The fall and fall of Stanford Law

The saga began two weeks ago when unruly students at Stanford Law disrupted a Federalist Society event that featured Judge Kyle Duncan as the speaker.

Duncan is a judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and was appointed by President Trump back in 2017.

As a lawyer, Duncan has argued against same-sex marriage at the Supreme Court.

He was the lead litigator for North Carolina’s “bathroom bill” which prohibited transgender individuals from using bathrooms based on ‘gender identity;’ that is, irrespective of their gender anatomy.

Duncan also refused to use a transgender sex offender's preferred pronouns during a 2020 case. 

All of this was enough to cause a deranged mob of around 100 students at Stanford to collectively throw itself into a conniption.

They flashed obscene placards and bellowed expletives and slogans rendering Duncan’s voice inaudible.

Duncan described the hateful rhetoric in the Wall Street Journal where the baying mob called for Duncan’s daughters to be raped.

Instead of being the voice of reason and not only standing for freedom of expression but also the basic courtesy of treating an invited guest with respect, the school's associate dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Tirien Steinbach, joined the insanity.

This caused some to suspect that it was Steinbach who incited the mob.

The dean of diversity, who is paid as much as $201,000 a year, doesn’t approve of the most important kind of diversity – diversity of ideas.

The following is an excerpt of Steinbeck’s unhinged verbal tirade where she slandered Duncan.

“For many people at the law school who work here, who study here, and who live here, your advocacy — your opinions from the bench — land as absolute disenfranchisement of their rights.”

In time, Duncan had to be escorted out of the hall by federal marshals.

Two days after the incident, Stanford University President Marc Tessier-Lavigne and Law School Dean Jenny Martinez offered “sincerest apologies” in a letter to Duncan.

They also wrote that the hijacking

“was inconsistent with our policies on free speech, and we are very sorry about the experience you had while visiting our campus.”

The apology letter caused further ‘protests’ from deranged students.

When Martinez returned to teaching, hundreds of black-clad, masked students ambushed her class and vandalized her classroom.

Most revolutionaries are proud of their actions but not the cowardly tyrants at Stanford who demanded their names be removed from reports in the Washington Free Beacon.

Martinez released another detailed letter on Wednesday, criticizing the students who heckled federal judge Kyle Duncan and announcing that Steinbach, who sided with the mob, is now on leave.

It remains unclear if the leave was imposed as a punitive action.

Martinez refused to retract her letter of apology to Duncan and emphasized that Stanford’s speaker disruption policy was violated by both students and administrators.

Martinez also announced that students wouldn’t be punished but will have to attend “mandatory educational programming for our student body” on freedom of speech and academic freedom.

When matters devolve into abject insanity, it is essential to reiterate basic principles regarding education.

Places of education must be forums with absolute freedom of expression.

Restriction based on personal taste simply won’t work because what is hateful to one may be compelling to another. What is bigoted to one may be thought-provoking to another. What is tasteful to one could be obscene to another. A bigot to one may be a maverick to another. A liberal to one can be a fascist to another.

Instead of an individual or groups of individuals deciding what is ‘appropriate’ and what is not, adult students must be exposed to all ideas.

There will be disagreements that can be resolved by healthly debates. 

The students at Stanford should have used the opportunity to challenge Judge Duncan about his advocacy and rulings where they thought he was unfair and learned his reasoning.

But debating demands time, effort, knowledge, and ability on the part of both students and teachers. 

There is always the risk of losing before a superior debater which could result in the debunking of the groupthink and lead to independent thinking, and soon, the university could stop being the indoctrination chamber for Democrat voters.

Hence the students, probably led by Steinbach, chose the easier path: They outnumbered Judge Duncan, shouted him down, and drove him out.

The good news is that there was some pushback, but the pushback wasn't as aggressive as it should have been.

This is the sad reality of our times.

Educational institutions have become echo chambers where only the chimes of consensus are allowed.

Consensus is the graveyard for growth because all growth is the result of applying immediate remedial actions in response to constructive criticisms. 

When criticism is outlawed, stagnation takes over.

Every new innovation, from books to inventions to works of art, are the result of someone daring to think differently. The dungeons of consensus will bring an end to all of that.

The arrogance and self-righteousness of both the students and faculty means that there is little chance of any remedial actions, and the downward spiral will continue.

A senior professor at a college I once lectured at once told me: “If you want to destroy a nation, you first attack its foundation, that is the education system.”

This is exactly what is occurring.

Image: Screen shot from CBN News video, via YouTube

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