BOSTON (CBS) – Here in the Northeast, we know all about the Ivy League. The eight schools within it – Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, Dartmouth, Cornell, Brown, and the University of Pennsylvania – are all clustered within a few hundred miles, hard to get into, and regarded as among the most prestigious schools in the country. We also know they’re not the be-all and end-all, with no monopoly on bright students and teachers. Some of them are, in some ways, grossly overrated.
But if you’re looking for a reason why we’re currently mired in this mess surrounding the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, you have to look in part at the mythology surrounding the Ivy League and its perception as a cultural status symbol. Consider some of the candidates on President trump’s short-list for this vacancy who were passed over for Kavanaugh.
Judge Joan Larsen easily won bipartisan confirmation to the federal appeals court last year. But she didn’t attend an Ivy League school for college or law school.
Another female appeals court judge, Amy Coney Barrett, was a student and professor at Notre Dame. But that’s not an Ivy League school.
Judge Amul Thapar may have been the most conservative candidate on the shortlist, but he only attended UC-Berkeley and Boston College.
And Judge Thomas Hardiman served on the bench alongside the president’s sister, but he also went to Notre Dame, as well as Georgetown law.
Sense a pattern here? Guess which shortlist candidate was the only one to, like the president, attend an Ivy League school?
Maybe insisting on the glamour credential wasn’t such a good idea after all.