In her first weeks as a law student at Georgetown University Law Center, Tiffany Trump has shared a small campus with some of her father’s most famous critics, including Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates.
Located just steps from the U.S. Capitol and the Supreme Court, Georgetown Law is a natural perch for government officials who still aspire to participate in scholarship and education. It is not surprising the campus has become something of a magnet from prominent progressives or alumni of the Obama administration, as the 2016 presidential election left many Democratic executive branch functionaries out of work.
Ginsburg visited the campus Wednesday and appeared before a student audience for a discussion with Georgetown Law Dean William Treanor. Topics included high-profile cases of the coming Supreme Court term, and the accomplishments of women in law practice. CSPAN cameras captured the first daughter among the attendees.
The justice earned reprimands from legal scholars and editorial boards around the country for comments made during the course of the 2016 general election. In a series of interviews in June and July 2016, Ginsburg vigorously denounced Trump’s campaign, and mused about moving to New Zealand if he prevailed in the election. She eventually apologized for the remarks, promising to be more circumspect in response to future questions about the president. As a rule, federal judges do not comment on politics in public forums.
Sally Yates, an Obama-era Justice Department official who served as acting attorney general in the earliest days of the Trump administration, is joining Georgetown Law for one semester as a visiting lecturer. In this capacity, the law school says she will “serve as a resource for students, participate in faculty workshops, and engage in other Law Center programming.”
“I am honored to be joining Georgetown Law for the fall semester,” Yates said in a statement announcing her appointment. “Georgetown has a long and distinguished history of rigorous and thoughtful academic dialogue and a commitment to social justice. I look forward to being a part of this dynamic environment and interacting with their outstanding students and faculty.”
Yates was dismissed in late January after she refused to defend the president’s first executive order on refugees and migrants in court. In a statement regarding her decision, she said Trump’s policy was not “wise or just.” Since leaving government service she has criticized Trump for politicizing the Justice Department.
“[H]e’s ripping the blindfold off Lady Justice and attempting to turn the department into a sword to seek vengeance against his perceived enemies and a shield to protect himself and his allies,” she wrote in July in The New York Times.
If needed, Tiffany may find some reprieve in the law school’s chapter of the Federalist Society, a debating forum with a conservative/libertarian bent.
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