WASHINGTON – Justice Brett Kavanaugh, confirmed to the Supreme Court amid fiery accusations of sexual misconduct against women, arrived Tuesday for his first day on the bench with an unprecedented all-female class of law clerks.
As a result, more than half of the Supreme Court's law clerks this year will — for the first time in American history — be women.
Former colleagues of Kavanaugh have described a long-standing reputation of promoting women in law. During his 12 years at the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, the majority of Kavanaugh's law clerks were women — 25 of 48 — and during his confirmation hearings he testified that he graduated more of them to clerkships at the Supreme Court than any other federal judge.
Supreme Court clerkships — among the most coveted credentials in American law — grant young lawyers unusual influence over the court's proceedings. There are about 36 law clerks each term, and they offer recommendations on which cases to hear, help prepare the justices for oral arguments and draft major portions of the opinions and dissents.
The clerks often graduate into influential careers in government, academia and major law firms; eight throughout history have gone on to serve on the Supreme Court, including Kavanaugh, who served as a law clerk from 1993 to 1994 for Justice Anthony Kennedy, whom he is replacing.
These are the four women who will serve in the role for Kavanaugh this year:
(Stanford Law School, Class of 2017)
Grammel, the former president of the Stanford Law Review, served as a law clerk for Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III on the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Grammel worked on Stanford Law School's Supreme Court Litigation Clinic and was a summer associate at Kellogg, Hansen, Todd, Figel & Frederick as well as Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, both in Washington.
Grammel previously interned at the Defense Intelligence Agency and the State Department.
(Yale Law School, Class of 2017)
Jackson, a former law clerk for Kavanaugh on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, was one of 18 women who signed a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee in July describing his mentorship toward women.
Jackson, one of only a handful of black law clerks at the high court this year, also worked as a law clerk on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia for Judge Dabney Friedrich.
(University of Virginia School of Law, Class of 2010)
Lacy came to the Supreme Court clerkship from the White House, where she worked with Don McGahn, the White House counsel, on Kavanaugh's nomination.
She was a clerk from 2013 to 2014 for Judge Diarmuid O'Scannlain on the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Lacy previously worked for Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa.
(Harvard Law School, Class of 2016)
Nommensen was an attorney-adviser in the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel. She previously clerked for Judge Laurence Silberman on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Nommensen was a former student of Kavanaugh at Harvard Law School and signed a letter, along with 79 other former students, supporting his nomination.