Update: The Judge Kyle Duncan/Stanford Law/Heckler’s Veto Fiasco Aftermath (So Far)

It remains to be seen whether the Stanford Law students’ “heckler’s veto” of invited Fifth Circuit Judge Kyle Duncan will be a tipping point in national recognition of how far our educational institutions are drifting away from liberal principles like freedom of speech, or whether the mainstream media’s now routine efforts to suppress any news event that threatens the woke agenda will smother the disgraceful story in its metaphorical crib. Incredibly, The New York Times didn’t cover the story at all, as of this morning. Over at the Washington Post there was also no news coverage, but now-irrelevant pundit George Will got an op-ed out titled “Expensively credentialed, negligibly educated Stanford brats threw a tantrum.” That’s pretty safe: the Woke, meaning most of the Post’s readers, never read Will, and since he threw a tantrum and began supporting the Democratic Party because the aging, bowtie-wearing elitist thinks Donald Trump is an unmannerly cur, a lot of conservatives no longer read him either. Since the frightening ethics debacle of law students at an esteemed law school showing contempt for a federal judge and the schools DEI administrator cheering them on, there have been many newsworthy developments and reactions, even if our Leftist propaganda machine (aka the mainstream media) doesn’t want us to know about it….such as:

  • The independent Stanford student paper called for the firing of Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Tirien Steinbach, shown above. Of course, she should be fired (Ann Althouse notwithstanding); we know she won’t be. The argument being put forth in her defense is that behaving like she did is what Diversity Equity Inclusion Czars are supposed to do. Okay; they should all be fired, everywhere. This episode was smoking gun evidence of why.
  • Nonetheless, according to The Washington Free Beacon, Federalist Society leaders (it was their program and their invited speaker that was hooted down) received an email from acting Dean of Students Jeanne Merino expressing concern for their “safety and mental health” after the March 9 event and suggesting that the school offered several resources for them to access in response. DEI Dean Tirien Steinbach was listed among those resources. Merino’s message also urged the Federalist Society members not to discuss the disruption on social media “until this news cycle winds down.” At very least, the brain-dead suggestion that one of the main accessories in the attack on Judge Duncan was now an appropriate resource for her victims suggests that Stanford isn’t taking the episode very seriously. At worst, the message suggests a cover-up.
  • The Stanford Law chapter of the National Lawyers Guild defended and praised the shout-down in an email from the NLG board. It declared their “firm support and admiration for every single person involved in planning or enacting the protest,” which “represented Stanford Law School at its best: as a place of care for vulnerable people, and a place to challenge oppression and bigotry in all their forms, including on the federal bench.” The  NLG Board also expressed “deep disappointment” over the apologies offered to Judge Duncan and the Federalist Society.

  • Hundreds of Stanford law students, an estimated third of the student body, protested againts the law school’s dean, Jenny Martinez, for apologizing to Duncan.  Her classroom where she teaches constitutional law was plastered in fliers attacking Duncan and defending those who stopped  him from speaking, with legally and logically nonsensical screeds like  “We, the students in your constitutional law class, are sorry for exercising our 1st Amendment rights.” The protesters  dressed in black and wore face masks that read “counter-speech is free speech.”  The majority of Martinez’s 50 student class participated in the protest.

  • “Something is wrong with the culture at Stanford Law School, and many (most) law schools,” concludes Legal Insurrection. Gee, ya think? Many legal commentators are wondering about what our justice system will face when the current crop of indoctrinated, arrogant, Marxist, anti-free speech, anti-pluralism law students enter the legal profession.-

  • Predictably, being devoid of any genuine justification for the silencing of Judge Duncan, progressive assholes in the media and elsewhere (I’m sorry, but somehow only “asshole” will do) are blaming the victim, Predictably, being devoid of any genuine justification for the silencing of Judge Duncan, progressive assholes in the media and elsewhere (I’m sorry, but somehow only “asshole” will do) are blaming the victim, like in this nauseating screed. Duncan was treated terribly, by law students, at a venue where he was invited to speak, despite being a federal judge, and a dean got up address the protesters and said she agreed with them, and that it was too bad he was speaking at all. Nice. The claim is that his displaying his anger wasn’t “judicial.” Ha! The students should try disrupting a court sometime and see the “judicial” response they get. Critics are seriously trying to argue that Duncan should have carried on with giving his speech while the protesters shouted at him, despite the fact that the interruptions guaranteed that his remarks wouldn’t be heard clearly by those that wanted to hear them. I’m a professional speaker: I would confront any group that treated me that way, at least as vigorously as the judge did.
  • Defense attorney-blogger Scott Greenfield asks the correct questions:

No matter how many times you read Dean Martinez’s words, you will not see anything about what will happen to Dean Steinbach or the students engaged in the disruption. While she says the school is “reviewing what transpired,” which will hopefully take less than the four months Georgetown needed to review a single twit by Ilya Shapiro, it’s only expressed purpose is to “ensure that protocols are in place.

But they are in place. They had a rule. It was violated. The problem is twofold, that the students knew they could do as they pleased and the dean and a phalanx of legal academics would fabricate rationalizations for why they were right and support them for it.**

Can a law school dean say “no”? Can law professors find it in their hearts, if not their brains, to mold these minds full of mush and turn them into lawyers?

Are the “kids alright” or have we failed them by indulging their whims, their childishness, their arrogance of believing there are no rules which they are required to abide? Will they behave differently in court before a “bad” judge when a defendant’s life is on the line? Will they take comfort in the certainty that they are right, that they are the good and moral voices and can throw bombs at the bad ones who are entitled to neither respect nor decorum because they are wrong and evil?

Has the battle for the future of the legal profession been lost? If so, what then is the purpose of schools of law that have forsaken the role of “vocational schools” to turn out lords of the flies instead of lords of the law?

14 thoughts on “Update: The Judge Kyle Duncan/Stanford Law/Heckler’s Veto Fiasco Aftermath (So Far)

  1. “Will they behave differently in court before a “bad” judge when a defendant’s life is on the line?”

    Wait til this generation’s members become the judges.

    • Exactly. These kids will be clerking for federal judges later this year, then in the DOJ in four years and then on the federal bench in ten. Because they got into Stanford, so they must be superior.

  2. The genuine classic Liberal Alan Dershowitz has a video out on this topic this topic that I thought was worth watching. Dershowitz says that “Stanford is just the tip of the iceberg…” and that the organization the National Lawyers Guild that was involved in this “has been taken over by the hard, hard left”. Dershowitz is not at all fond of shouting down speakers, he quotes Thurgood Marshall “The first Amendment not only protect the freedom to speak but equally it protects the freedom to hear.”

    • From my perspective, there are very few genuine classic Liberals that are willing to speak out against the horde of irrational woke, as they should be, and the courageous opinions of Liberals like Alan Dershowitz need to be put in the face of the irrational woke at every turn.

  3. Here’s a question that has no chance of being answered, but how many Stanford law students take their legal education seriously and intend to actually practice the law? Law school has become a catch-all graduate degree, especially for those whose lifetime intent is politics rather than the law. And whether law is practiced or not, a law degree usually ensures a higher salary than a plain master’s degree does. Also, unlike med school (which also promises higher remuneration than other degrees), med school graduates actually have to do something in that field, while a law degree requires passing a bar exam only if one wants to practice the law.

    For generations the path to politics has included a law degree, if only to prove that a politician has achieved something beyond a baccalaureate degree, and implies some knowledge of the Constitution. What you found at Stanford was law students, and an Assistant Dean who chose academia over legal practice. Are they representatives of the legal profession? I think not, and even just decent behavior on their part may be asking too much.

    They should be held accountable for their actions, but there is literally no one taking on that responsibility. It would be an interesting longitudinal study to see where Stanford Law alumni end up.

  4. I’m pretty sure the dastardly dean will get a bonus and a promotion out of this. If she were to be fired, she’d get a deanship at Boalt Hall (Kamala Harris will speak at her investiture), or maybe she’ll be made THE Dean, or she’ll be made president of UC Santa Cruz or some historically black college or university. She’s a super star.

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