Students Shout Down Federal Judge at Stanford Law School

In a shocking display of disrespect, students at Stanford Law School shouted down Judge Stuart Kyle Duncan, a Trump-appointee to the Fifth Circuit, while he attempted to speak at a Federalist Society event on the school's campus last week.

Beyond being unbecoming of future lawyers, the actions of the disruptors was in clear violation of the school's free speech policy which states:

It is a violation of University policy for a member of the faculty, staff, or student body to:

Prevent or disrupt the effective carrying out of a University function or approved activity, such as lectures, meetings, interviews, ceremonies, the conduct of University business in a University office, and public events.

In a sane world, school administration would have intervened, and Judge Duncan would have completed his remarks. Instead, the opposite happened.

There truly are no words for how the Stanford Law administration reacted: 

Five law-school administrators, a student tells me, were present at the event. But instead of advising the students that they were violating university policy and asking them either to stop disrupting the event or to leave, they did nothing.

Until, that is, Steinbach took the microphone for around six minutes in order to—believe it or not—deliver prepared remarks chastising Judge Duncan.

In the course of her prepared remarks, Steinbach paid lip service to Stanford’s policy on free speech. But she repeatedly questioned whether the policy was sound and should be reconsidered. Worse, she used the platform she seized from him to contend, ludicrously, that he “literally denies the humanity of people.” Showing no understanding of free-speech principles, she posited that Judge Duncan had the duty to offer remarks that would be so valuable as to offset the harm that his mere presence was inflicting on the community.

Judge Duncan described Dean Steinbach's comments as a "bizarre therapy session from hell."

Judge Duncan ultimately had to be extracted from the event by the U.S. Marshals for his own safety.

Unfortunately, disrespect for opposing viewpoints in becoming pervasive in law schools across the country:

The protest is perhaps the most extreme example yet of law students shouting down conservative speakers. A similar incident occurred at Yale Law School last year when Kristen Waggoner, a prominent Supreme Court litigator, was drowned out by hundreds of students protesting her views on transgender issues. Also last year, students at the University of California-Hastings disrupted a talk with the libertarian law professor Ilya Shapiro, shrieking and jeering each time he opened his mouth.

The tactics used against Duncan were nearly identical. Nearly everyone in the room showed up to disrupt the proceeding, according to Duncan and two members of the Federalist Society, and many of the hundred or so students on hand were holding profane signs[.]

As Senator Ted Cruz points out, the environment at Stanford Law School (and others like it) is doing more to train radical Leftists than upstanding members of the legal profession.

It took two days for the University and law school dean to issue an apology to Judge Duncan for the embarrassing actions taken by their students and administration. Judge Duncan has graciously accepted their apology, adding that "clearly concrete and comprehensive steps are necessary" to make sure an incident like this does not happen again.

We could not agree more. The students—and the members of the Stanford Law administration who fomented their rage—must be held accountable.