Judge James Ho of the Fifth Circuit announced that he’s going to stop hiring clerks from the Yale Law Federalist Society pool to protest the fact that other Yale students don’t invite Federalist Society students to parties. If you’re straining to figure out how this makes any sense, remember that Judge Ho doesn’t care a whit about these students or even Yale Law School and cares a whole lot about hyping his name by throwing some low stakes — for him — red meat into the maw of the right-wing media grudge campaign against Yale.
Since his announcement, more federal judges have “joined” his boycott, though none will go public with this fact. A commitment to opacity that certainly has nothing to do with the fact that it’s a bunch of judges who couldn’t land a Yale clerk if they tried.
But a conservative judge who IS willing to speak publicly sees Ho’s boycott as an opportunity. And in a fit of irony, it’s Judge Jerry Smith… who hired Ho as a clerk.
But in a Tuesday posting to OSCAR, the online system used by law students to apply for federal clerkships, Smith, an appointee of former Republican President Ronald Reagan and a Yale graduate, called Ho’s decision “regrettable,” without referring to him by name.
“I regularly (and recently) have had Yale clerks who, consistently, are extremely talented and performed spectacularly in upholding the rule of law and supporting toleration for diverse viewpoints,” Smith wrote.
The judge added: “Instead of boycotting, I hope to receive even more Yale applications from qualified men and women, not only this year but in future years.” He said his four clerkships for 2025-2026 would be open to students from Yale and elsewhere.
This, again, reveals the utter folly of Judge Ho’s
publicity stunt plan. None of the Yale students he’s bad-mouthing were ever going to apply to work with him anyway and Yale FedSoc is a sufficiently small group that they’ll easily trickle down to other conservative federal judges. Because Ho’s whining doesn’t change the fact that conservatives are overrepresented on the federal bench relative to the law school population such that there will always be opportunity with any judge unwilling to slice off the “Yale Law” nose to spite their “having talented clerks” face.
Or whatever… it’s a metaphor in progress.
Judge’s Yale clerk-hiring boycott ‘regrettable,’ conservative colleague says [Reuters]
Irony Alert [How Appealing]
Earlier: James Ho Cancel Cultures Yale Law FedSoc Because Other Students Are Mean To Yale Law FedSoc Students
12 Federal Judges Suggest They’re No Longer Hiring Yale Law School Clerks… But Too Cowardly To Go On The Record