Tuesday, April 09, 2019

Senate Will Investigate Yale's Application of Its Non-Discrimination Policy To Public Interest Stipends

Senator Ted Cruz, Chairman of the Constitution Subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee told Yale Law School Dean Heather Gerken in a letter (full text) sent last week that the Subcommittee is opening an investigation into the Law School's recent extension of its non-discrimination policy to summer and post-graduate public interest fellowships and loan forgiveness for public interest careers. According to Yale Daily News, the move comes in reaction to the law school's announcement:
We recently decided that the Law School will require that any employment position it financially supports be open to all of our students. If an employer refuses to hire students because they are Christian, black, veterans, or gay, we will not fund that position.
The policy change came after negative reaction, particularly by LGBTQ groups, to the Federalist Society's speaking invitation to a lawyer from Alliance Defending Freedom. In his letter, Sen Cruz said in part:
[I]t appears that the policy arose from unconstitutional animus and a specific discriminatory intent both to blacklist Christian organizations like the Alliance Defending Freedom and punish Yale students whose values or religious faith lead them to work there.
UPDATE: Here is Yale Law School's response to Sen. Cruz's letter, emphasizing that its policy only applies to hiring practices, and not to policy objectives of the organization. [Thanks to Jim Oleske for this update item].