During his nomination process, the latest addition to the Supreme Court made a promise about what his future staff would look like if he were confirmed to the position, and according to reports, he's made good on that pledge. As he prepared to begin his first term on the bench, according to The New York Times, Brett Kavanaugh hired four female law clerks, making himself the first Supreme Court justice to hire an all-women staff, per the report.
During his confirmation process, according to NPR member station KUT, Kavanaugh said that he had hired 25 female law clerks while he worked on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, something he said he did to promote gender equality within the clerkship system. If he was confirmed, he said, he'd continue to hire a significant number of women to work for him.
“My women law clerks said I was one of the strongest advocates in the federal judiciary for women lawyers,” Kavanaugh said during his confirmation hearings, according to The Washington Post. “And they wrote that the legal profession is fairer and more equal because of me.”
Only one of the four women Kavanaugh selected has previously worked for him, according to The Times, and that would be a woman named Kim Jackson. The other three — Shannon Grammel, Megan Lacy, and Sara Nommensen — have worked for other appeals court judges, all of whom were reportedly hired by Republicans.
Jackson, according to The Post, went to Yale Law School, where Kavanaugh also matriculated. Grammel, in turn, went to Harvard University and Stanford University. According to The Post, she's also the former president of the Stanford Law Review.
Lacy studied at the University of Virginia Law School and Hillsdale College. She was also part of the White House team that worked on Kavanaugh's nomination, The Post reports. Notably, she used be a counsel to Sen. Chuck Grassley, the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, per The Post. Nommensen, who The Times reported has worked for appeals court judges, also worked at the Justice Department’s office of legal counsel, per The Post. She was also one of Kavanaugh's students at Harvard Law School.
Though Kavanaugh's nomination was extremely contentious, the clerks he selected are widely considered to be very well qualified. But while Kavanaugh said his hiring practices reflect is advocacy for women, not every woman agrees that gender equality is his top priority. During his confirmation hearings, at least three women publicly accused him of sexual assault, allegations he has repeatedly denied.
Speaking before the Senate Judiciary Committee last month, Kavanaugh said, "I’ve never sexually assaulted anyone. Not in high school, not in college, not ever. Sexual assault is horrific."
Kavanaugh's dramatic confirmation process called into question not only his own attitude toward women and sexual assault, but the American people's as a whole. For a month, political commentators, politicians, and women's advocates fiercely debated what counted as evidence when it came to sexual misconduct, dissecting nearly every word that Kavanaugh and his accusers uttered on the subject. Ultimately, Kavanaugh was confirmed, but the discussions his confirmation process provoked are far from over.