Stanford admins hijack US judge's speech, tell students to keep quiet about it
The administrators responsible for Duncan's upstaging sent an email to leaders of the law school’s Federalist Society, encouraging its members to refrain from posting about the protest on social media.
Duncan, a United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit judge, has long been viewed as a conservative advocate and 'right-wing ideologue.'
Last Thursday, Judge Kyle Duncan’s discussion on “Guns, Covid and Twitter” at Stanford Law School was interrupted by leftist protesters and the university’s Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Tirien Steinbach.
A video of Dean Steinbach posted to Twitter shows that she hijacked the United States Court of Appeals Judge’s speech, which was hosted by Stanford’s Federalist Society, according to The Stanford Daily.
This leftist ideologue paid as an “Assistant DEI Dean” at Stanford who swooped into this room to defend their oppression gospel over squashing these out of control brats from disrupting a federal judge reveals a very serious problem we have in academia.https://t.co/mZiA2mhziU
— Theo Jordan (@Theo_TJ_Jordan) March 12, 2023
As seen in the video, Steinbach told Duncan, “For many people here, your work has caused harm.”
In response to the upstaging, Stanford’s President Marc Tessier-Lavigne and Dean of Stanford Law School Jenny Martinez issued a joint apology:
“We write to apologize for the disruption of your speech at Stanford Law School. As has already been communicated to our community, what happened was inconsistent with our policies on free speech, and we are very sorry about the experience you had while visiting the campus.”
A copy of the full letter was posted to Twitter by user Maxwell Meyer, who said, “I am pleasantly surprised that Stanford’s President and the Law dean apologized like this.”
I am pleasantly surprised that Stanford’s President and the Law dean apologized like this.
Not only do they acknowledge that the protests were out of line - they criticize (without specifically naming) the idiotic DEI dean who gave that insane speech. pic.twitter.com/RVUtaPW5Ea
— Maxwell Meyer (@mualphaxi) March 12, 2023
“Members of law school student coalition Identity and Rights Affirmers for Trans Equality (IRATE) and organization Outlaw led the protest” against the judge, according to The Stanford Daily.
In addition to the apology, Dean Martizen told The Daily, “The way this event unfolded was not aligned with our institutional commitment to freedom of speech. The school is reviewing what transpired and will work to ensure protocols are in place so that disruptions of this nature do not occur again, and is committed to the conduct of events on terms that are consistent with the disruption policy and the principles of free speech and critical inquiry they support.”
But the apology is losing its sincerity, as recently noted by The Washington Free Beacon.
Hours after the apology was released, the administrators responsible for Duncan’s upstaging sent an email to leaders of the law school’s Federalist Society, encouraging its members to refrain from posting about the incident on social media.
In the email, Dean Jeanne Merino, who was among the administrators that aided protesters in disrupting Duncan’s speech, wrote, “Student organizations should consider pausing their student organization social media accounts until this news cycle winds down, as the law school and university have done. Try your best not to engage on Twitter or any other social media platform, as issues tend to escalate and trolls are looking for a fight.”
The email also includes details about reaching out to Steinbach, the same Dean who overtook the stage, for additional support services.
Duncan, a United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit judge, has long been viewed as a conservative advocate and “right-wing ideologue.”
In 2017, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, which the protesters cited on flyers used for the protest, opposed Duncan’s appointment to the Circuit Court.
The organization cites Judge Duncan’s opposition to transgender youth rights, such as denying that biological men could use female bathrooms, and Duncan’s support for voter ID laws, which the organization calls “massive voter suppression,” as cause for their resistance.
Lavigne, Martinez, and the Federalist Society have been contacted for comment. Steinbach’s contact info is not available on the university’s website. Best efforts were made to contact Judge Duncan. This story will be updated accordingly.
Follow Jared Gould on Twitter