Stanford law students, allegedly working with the university’s diversity, equity, and inclusion associate dean, shouted down a judge delivering an invited address Thursday, National Review’s Ed Whelan and other outlets reported.
“You’ve invited me here and I’m being heckled nonstop,” Fifth Circuit judge Stuart Kyle Duncan says in a video captured during the event.
“And I’m just asking for an administrator ….” The remainder of his sentence cannot be heard over students’ shouting.
“In my view, this was a setup, [Tirien Steinbach] was working with students on this,” Duncan later told Reuters.
Judge Duncan requested an apology, the outlet also reported, saying in an interview he was “offended” and “disturbed” by the “deeply uncivil behavior” of the unruly students as well as the behavior of the associate DEI dean.
“If Stanford law school genuinely cares about free speech, Tirien Steinbach should soon be looking for another job,” Ed Whelan wrote in National Review Friday.
Duncan, a Trump-appointed judge, was delivering an address at a Federalist Society event at the school when students’ disruptions evidently cut the lecture short, Whelan reports.
In the video Whelan posted, Duncan is seen briefly standing at the lectern. Students are seen and heard disrupting the event with repeated talking or shouting to the point that Duncan cannot be heard. Duncan moves aside from the lectern, and Stanford’s associate DEI dean, Tirien Steinbach, delivers what appear to be prepared remarks of her own.
“I’m here to support,” Steinbach begins, later launching into a diatribe against Duncan, at one point proclaiming “your advocacy, your opinions from the bench, land as absolute disenfranchisement of their rights.”
Steinbach reportedly circulated an email ahead of the event with an “absurd summary” of the Judge’s record which mirrored comments she delivered at the event itself.
The email, citing the alleged expression of “upset and outrage” over Judge Duncan’s invitation to speak, claimed the judge “has repeatedly and proudly threatened healthcare and basic rights for marginalized communities, including LBGTQ+ people, Native Americans, immigrants, prisoners, black voters, and women.”
“However well-intentioned, attempts at managing the room in this instance went awry,” Stanford Law dean Jenny Martinez said in a message to students, according to Reuters. “The way this event unfolded was not aligned with our institutional commitment to freedom of speech.”
“I’m president of our my Fed Soc Lawyers chapter. We have plenty of liberal students @MizzouLaw, but they are respectful @FedSoc events. Why are Stanford & Yale law students making fools of themselves & their schools? Why do the schools put up [with] it?” criminal defense attorney Jennifer Bukowsky tweeted, replying to Whelan’s thread.
Watch Ethics and Public Policy Center’s video of the Judge Duncan event at Stanford below.
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