Yale Professor Suspended for 2 Years After Probe

Jed Rubenfeld suspended after allegations of unwanted touching
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 27, 2020 6:59 AM CDT
Yale Professor Suspended for 2 Years After Probe
This 2012 photo shows Yale Law School at Yale University in New Haven, Conn.   (Getty Images/sainaniritu)

A professor at Yale Law School known for helping students land coveted clerkships has been suspended for two years following a sexual harassment investigation. Jed Rubenfeld, a faculty member for 30 years, faced allegations that he verbally harassed female students and tried to kiss or touch them without their consent, including at parties at his home, reports New York. The Guardian also describes a claim that he offered to drive students home while intoxicated. Rubenfeld, who is married to Yale Law professor Amy Chua, admits to past "jokes and comments that I would not make today and I wish I had not made," per the New York Times. But he denies any sexual harassment. Indeed, he says he's been "targeted with false allegations" since publishing a 2014 Times op-ed in which he described campus rape investigations as "error-prone" with the potential for "mistaken findings of guilt."

But one alleged victim tells New York that she was "sexually harassed" and Rubenfeld is "being dishonest" in telling the magazine that Yale did not share the identity of his accusers with him. "As Yale’s policy requires, I identified myself to him," she says. "I had to, and I did so at considerable risk given his influence in the legal community." Yale Law School has refused to comment on the investigation, launched in 2018. Rubenfeld will be unable to teach required or small group courses and his social interactions with students will be limited once his suspension is up. A recent graduate and student of Rubenfeld tells the Times that she's "pleasantly surprised" since "meaningful accountability of tenured professors for sexual misconduct at Yale has historically been rare." (Rubenfeld's daughter clerked for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.)

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