with students hoping to work for Kavanaugh the importance of their physical appearance. Chua denied telling students that Kavanaugh preferred attractive female clerks or coaching them on how to dress in “outgoing” fashion for interviews, though a Slate story subsequently reported it had “confirmed the Guardian’s reporting with students who were present at the time.”
August 2020 does seem to be a bountiful harvest for schadenfreude.