Stanford University students protested a law school dean who apologized to a conservative judge after he was shouted down during an on-campus speech last week, the Washington Free Beacon reported.
Fifth Circuit Judge Kyle Duncan attempted to deliver remarks during a Federalist Society lunchtime discussion on March 9, but was repeatedly interrupted by protesters and berated by Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Tirien Steinbach who said his work causes “harm.” Hundreds of students protested on Monday after Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne and Stanford Law School (SLS) Dean Jenny Martinez apologized to Duncan on March 11, the Free Beacon reported. (RELATED: Judge Duncan Calls On Stanford To Fire DEI Dean That Participated In Student Uproar)
Martinez’ white board was covered in flyers doubling down that the disruption was an act of free speech, the Free Beacon reported. The protesters stared down Martinez after her Monday class while dressed in black and wearing face masks that read “counter-speech is free speech.”
“We, the students in your constitutional law class, are sorry for exercising our 1st Amendment rights,” one flyer read.
“We have free speech rights too,” read another.
Martinez arrived to the classroom where she teaches constitutional law to find a whiteboard covered in fliers attacking Duncan and defending those who disrupted him. The fliers parroted the argument, made by student activists, that the heckler’s veto is a form of free speech. pic.twitter.com/AjfN9VooBP
— Aaron Sibarium (@aaronsibarium) March 14, 2023
Stanford University is not bound by the First Amendment since it is a private institution, but has a policy prohibiting disruptions. The apology letter cited the standard, saying that students “are welcome to exercise their right to protest but not to disrupt the proceedings” if they disagree with the speaker.
Nearly the entirety of Martinez’ class participated in the protest. Luke Schumacher, a student who declined to protest, told the Free Beacon that students were given “weird looks” for not participating, while another said it was “eerie.”
“Dean Martinez seems confident, unwilling to be bullied by students, but also attuned to their concerns (whatever we may make of them),” Schumacher told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “I am confident she will lead the changes that will restore free inquiry and dialogue at Stanford Law.”
The administrators’ apology said that the staff members at the March 9 speech “intervened in inappropriate ways that are not aligned with the university’s commitment to free speech,” but no disciplinary actions have been reported. Three student groups, including the Stanford National Lawyers Guild, Immigration & Human Rights Law Association and the American Constitution Society chapter, denounced the apology letter and defended the disruption, according to the Free Beacon.
“In veiled language, the law school threw its capable and compassionate administrators who were present at the event, and who interceded productively, under the bus, and expressed an intent to ensure that such disruptions do not occur again,” the guild wrote.
Stanford and Martinez did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment. The student organizations could not be reached for comment.
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