Three days after President Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh as his pick for the Supreme Court, the Wall Street Journal published an op-ed by Amy Chua, a Yale Law professor better known as the author of the 2011 parenting memoir “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother,” who praised Kavanaugh as a mentor to young women.
Chua, a member of the school’s clerkships committee, had placed eight women with Kavanaugh, including her daughter Sophia Chua-Rubenfeld, who had been accepted to serve with Kavanaugh, then a circuit court judge.
Some critics called the op-ed self-serving, arguing that Chua was simply setting her daughter up for a Supreme Court clerkship once Kavanaugh was confirmed.
Amy Chua, Sophia Chua-Rubenfeld and Brett Kavanaugh (Photo illustration: Yahoo News; photos: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images, Doug Mills/New York Times via AP, Pool)
In her op-ed, Chua preemptively denied the claim, saying her daughter would “probably” look for a different clerkship if Kavanaugh landed on the nation’s highest court. (In a tweet, Sophia, who graduated from Yale Law in 2018, said she was planning to join the Army and would not be “applying to SCOTUS anytime soon.“)
On Monday, the Supreme Court announced that Sophia Chua-Rubenfeld had been hired by Kavanaugh for a clerkship beginning in October.
Hired by Justice Kavanaugh for October Term 2019:
Sophia Chua-Rubenfeld (Yale 2018 / Grant)
Trenton Van Oss (Harvard 2017 / Grant)
First two #SCOTUS feeds by Judge Grant, both to her former boss. Congrats, Your Honor! #SCOTUS#AppellateTwitter
Neither Chua nor her daughter responded to requests from Yahoo News for comment.
Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court in October following a bitterly divisive nomination fight that included allegations of misbehavior from multiple women, which he denied. During his confirmation hearing, Christine Blasey Ford testified that Kavanaugh had attempted to rape her at a party when they were teenagers.
While the Senate weighed those allegations, the Guardian first reported that Chua and her husband, Jed Rubenfeld, advised female students that it was “not an accident” that Kavanaugh’s female law clerks all “looked like models” and to project a “model-like” femininity if they wanted to clerk for him.
Chua denied the allegations.
“For the more than ten years I’ve known him, Judge Kavanaugh’s first and only litmus test in hiring has been excellence,” she said in a subsequent statement. “As I wrote in the Wall Street Journal, he has also been an exceptional mentor to his female clerks. Among my proudest moments as a parent was the day I learned our daughter would join those ranks.”
Rubenfeld himself was the subject of an internal investigation at Yale concerning allegations of inappropriate behavior with female students.