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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Name Calling at Stanford

The Hill has published my take on the recent incident at Stanford, where students shouted down a federal judge who returned the rudeness in kind.

Here is the gist:

The Hill

Chaos and rudeness at Stanford 


It is unusual for a controversial event to end with absolutely everybody looking bad, but that is what happened on March 9 at Stanford University Law School, when the Federalist Society chapter sponsored a talk by Judge Stuart Kyle Duncan, an ultra-conservative firebrand appointed by President Trump to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. The judge, the student protesters and an on-scene administrator all played to type, exhibiting arrogance, intolerance, and irresponsibility, respectively, that combined to make the afternoon a fiasco for all concerned.

The loud heckling started almost as soon as Duncan began speaking, frequently drowning him out and making it impossible for the Federalist Society members to hear their guest. The insults ranged from pointed to shockingly vulgar, continuing almost nonstop for about 12 minutes until Duncan asked for an administrator to intervene.

Up stepped Tirien Steinbach, the associate dean of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).

She commended the protesters for “what is going on here,” took a few more jabs at Duncan, and finally reminded the students that “you do not need to stay” and asked them to “give space” for Duncan to answer questions.

Although the heckling had abated and the most exercised students were gone, Duncan called the remaining questioners “infantile,” “ridiculous” and “a bunch of hypocrites,” singling out one as an “appalling idiot.”

In later interviews, Duncan continued to call the protesters idiots, their tactics “dogshit” and DEI Dean Steinbach “creepy.”

Going forward, perhaps we can hope that students will learn to exercise better judgment. We ought to expect it from administrators. We must demand it from judges.

You can read the entire essay in The Hill (no paywall).

Posted by Steve Lubet on March 21, 2023 at 10:02 AM | Permalink


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