(NEW YORK)—Two sitting federal judges have recently announced a boycott of all Yale Law School graduates seeking clerkship positions. A March incident where some Yale law students disrupted a lecture by conservative attorney Kristen Waggoner, led to suggestions from some conservatives that the protestors be denied judicial clerkships. In September, however, Judge James Ho instead called for a boycott of all Yale Law graduates, citing an alleged lack of viewpoint diversity and the “cancellation” of conservative thought on campus. Judge Elizabeth Branch has announced her support for the boycott, though she applies it only to future Yale students, not those currently or formerly enrolled.

Jeremy C. Young, senior manager of free expression and education programs at PEN America, released the following statement:

“The boycott proposed by Judges Ho and Branch is both cruel and counterproductive. This deeply misguided action punishes all students for the actions of some. The practical effect of this feeble attempt to combat “cancel culture” could be to actively discourage conservative students from choosing Yale Law School out of fear that conservative judges will not hire them, practically guaranteeing that the Yale program will become the liberal echo chamber Ho and Branch fear. Ho and Branch are correct that ideological diversity is crucial for academic freedom, but they would do well to take their own advice. We applaud the many federal judges who have gone on record opposing this action.”

About PEN America

PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible. Learn more at pen.org.

Contact: Suzanne Trimel, [email protected], 201-247-5057