13 Federal Judges Won’t Hire Columbia Students as Law Clerks Due to ‘Virulent Spread of Anti-Semitism’

May 17, 2024
Judicial Watch | First Liberty Insider

by Jorge Gomez • 3 min read

A group of 13 federal judges recently said they will not hire Columbia University undergraduates or law students as law clerks beginning with the class of 2024.

The judges sent a letter to Columbia President Minouche Shafik saying they’ve “lost confidence in Columbia as an institution of higher education” because of the university’s handling of ongoing campus protests. For weeks, pro-Hamas, anti-Semitic and anti-Israel demonstrators have occupied academic buildings, set up overnight tent encampments, and staged demonstrations, while Jewish students have faced increasing threats and violence. Many of the disruptors have even committed assaults and destroyed property.

The letter doesn’t mince words, stating that the university has “become an incubator of bigotry” and “disqualified itself from educating the future leaders of our country.”

Among the judges are federal appeals court judge James C. Ho and district court judge Matthew Kacsmaryk. They’re considered two of the country’s federal judges with the strongest record on religious liberty. Both previously worked for or donated their time to First Liberty to defend religious freedom and represent Americans of all faiths.

Fittingly, the letter was sent on May 6, Holocaust Remembrance Day. The judges correctly called out the rampant anti-Semitism happening at the university:

“Recent events demonstrate that ideological homogeneity throughout the entire institution of Columbia has destroyed its ability to train future leaders of a pluralistic and intellectually diverse country. Both professors and administrators are on the front lines of the campus disruptions, encouraging the virulent spread of antisemitism and bigotry.”

The letter also points out how the university seems to be playing favorites. Its signatories also urge Columbia leaders to adopt neutrality in the enforcement of campus rules and to promote viewpoint diversity across its faculty and administrative bodies:

“If Columbia had been faced with a campus uprising of religious conservatives upset because they view abortion as a tragic genocide, we have no doubt that the university’s response would have been profoundly different. By favoring certain viewpoints over others based on their popularity and acceptance in certain circles, Columbia has failed as a legitimate, never mind elite, institution of higher education.”

Another top defender of religious freedom—House Speaker Mike Johnson—has also denounced what’s going on at Columbia and other American universities, which he says have become “hostile places for Jewish students and faculty.”

“The very campuses which were once the envy of the international academy have succumbed to an antisemitic virus,” Johnson said at a Holocaust Remembrance Ceremony last week. “Students who were known for producing academic papers are now known for stabbing their Jewish peers in the eyes with Palestinian flags.”

We’re a nation founded on the ideal that Americans of all faiths should be able to live according to their beliefs—and to do so freely and peacefully. No person of faith in our country should ever have to fear that they’ll be attacked or singled out because of their religious convictions.

If we truly believe in and value America’s First Freedom, then we must all rise to defend our Jewish neighbors again, and again, and again. We cannot tolerate vitriol, hatred or violence. Anti-Semitism doesn’t belong on a university campus—or in any other place in America. Period.

First Liberty is here to protect their religious liberty rights and safety of ALL Americans—of any faith. In light of rising anti-Semitism, we’re committed more than ever to representing and fighting in court on behalf of rabbis, synagogues and Jewish communities across America.

Related News:

Forbes: 13 Trump-Appointed Judges Vow Not To Hire Columbia University Grads

National Review: Thirteen Federal Judges Pledge Not to Hire from Columbia, Call It an ‘Incubator of Bigotry’

Wall Street Journal: Conservative Judges Plan to Blackball Columbia University Graduates

New York Times: Speaker Mike Johnson Says U.S. Universities Are ‘Hostile’ to Jews

Newsweek: Biden Condemns Antisemitism on College Campuses

First Liberty: The Case for Liberty Podcast, Standing Up for Jewish Communities

Social Facebook Social Instagram Twitter X Icon | First Liberty Institute Social Youtube Social Linkedin

Terms of UsePrivacy PolicyState DisclosuresSitemap • © 2024 Liberty Institute® is a trademark of First Liberty Institute