A Stanford University administrator who berated a conservative federal judge who visited the campus on March 9 has resigned from her post, according to an email sent out to Stanford Law School (SLS) students and staff.
Tirien Steinbach, SLS’s Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, was widely criticized for intervening in a left-wing protest against Kyle Duncan, a judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, during an appearance hosted by the law school’s chapter of the Federalist Society. Following widespread criticism of her conduct, Steinbach apparently resigned from her position at Stanford, per an email that SLS Dean Jenny Martinez sent to the law school community obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation. (RELATED: Stanford University President Resigns Amid Academic Research Backlash)
“Tirien Steinbach has decided that she will be leaving her role,” wrote Martinez. She did not mention whether Steinbach had been asked to resign by Stanford, or whether the decision was made by Steinbach, who has been on leave following the March 9 incident.
Stanford Law announces Tirien Steinbach will leave her post, months after she appeared to facilitate a shoutdown of a 5th Circuit judge, leading Stanford to overhaul its free speech practices. pic.twitter.com/WkOIFpDEgx
— Alex Morey (@1AMorey) July 20, 2023
On that day, Steinbach, in an attempt to pacify the protesting students, criticized Duncan before the audience and echoed their left-wing rhetoric, which observers deemed disrespectful and contrary to the school’s policy of free speech.
“Your work has caused harm,” she told Duncan while representing Stanford at the event, asking him “Is the juice worth the squeeze,” apparently questioning whether his conservative views were worth expressing.
“We believe that the way to address speech that feels abhorrent, that feels harmful, that literally denies the humanity of people—that one way to do that is with more speech and not less,” she told Duncan, suggesting that his jurisprudence was denying the “humanity” of the students, and that their protests were legitimate, even as they prevented Duncan from delivering remarks.
Concluding her remarks, Steinbach said “I’m really grateful to be in this institution. I look out and I don’t ask ‘what is going on here?’ I look out and I say, ‘I’m glad this is going on here,'” stating her approval of the protesters and their rhetoric.
The protesters, who were students at Stanford, jeered and insulted Duncan, with statements such as “We hope your daughters get raped,” per the New York Post. They were directed at past litigation efforts by Duncan, an appointee of President Donald Trump, on sex and gender issues, such as school bathrooms, as well as his jurisprudence, which has included denying a pedophile prisoner’s request to change his pronouns.
Following the incident, Stanford’s President Marc Tessier-Lavigne — who recently resigned following a separate scandal — and Martinez wrote a letter apologizing to Duncan for his treatment by Stanford students, and criticized Steinbach’s intervention.
“[S]taff members who should have enforced university policies failed to do so, and instead intervened in inappropriate ways that are not aligned with the university’s commitment to free speech,” Tessier-Lavigne and Martinez wrote. The letter apologizing to Duncan provoked an outcry from left-wing students, which prompted Martinez to write a second, longer letter explaining why she did so.
“Today’s announcement that Steinbach will leave her post is hopefully another signal that Stanford intends to adopt a no-tolerance policy on viewpoint discrimination,” wrote Alex Morey, the Director of Campus Advocacy of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), to the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Steinbach and SLS did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
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