HuffPost Runs Single-Sourced Article Claiming Kavanaugh Had Sexist Expectations For Law Clerks

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Amber Athey Podcast Columnist
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Huffington Post ran a single-sourced article on Thursday claiming that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh had sexist expectations for female law clerks.

The article relied on one Yale Law School student who claimed that she was told Kavanaugh liked a “certain look” from his female law clerks. The student, who spoke to HuffPost anonymously, says she was told this by two Yale professors who knew Kavanaugh.

The student also told Huffington Post that she never heard anything else untoward about Kavanaugh, but said his alleged desire for a “certain look” was a “yellow flag.”

“I had mixed feelings,” the student said. “On the one hand, it’s a yellow flag; on the other hand, phew, I hadn’t heard anything else.”

“[Professor Amy Chua] advised me to be and dress ‘outgoing’ [for an interview with Kavanaugh]. She strongly urged me to send her pictures of what I was thinking of wearing so she could evaluate. I did not,” the student added.

HuffPost did not include any other sources, anonymous or otherwise, in the piece who could corroborate the student’s claim.

Chua said in a statement to HuffPost, “For the more than ten years I’ve known him, Judge Kavanaugh’s first and only litmus test in hiring has been excellence.”

Travis Lenkner, a former clerk for Kavanaugh, also denied that Kavanaugh ever had expectations about female clerks’ appearances.

“There’s only one ‘look’ that is a requirement in Judge Kavanaugh’s chambers for men and women,” Lenkner said. “And that is that a suit is required every day. It’s a formal chambers in a formal courthouse.”

HuffPost tried to tie the anonymous student’s claim to Dr. Christine Ford’s allegation that Kavanaugh groped her, writing, “Right now Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court hangs in the balance as he faces an accusation that he sexually assaulted a girl in high school.”

A significant number of former female clerks for Kavanaugh are still supporting him in spite of Dr. Ford’s allegations.

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