Steven Menashi, President Donald Trump’s nominee for the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals, said at his confirmation hearing that he regretted if his writings for Dartmouth’s conservative student newspaper had been “overheated or extreme” in advancing his arguments.
Menashi, a White House aide, was responding to a question from Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island on Wednesday about an editorial he had written in March 2001 on the Human Rights Campaign and identity politics, which compared college applications listing race to the Nuremberg Laws, created in 1935 to segregate Jews in Germany. CNN’s KFile first reported on the editorial last month.
“So, Senator, that has come up,” Menashi said. “It’s something that I have – wrote in college. Let me be clear: There is no comparison to be made between the Nuremberg Laws and any activity that goes on on a college campus. I did not believe that 20 years ago when I wrote something in college and I don’t believe that today.”
“Some of the writings I did in college were writing from the perspective that I thought that it was inappropriate to treat people as members of groups rather than individuals,” Menashi added. “Which was important to me, because my family had suffered discrimination on the basis of group status. And if some of the writing was overheated or extreme in advancing that view, I regret that implication.”
“But let me be clear,” he said. “I did not believe then, and I do not believe now, that there is any comparison to be drawn between the Nuremberg Laws and anything that happens on a contemporary college campus.”
CNN’s KFile first reported in August that Menashi, a 40-year-old White House aide, had written editorials in the late 1990s and early 2000s while a student at Dartmouth that criticized women’s marches against sexual assault, dismissed education about multicultural awareness and accused a major LGBTQ group of exploiting the brutal murder of a gay student for political ends.
“Identity politics subsumes individuals in a tribal unit, and defines them not according to the dictates of their conscience or mind, but according to the historical circumstances of the tribe, and its relationship to actual or would-be oppressors,” wrote Menashi in 2001. “Elite institutions generally nourish the disposition. Sixty years after the promulgation of the Nuremberg laws, universities persist in cataloguing students according to race on college applications and official documents. And our cultural and political beliefs are said to be a function of our bloodlines. What a subversion of the liberation of mind promised by education.”
Senators criticized Menashi for his past writings at his hearing, and protests against his confirmation could be heard during his opening statement.