Trump-appointed judges behind Yale clerk boycott to speak on campus

William F. Buckley Program at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut
Judges Elizabeth Branch and James Ho, speak during The William F. Buckley, Jr. Program at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, U.S., November 30, 2022. REUTERS/Michelle McLoughlin
  • Judges James Ho and Elizabeth Branch to speak with six other Obama, Trump appointees
  • Ho in September called on judges to boycott hiring clerks from Yale

(Reuters) - Two conservative federal appeals court judges who had called for a boycott of law clerks from Yale Law School to protest "cancel culture" on its campus will appear next week at the school with other members of the judiciary to discuss their "lasting friendships across political divides."

U.S. Circuit Judges James Ho and Elizabeth Branch, both appointees of Republican former President Donald Trump, are set to speak on March 15 to a Yale-only audience alongside six other judges appointed by presidents of both parties.

They will be joined by three appointees of Democratic former President Barack Obama: 4th Circuit Judge Pamela Harris, 5th Circuit Judge Stephen Higginson and D.C.-based U.S. District Judge James Boasberg.

Three other Trump appointees will also speak: 4th Circuit Judge Marvin Quattlebaum, U.S. District Judge Roy Altman of Miami and U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich of Washington, D.C.

The event, hosted by the Tsai Leadership Program, will feature a conversation among judges about "their approach to judging in partisan times, their experiences on the federal bench, and their shared commitment to the rule of law."

The event came after Ho and Branch in October accepted an offer from Dean Heather Gerken to speak following a call by Ho, a member of the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, for judges to join him in boycotting clerks from Yale.

Ho, in a speech in September, cited incidents in which students had disrupted conservative speakers at New Haven, Connecticut-based Yale, where he said "cancellations and disruptions seem to occur with special frequency."

Branch, a member of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, is the only judge to publicly join the boycott. Both judges have since suggested they could call it off, citing signs of change at Yale, and spoke in November at a different event at Yale University.

The school has said it is taking steps to protect speech and discourage disruptions of events on campus by protesters, and some recent events featuring conservative-leaning speakers have taken place without any noted incident.

Read more:

Trump-appointed judge in Yale clerk boycott condemns 'cancel culture' at Harvard event

Trump-appointed judges say 'course correction' could halt Yale clerk boycott

Yale Law trumpets free speech stance amid judge's clerk-boycott push

Trump-appointed judge boycotts Yale for law clerks over 'cancel culture'

2nd Trump-appointed judge publicly says she will not hire Yale clerks

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Nate Raymond reports on the federal judiciary and litigation. He can be reached at