Stanford law school student bullies yell at federal judge
Stanford University has apologized to a Donald Trump-appointed federal judge who was woken up by protesting students, egged on by the administrator, to shout over him when he tried to speak at the law school last Thursday.
Stanford is one of the most popular law schools in the country. But it looks like the school produces professional hooligans, not lawyers. Lawyers are obliged to respond to the arguments of opponents. You can’t yell at someone in a courtroom.
Stanford University President Mark Tessier-Lavigne and Stanford University School of Law Dean Jenny Martinez wrote to Judge Kyle Duncan in which they offered their “sincere apologies” for the behavior of the students, whom Duncan later called “hypocrites”, “idiots” and “hooligans”. “.
The dean and president of Stanford told the judge that “what happened is inconsistent with our free speech policy, and we are very sorry about what you experienced while visiting our campus.”
“We make it very clear to our students that, given our commitment to free speech, if there are speakers they disagree with, they can exercise their right to protest, but not interrupt the hearing.”
They also reached out to Diversity Dean Tieren Steinbach, who scolded the judge after he asked the administrator to stop students from interrupting him.
“Employees who were supposed to enforce university policy failed to do so and instead intervened inappropriately, which is inconsistent with the university’s commitment to free speech,” the letter said.
“We are taking steps to ensure that this does not happen again,” Tessier-Lavigne and Martinez promised.
“Freedom of speech is the cornerstone of law school, university and democratic society, and we can and must do more to ensure that it is maintained even in polarized times,” they promised.
But they didn’t say if the students who got in the way of the judge would be punished. Stanford Law School rules expressly forbid interfering with speakers.
And the school also refuses to release the video it made of the event.
However, the apology infuriated the students, who were clearly accustomed to being coddled. On Monday, March 13, they vandalized the classroom of Stanford Law Dean Jenny Martinez. They completely covered the chalkboard with flyers saying that “counter-speech is free speech”, “we also have rights to free speech”, and “we in your class regret taking advantage of our rights enshrined in the First amendment.”
Martinez taught the class non-stop. But after class ended and she left the room, 50 out of 60 students stood and stared at her silently, according to the Washington Free Beacon. They were dressed in all black and wore masks with the inscription “Counterspection is freedom of speech.”
Outside the classroom, hundreds of students lined the hallway, throwing angry looks at the students who did not join the protest. “They looked at us strangely” if we didn’t wear black and join the protest, freshman Luke Schumacher told the Washington Free Beacon. “.
The initial scandal took place last Thursday, March 9, but an invitation by the conservative Stanford Federalist Society to Judge Duncan of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to speak stirred up students even before he arrived. Instead of welcoming a debate with a very experienced opponent, the students sought to silence him.
Students handed out flyers saying Federalist Society members should be ashamed of having invited someone who fought against abortion and same-sex marriage and allowing transgender students to use the toilet of their choice. They also claimed—falsely—that he “fought to disenfranchise black Americans.”
On the day of the event, according to a report in the Substack essay by legal writer David Lat, about 100 student protesters stood outside the room where Duncan was scheduled to speak and booed the students who entered the room, calling them by their first names. They carried signs that read: RESPECT THE RIGHTS OF TRANS, FEDSUCK, BE PRONOME NOT PRO-BIGOT, and JUDGE DUNCAN CAN’T FIND CLIT. They also carried trans flags.
When Stanford Federalist Society President Tim Rosenberger began to speak opening the event, he was booed and interrupted as he tried to speak.
The moment Duncan began to speak, the students began to shout over him.
As Lat recalls, “Then Judge Duncan came onto the stage, and from the very beginning of his speech, the protesters constantly booed and shouted. For about ten minutes the judge tried to deliver his planned lines, but the protesters simply shouted over him with exclamations like “You couldn’t get into Stanford!” “You are not welcome here, we hate you!” “Why do you hate black people?!” “Go away and never come back!” “We hate FedSoc students, to hell with them, they don’t belong here either!” and “We do not respect you and you have no right to speak here! This is our jurisdiction!”
When the judge tried to speak, the students shouted “thug” and “liar.”
The judge was clearly outraged by the student antics. Several administrators were in the room but did not try to stop the protesting students. Finally, the judge asked the administrator to intervene.
Thierien Steinbach, Associate Dean for Diversity, Equality and Inclusion, then took the podium and read a prepared speech in which she said that the harm the presence of a judge does to students may not be worth protecting free speech. “Many here have been harmed by your work,” she said, asking Duncan, “Is it worth juicing?”
She repeated the question as the protesters showed signs of approval.
“You want to say something so important that it is worth the division you sow,” she asked the judge reproachfully.
Duncan accused Steinbach of setting him up. Unable to finish the speech, he took questions from the students, who continued his ranting and showed that they were not looking for genuine dialogue, but simply wanted to preen with moral high ground.
One student scolded him for voting in favor of limiting black voting rights. It turned out that he actually did not agree with the opinion given by the student.
Another student said: “I fuck men. I can find the prostate. Why can’t you find the clitoris?
Another student asked the judge about an opinion he wrote that denied a transgender prisoner’s request to be referred to as “her” by the requested feminine pronouns. Duncan ruled that federal courts do not have the authority to determine which pronouns are used to refer to a prisoner.
“Read the conclusion,” the judge snapped. “Next question.”
Duncan eventually left the room, escorted by US marshals, and called one student who had asked questions “a terrible idiot”.
Every time Duncan started to speak, the protesters interrupted him with insults, shouting things like “thugs!” and “you’re a liar!”
According to the video, the noise became so loud that Duncan asked the administrator to keep order.
— Aaron Sibarium (@aaronsibarium) March 11, 2023
Duncan, who said Diversity Dean Thirienne Steinbach should be fired for her behavior, did not respond to a request for comment from the California Globe.
But in an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal on March 17, he said the episode boded very poorly for today’s legal education. “The most disturbing aspect of this embarrassing fiasco is what it says about the state of legal education. Stanford is an elite law school. The protesters did not show the slightest understanding of the basic concepts of legal discourse: reason must be answered with reason, not force. This mocking contempt is the opposite of conviction. That the law protects the speaker from the crowd, not the crowd from the speaker. Worst of all, it was clear from Ms. Steinbach’s remarks that she was proud that Stanford students were being taught exactly the way the law should be.”
Glenn Ricketts, a spokesman for the National Association of Scholars, which promotes academic freedom, echoed those sentiments in an email to the California Globe. “What is disgusting in this case is that the senior administrator approved the failure. The way the students behaved, unfortunately, I expected. A much bigger problem is that they were joined and cheered on by one of Stanford’s DEI administrators, who took the microphone and told the judge how “offensive”, etc., his judgments were. Things are bad all around, and I’m afraid that it will only get worse.
Watch the full video featuring Stanford Law School Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
On the one hand, it’s really amazing. On the other hand, this is how DEI officers are told to think about their jobs. pic.twitter.com/pEPefWVAAG
— John Sailer (@JohnDSailer) March 10, 2023
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