Justice Brett Kavanaugh has joined the faculty of George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School, where he will co-teach a summer course in the United Kingdom on the origins of the Constitution.
Kavanaugh, who has evaded public attention following his bitter confirmation in October 2018, will remain in England for nearly six weeks while the Court is on its summer recess. The justice has generally kept a low profile since joining the Court, avoiding solo public appearances and divisive opinion writing.
“It is a rare opportunity for students to learn from a Supreme Court justice and we believe that contributes to making our law program uniquely valuable for our students,” the law school said in a statement.
George Mason University’s student newspaper was first to report that Kavanaugh joined the law faculty.
It is common for the justices to teach law abroad during the summer, when the high court is not in session. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Neil Gorsuch led seminars in Italy in July 2018, while retired Justice Anthony Kennedy taught in Austria.
Yet Kavanaugh’s 38-day course is unusually long in comparison to his colleagues, whose teaching commitments generally run a few short days. Ginsburg and Gorsuch’s Italian jaunt ran about two week weeks, while Kennedy’s lasted about three.
Another round of skirmishes relating to Kavanaugh’s confirmation are likely this summer, which may be a factor in his lengthy retreat to the UK. Politico’s Anna Palmer and Jake Sherman will publish an account of Congress during President Donald Trump’s tenure in April, which purports to contain the definitive story on his confirmation. Another book called “Confirmation Bias” will follow in June from Carl Hulse of The New York Times.
Kavanaugh defenders Mollie Hemingway and Carrie Severino will publish their own book-length treatment of his nomination this summer, which is meant to preempt forthcoming projects thought to be unflattering, according to Axios.
Ruth Marcus, The Washington Post’s deputy editorial page editor and Jackie Calmes of the Los Angeles Times are also writing books on the Kavanaugh confirmation. Kate Kelly and Robin Pogrebin of The New York Times will publish a history of the justice’s early years this October called “The Education of Brett Kavanaugh.”
Once a staple of law school programming, Kavanaugh lamented that he might never return to academia, after three women publicly accused him of sexual misconduct. He denied those allegations.
“I love teaching law,” Kavanaugh told Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats during his second confirmation hearing in September 2018. “But thanks to what some of you on this side of the committee have unleashed, I may never be able to teach again.”
Just days after that hearing, Harvard Law School announced it had cancelled Kavanaugh’s January-term course on the modern Supreme Court. The announcement followed weeks on intense pressure from students and alumni, who hoped the law school would disassociate itself with the beleaguered Supreme Court nominee. Kavanaugh was named the Samuel Williston Lecturer on Law at Harvard in 2009.
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