Stanford University has apologized to a Trump-appointed judge who faced an embarrassing protest from a crowd of woke students, along with the school’s dean of “equity,” after he was invited to speak at Stanford University Law School. university.
Judge Kyle Duncan of the Fifth Circuit Appeals was ambushed by Associate Dean for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Tirien Steinbach during an argument Thursday night.
Steinbach, a former ACLU attorney who previously defended free speech, initially asserted that Duncan had the right to express his views. But then he launched into an impassioned six-minute speech, which he had written, condemning his life’s work.
President Marc Tessier-Lavigne and Stanford Law Dean Jenny Martinez wrote a letter of apology to Duncan dated Saturday. Martinez had written a similar letter to the students on Friday.
‘We are writing to apologize for the interruption to your recent speech at Stanford Law School. As has already been communicated to our community, what happened was inconsistent with our free speech policies and we are very sorry for the experience you had during his visit to our campus.’
The letter goes on to say that students had the right to “protest but not disrupt” and that staff members like Steinbach “failed” to enforce university policy.
Stanford University has apologized to Judge Kyle Duncan (pictured right), a Trump-appointed jurist, who faced an embarrassing mob of awakened students, along with the school’s dean of “equity,” Tirien Steinbach (pictured left), protesting his commitment to speak on campus.
The letter closes with Tessier-Lavigne and Martinez promising that they “are taking steps to ensure that something like this doesn’t happen again.” Freedom of expression is a fundamental principle for law school, the university, and a democratic society, and we can and must do more to ensure that it continues even in polarized times.’
There was no mention of any possible sanction against Steinbach, other staff members or discipline towards students.
Duncan looked on in bewilderment as Steinbach stood at the lectern and told the law students that he “had to write something because I feel very uncomfortable up here.”
He continued: “For many people in the law school who work here, who study here and who live here, their advocacy, their opinions from the court, land as an absolute disenfranchisement.”
Woke students snapped their fingers in support, after progressive colleges warned that clapping can cause offence, and shouted ‘Yes’ in agreement.
“They feel wronged not just by your speech, because if it was just words, that would be one thing. He has authority and power to make decisions that affect the lives of millions,” Steinbach continued.
Her voice could be heard shaking at certain points, though it’s unclear if she was upset with Duncan or just excited to get the chance to perform.
Duncan said he was unable to deliver his prepared remarks because he was immediately ambushed by students and then the dean
Judge Kyle Duncan (left) being challenged by Stanford Law School Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Tirien Steinbach (right)
She said she hoped Duncan could “hear through his partisan lens.”
Steinbach added: ‘It’s uncomfortable to say this to you as a person. It’s uncomfortable to say that for a lot of people here, their work has caused harm… and I know it must be uncomfortable to hear. must be
“I also feel uncomfortable because I have come to care for many of the people in this room.”
Duncan stood up and shook his head in wonder. Steinbach also expressed his support for free speech.
But she gave an apparent facelift just seconds later, when she suggested that hate speech should be banned and that her students could advocate for those same laws after they graduated.
Duncan, a Louisiana-born 51-year-old lawyer known for challenging LGBTQ+ rights, was appointed as a federal judge in 2018 by then-President Trump.
Prior to that, he represented the Christian business Hobby Lobby in its case against the provision of contraceptives in health insurance plans to its staff, a case Duncan successfully argued in the Supreme Court.
LGBTQ+ advocacy group Lambda Legal said Duncan had “spent his entire career working to kill civil rights progress.”
Duncan was invited to Thursday’s campus event by the Stanford chapter of the conservative group The Federalist Society.
He was tasked with discussing gun laws, COVID mandates, guns, and Twitter.
“So, you invited me to speak here, and I’ve been interrupted nonstop,” Duncan said.
Steinbach then took the lectern and, her voice shaking, said Duncan’s comments were “ripping apart the fabric of this community that I’m here to support.”
Duncan was invited by the Stanford chapter of the Federalist Society to speak at the university.
The Louisiana-born 51-year-old lawyer laughed at the absurdity of the situation.
She asked him: ‘Is the juice worth squeezing?’
When Duncan tried to respond, the students yelled, ‘Let her finish!’ They remained quiet and polite as the awakened dean defended her beliefs, but she offered Duncan no such courtesy.
“For a lot of people here, their work has caused harm,” Steinbach told Duncan.
‘In my role at this university, my job is to create a sense of belonging for all students.
‘And that is difficult, complicated and not easy, and the answers are not black or white, right or wrong. This is part of creating membership.
“And it doesn’t feel comfortable and it doesn’t always feel safe, but there are always places of safety and there’s always an intention to make sure that everyone sits in a space where they can feel fully.”
Steinbach said that Duncan was “absolutely welcome,” which prompted him to raise an eyebrow.
She said she wanted “more speech, not less,” but seemed happy to allow students to upset someone whose opinions differed from hers.
He accused Duncan of fomenting ‘division’ that upset the students.
“I hope you can look through the spectacle and the noise, to the people holding up these signs,” he said, pointing to a person holding up a ‘Trans Lives Matter’ sign.
He then invited any students who felt threatened to leave, telling them that ‘many of those who go before Judge Duncan have no choice. You have a choice.’
Dozens stood up and filed out, Duncan looking on in amazement and disdain.
Steinbach, who worked as an attorney for the NAACP before joining Stanford, condemned Duncan for his work.
Duncan told Reuters on Friday that he felt ambushed.
“From my point of view, this was a setup, she was working with students on this,” he said.
Before the event, Steinbach sent an email repeating the same red flag points, prompting speculation that he had been circling the carriages before the ambush.
He said he was “offended” and “disturbed” by the “deeply uncivil behavior” of the students and Steinbach.
“It would be nice if they came up to me and said, ‘Wow, we’re sorry,'” he said.
In a message to students Friday, Martinez said preventing a speaker from introducing himself through interruptions or other means violates school policy.
“Despite good intentions, attempts to run the room in this case went awry,” he wrote.
‘The way this event unfolded was not aligned with our institutional commitment to freedom of expression.’
Duncan compared the protest to incidents at other law schools, including Yale and Georgetown, where student-led protests of conservative speakers sparked discussion about whether law schools are living up to their ideals as bastions of open debate and free speech. .
Some federal court judges have said they will no longer hire Yale employees, fearing they would end up with a woke social justice warrior unable to represent someone whose views they find offensive.
Stanford law students could now also be turned away. The school is one of the most vibrant and prestigious universities in the United States.
Last year, he caused quite a stir after publishing a “harmful language guide,” which claimed that words like “American” and “brave” were offensive, and that the phrase “try it out” glorified violent imagery.
“I told (the students) this is not going to work in court, this form of disagreement,” Duncan said of the fight.
“Maybe that’s where we’re going as a society, but that doesn’t work in my court.”
Law student Tessa Silverman, who attended the protest, told Reuters Duncan himself seemed angry, calling some students “idiots”.
Duncan confirmed it.
‘They are idiots,’ he said. They are hypocrites and thugs.