Stephen Kantrowitz: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

University of Wisconsin Stephen Kantrowitz

Steve Kantrowitz was a classmate of Brett Kavanaugh’s at Yale. On September 25, Kantrowitz tweeted that Kavanaugh had talked to him about his sexual history while they were both freshmen at Yale. Kantrowitz didn’t go into any detail, but he implied that Kavanaugh had boasted to him about possible sexual exploits.

If true, this would contradict Kavanaugh’s statement to Fox News that he was a virgin in high school and for many years after high school. Katrowitz wrote,

“Perhaps Brett Kavanaugh was a virgin for many years after high school. But he claimed otherwise in a conversation with me during our freshman year in Lawrance Hall at Yale, in the living room of my suite.”

Here’s what you need to know about Stephen Kantrowitz:


1. Kantrowitz Said Kavanaugh Told Him All About His Experience Losing His Virginity

Kantrowitz has said he doesn’t want to say much about his decades-ago conversation with Kavanaugh, when both men were freshmen. But he told a Law and Crime reporter that he “felt compelled” to say something after watching Kavanaugh tell Fox News that he had been a virgin for many years after high school. Kantrowitz said he feels it’s important for a Supreme Court justice to be honest, which is why he came forward with his story.

Kantrowitz told Law and Crime that Kavanaugh had described to him how he lost his virginity. Here is Kantrowitz’s statement about Kavanaugh, as sent to Law and Crime:

“I felt compelled to reveal a private conversation I had with a classmate in our freshman year at Yale because of the tremendous importance of honesty and integrity to serving as a Justice of the Supreme Court. My conversation with Brett Kavanaugh raises doubt about a statement he made on September 24 on national television. Contrary to his assertion that he remained a virgin “for many years” after high school, during our freshman year he described losing his virginity. I remember this distinctly because it was the first time I had had such a conversation with an acquaintance who was not a friend. I have no first-hand knowledge of any of the allegations against Judge Kavanaugh, but I thought this conversation was relevant as it goes to the question of his truthfulness.”


2. Kantrowitz Is an Award-Winning History Professor Who Writes About the History of the White Supremacy Movement

Kantrowitz is a professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where he teaches graduate and undergraduate classes on 19th century American history. He describes himself as ” a historian of race, politics, and citizenship in the nineteenth-century United States” and says that he is especially interested in the Civil War.

Kantrowitz has written a number of books about the evolution of race relations and white supremacy movements in 19th century America. His other scholarly focus is on American Indian studies, and he has researched the changing position of Native Americans in America in the 19th century.

Kantrowitz holds a PhD and an MA from Princeton, and a BA from Yale. He has won several teaching awards, including a Chancellor’s Award for Distinguished Teaching (2001) and the UW-Madison History Organization “Instructor of the Year” (2010).


3. Kantrowitz Said He and Kavanaugh Were Not Friends

In a statement released this afternoon, Kantrowitz described Kavanaugh as “an acquaintance, not a friend.” The two were freshmen at Yale at the same time, and they knew each other. Kantrowitz says that the two of them were never friends, really. He says that’s why he was so surprised when Kavanaugh opened up to him about his experience losing his virginity. Here is Kantrowitz’s statement:

“I felt compelled to reveal a private conversation I had with a classmate in our freshman year at Yale because of the tremendous importance of honesty and integrity to serving as a Justice of the Supreme Court. My conversation with Brett Kavanaugh raises doubt about a statement he made on September 24 on national television. Contrary to his assertion that he remained a virgin “for many years” after high school, during our freshman year he described losing his virginity. I remember this distinctly because it was the first time I had had such a conversation with an acquaintance who was not a friend. I have no first-hand knowledge of any of the allegations against Judge Kavanaugh, but I thought this conversation was relevant as it goes to the question of his truthfulness.”


4. Kantrowitz Has Been Following the Kavanaugh Nomination Process Very, Very Closely

Like many Americans, Kantrowitz appears to have been watching the Kavanaugh nomination process very closely indeed. His twitter feed is full of tweets and retweets about the ins and outs of the Kavanaugh news cycle. Kantrowitz has been tweeting critically about Republican support for Kavanaugh. He has called out former president George W Bush for supporting Kavanaugh. He has also criticized ordinary Republicans for — he says — living in a sort of dream world in which they can’t tell the difference between what’s real and what is imaginary.

Kantrowitz tweeted about the so-called “doppelganger” theory, a theory which said that Christine Ford had mis-identified Kavanaugh and that in fact, it was a different, but similar-looking man who had tried to assault her. Kantrowitz wrote about this theory, saying, “The Kavanaugh-doppelganger thread unintentionally suggests an alternate theory: even the “adults” in today’s GOP can no longer distinguish truth from lies from batshit crazy.”


5. Kantrowitz Says He Doesn’t Want to Comment on the Case Any Further

Kantrowitz doesn’t want to do a sit-down interview about his relationship with Kavanaugh; he doesn’t want to be bombarded by reporters asking him lots of questions about his time at Yale with the Supreme Court nominee. Kantrowitz says that, in fact, he doesn’t want to comment on the case any more.

Hours after his explosive tweet about Kavanaugh, when reporters had been hounding him for more information, Kantrowitz finally released a statement. The end of that statement was very clear. He wrote, “I will not be commenting further. Thank you.”

Here is the rest of that statement:

“I felt compelled to reveal a private conversation I had with a classmate in our freshman year at Yale because of the tremendous importance of honesty and integrity to serving as a Justice of the Supreme Court. My conversation with Brett Kavanaugh raises doubt about a statement he made on September 24 on national television. Contrary to his assertion that he remained a virgin “for many years” after high school, during our freshman year he described losing his virginity. I remember this distinctly because it was the first time I had had such a conversation with an acquaintance who was not a friend. I have no first-hand knowledge of any of the allegations against Judge Kavanaugh, but I thought this conversation was relevant as it goes to the question of his truthfulness.”

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