Congratulations, Stanford Law, you're now in the limelight.
A debacle indeed. Broadly speaking, this event and its aftermath provides further evidence of a disturbing and detrimental trend where viewpoints that differ from one's own are outright dismissed and ignored rather then debated. I get it, especially as a married gay man, that when it comes to those who believe things like my marriage is invalid under law, contending with such people who hold those views can be a difficult (to say the least) thing. However, contend with it I, and we, must from both a law and policy perspective. Both the hecklers and the judge in this case fed into each other's preconceived notions about each other rather than seeking to diffuse and engage in a debate. Unfortunately, all too often, the environment today rewards heckling and ignoring rather than debating, to the detriment of everyone. I have friends from across the political spectrum. I value their friendship and their perspectives even if I sometimes disagree with their positions. It is a sad state of affairs when basic decency and respect are punished instead of rewarded. This debacle, like the Yale one, should bring shame to all who fed into it. A lost opportunity.
Excellent reporting and analysis. Dean Martinez has it about right, but unfortunately neither the students nor the assigned “de-escalator” seem to have understood or been willing to follow the law school’s policies.
Wow. I remember Prof. John Yoo coming and speaking at W&M Law in 2009 and it was pretty under-the-radar even with how controversial it was then. It was fascinating to hear his take on presidential power independent of whether I agreed or how I felt about him. At the end of the day, law school should be training students about how to construct reasoned arguments. Emotional arguments aren't affective in briefs. Understated tone tends to carry the day. Or when I was at DOJ, as we used to say, "government gray."
On a more personal level, my professional and personal lives are better with friends who don't always or even rarely agree with me on policy issues. There are old colleagues who have become friends that I would go to the mattresses for even though we rarely if ever agree on policy issues. That's such a better way to live.
This is a no-brainer. No one needed to be educated that disrupting a judge giving a talk at the law school was beyond the pale. I believe that Stanford Law Alumni Associations should inform the administration that they will no longer donate to the school unless the dean is fired, and the students who heckled the judge disciplined. And I believe that the identities of these students should be provided to the California Bar. If they think that when they become members of the bar, they can act this way against adversaries or or toward a judge! they shouldn't be allowed to practice law; they need a swift kick in the butt now or they will have no one else to blame when they see what kind of punishment they face in the real world.
From the perspective of a non attorney psychiatrist, those present at this debacle regressed to the level of angry three year olds expressing their displeasure by flinging poo - including the so called adults in the room.
This is sick. Stanford Law, Yale Law (my alma mater) and others should lose their accreditations. Oops. The ABA is just as bad. A better idea is for respected professors like Michael McConnell to resign and seek en masse to obtain funding for a school focused on training lawyers, not culture warriors.
The Federalist Society is responsible for putting on the Supreme Court the justices who are responsible for denying American women their Constitutional right to bodily autonomy - who said “go for it!” to States now endangering the lives of women whose wombs they have appropriated as State property. Board members of the Stanford chapter of that same rights defying organization are not just “members” of a student organization, they are powerful policy makers at the micro level who will someday be highly likely to be Supreme Court clerks to the people who are actually daily “cancelling” the rights of the marginalized. Shame and ostracism based on rights-denying conduct is not the same as the shame and ostracism being directed at marginalized people for simply living their lives as supposedly free people in a withering “free” political system. The Stanford students who “out” active political players on campus are punching up against oppression that has little effect on anyone’s rights. The political actors who are now in charge of the lives of my grand-daughters are not entitled to sympathy when they are called out for using their actual power to interfere with your family, David, and my grand-daughters futures and you and your husband and son’s future. A powerful 5th Circuit Federal Judge is a public servant wielding awesome power. I’d spend my concern on the people whose lives they are damaging.
Sad commentary on where we are as an "advanced society" when judicial terrorists can disingenuously crap all over fundamental time-honored principles of jurisprudence to achieve a social result that denies people basic rights and what really riles seemingly intelligent people is that his speech got shouted down, just as the first amendment contemplates.
Much has been made here about freedom-of-speech. Yet, there is one important speech act that has not received much attention. The SCOTUS has ruled (wrongly, in my opinion) that many disparate acts are forms of speech. Well, one of these acts was the invitation of this particular judge to speak at SLS. If you are with SCOTUS on this, then the FedSoc spoke, and they were very disrespectful to other students in doing so.
Of course, we cannot look into the minds of the FedSoc members to know if this disrespect was intentional or inadvertent. If it was intentional, then that is an act of bad faith; a violation of the implicit and explicit social contract at SLS. If it was inadvertent (or incidental) then, in my opinion, the FedSoc still owes those they disrespected an apology.
None of this, of course, excuses the behavior of the protesters who disrupted the event. They were purposefully disrespectful, and should at the very least apologize.
Perhaps you could point out to me where the right to bodily autonomy exist in the Constitution. If such a right exist why were politicians allowed to impinge, curtail the activities, deny or terminate the employment of those who refused to subject themselves to an experimental vaccine? Fifty years ago the Court invented a right that didn’t exist. Even Ruth Ginsberg said that the decision was poorly written and not logical.
This would have been a settled issue if the courts had not intervened as it has been in Europe for a long time. The Democratic process would have settled it. Also last time I checked women had the right to vote 50 years ago.
Can anyone tell me what case Judge Duncan refers to here?
"He told me that after the talk, he looked up the case cited by the questioner—and found he actually dissented."
There is no freedom of speech on campus. There's acceptable speech and formal structures for presenting it. [Correction: I didn't know about the Leonard Law in California]
Leslie Green via Brian Leiter, two philosophers of law:
"A university must tolerate, and even welcome, those who follow evidence and argument to conclusions that are false or unpalatable; but it may reject those who seek a platform for hatred or deception. That is why it counts counts against Middlebury College when its shouts down Charles Murray but it counts in favour of Berkeley when it excludes Milos Yannopoulos.[sic]"
It's depressing that Tirien Steinbach is former Chief Program Officer at the ACLU of N CA but her defense of speech moderation, her reference to "harm" and "safety" fits Stanford Law. If the discussion were on twitter or FB and the speaker were't in a position of authority, I'm sure Daphne Keller would agree with her. So would Brian Leiter, but he has other justifications.
That's the most offensive thing about all this: the dumbing down of the definition of free speech.
Freedom of speech is for the public realm not academia. And it means the freedom of hate.
Ira Glasser, former executive director of the ACLU, stating what was once taken for granted
"[T]he First Amendment protects the right to free speech and assembly by barring the government from abridging such rights. That is how I was able to stop the mayor of New York from banning George Wallace from speaking in 1968. Why did I do it? Because what if George Wallace had been elected? He had already been elected as governor of Alabama. He was trying to get elected as president (and he had considerable support). If he had gained political power, he would not have hesitated to suppress or punish my speech, or the speech of others I supported.
So I needed an insurance policy. I needed a legally supreme rule that barred him from curbing my speech in case he gained political power. And in order to do that, I needed to stop the then mayor of New York, a liberal whom I supported, from using his power to silence Wallace, a reactionary whom I feared. The two were linked because the antagonist of liberty is always power. And because power is fickle and unpredictable.
In a democracy, you can never know who will have power. So all power must be limited in order to protect liberty, including speech. That’s what liberty is: a legal limit on democratic power. The right to freedom of speech is guaranteed only by limiting the power of any government to abridge it. By defending George Wallace’s right to speak when he doesn’t have power, you insure against his curbing your right to speak should he gain power."
Ha - we should start a quasi-lawyer thread. As I understand them, flag burning (Eichman) and cake baking (Masterpiece) are both protected forms of creative expression, protected by the First Amendment but not necessarily considered speech, per se. The Citizens United case was specific to corporations and labor unions and other trade groups that the government cannot limit their independent contributions/expenditures as a protected form of speech. At any rate, I would welcome a lawyer to respond
I have read elsewhere that, as laudable as were the dean's initial attempt to remedy the debacle, the implementation has been a failure. See https://freebeacon.com/campus/stanford-law-school-promised-free-speech-training-it-delivered-a-campus-joke/. Can we please have David Lat's wisdom to evaluate the follow-up?