Hecklers veto federal judge at Stanford Law School; DEI Dean Piles On, Then Gets Suspended, Paideia Times reports.
U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Kyle Duncan, a guest of Stanford’s Federalist Society, was slated to give a talk entitled, “The Fifth Circuit in Conversation with the Supreme Court: COVID, Guns, and Twitter,” on March 9.
However, things went off the rails quickly. As soon as the FedSoc president spoke, there was jeering, and once Judge Duncan began, the protestors, who carried signs reading “RESPECT TRANS RIGHTS,” and “BE PRONOUN NOT PRO-BIGOT”—references, no doubt, to his prior defense work for Louisiana’s gay-marriage ban and North Carolina’s restrictions on transgender people using their preferred bathrooms.
The audience booed and heckled for about 10 minutes, shouting, among other things, “You couldn’t get into Stanford!” and “This is our jurisdiction!” When the Judge sought administrative support to restore order, Associate DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) Dean Tirien Steinbach took the podium to deliver a speech and tell Judge Duncan that she was “pained to have to tell him” that his work and previous words had caused real harm to people and “I am also pained to have to say that you are welcome here in this school to speak.”
Some believe the appearance was orchestrated for Duncan in order to “brandish his demagogic bona fides.” (Read what he wrote for The Wall Street Journal here and what appeared in National Review here.)
Regardless of whether or not he got what he was seeking, two days after the Judge’s “ambush” Stanford issued an apology acknowledging violations of university policy, that “should have been enforced” and that Steinbach’s “intervention” was “not aligned with the university’s commitment to free speech.” She is now suspended, but submitted her own opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal.
There has been praise from free speech advocates for Law School Dean Jenny Martinez’s response to the brouhaha. In lawyerly fashion she issued a 10-page memo outlining her stance: “I believe that the commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion actually means that we must protect free expression of all views.”
She also gave some career advice: “Law students are entering a profession in which their job is to make arguments on behalf of clients whose very lives may depend on their professional skill. Just as doctors in training must learn to face suffering and death and respond in their professional role, lawyers in training must learn to confront injustice or views they don’t agree with and respond as attorneys.”
After all the Sturm and Drang generated by the Law School, it is no wonder the student body elected a new government led by a coalition calling itself “Fun Strikes Back.”
Originally published by Paideia Times. Republished with permission.
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