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Stanford Law Students, With Support From Diversity Dean, Shout Down Visiting Appeals Court Judge Because He’s Conservative

Stanford Law Students, With Support From Diversity Dean, Shout Down Visiting Appeals Court Judge Because He’s Conservative

Non-stop hecking ended event, and when 5th Circuit Judge Stuart Kyle Duncan asked for an administrator to help the situation, Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Tirien Steinbachtook the stage and berated the Judge.

It’s all too common for intolerant intellectually-closed-minded and emotionally insecure students to shout down speakers. It’s practically an art form at this point.

Increasingly, it’s happening at law schools, such as when Yale law students went bezerk to stop a visiting conservative lawyer from Alliance Defending Freedom from participating in a debate.

I can’t recall a visiting Judge being shouted down at a law school.

But yesterday that happened at Stanford Law School, where law students shouted down and prevented Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Stuart Kyle Duncan from completing his lecture at a scheduled event on the topic of “The Fifth Circuit in Conversation with the Supreme Court: Covid, Guns, and Twitter.” And what’s worse, law school administrators were complicit and egged on the disruption. Associate Dean for DEI Tirien Steinbach took the stage and berated the Judge.

Judge Duncan event at Stanford from Ethics and Public Policy Center on Vimeo.

What a disgrace. But to be expected in the poisonous DEI bureaucratic culture that has emerged in higher ed.


More details on the disruption:

UPDATE NO. 2 (3-11-2023)

David Lat has much more detail showing the connivance of the Stanford Law administration, as well as an interview with the Judge, Yale Law Is No Longer #1—For Free-Speech Debacles:

When the Stanford FedSoc president (an openly gay man) opened the proceedings, he was jeered between sentences. Judge Duncan then took the stage—and from the beginning of his speech, the protestors booed and heckled continually. For about ten minutes, the judge tried to give his planned remarks, but the protestors simply yelled over him, with exclamations like “You couldn’t get into Stanford!” “You’re not welcome here, we hate you!” “Why do you hate black people?!” “Leave and never come back!” “We hate FedSoc students, f**k them, they don’t belong here either!” and “We do not respect you and you have no right to speak here! This is our jurisdiction!”

Throughout this heckling, Associate Dean Steinbach and the University’s student-relations representative—who were in attendance throughout the event, along with a few other administrators (five in total, per Ed Whelan)—did nothing….

After around ten minutes of trying to give his remarks, Judge Duncan became angry, departed from his prepared remarks, and laced into the hecklers. He called the students “juvenile idiots” and said he couldn’t believe the “blatant disrespect” he was being shown after being invited to speak. He said that the “prisoners were now running the asylum,” which led to a loud round of boos. His pushback riled up the protesters even more.

Eventually, Judge Duncan asked for an administrator to help him restore order. At this point, Associate Dean Steinbach came up to the front and took the podium. Judge Duncan asked to speak privately between them, but she said no, she would prefer to speak to the crowd, and after a brief exchange, Dean Steinbach did speak. She said she hoped that the FedSoc chapter knew that this event was causing real pain to people in the community at SLS. She told Judge Duncan that “she was pained to have to tell him” that his work and previous words had caused real harm to people.

“And I am also pained,” she continued, “to have to say that you are welcome here in this school to speak.” She told Judge Duncan that he had not stuck with his prepared remarks and was partially to blame for the disruption for engaging with the protesters….

“This invitation was a setup,” Judge Duncan interjected at one point while Dean Steinbach criticized him. And I can see what would give him that impression: as you can see from this nine-minute video posted by Ed Whelan, when Dean Steinbach spoke, she did so from prepared remarks—in which, as noted by Whelan, she explicitly questioned the wisdom of Stanford’s free-speech policies and said they might need to be reconsidered. (At least at Yale Law School, Dean Heather Gerken had the decency to criticize disruptive protesters, instead of validating them.)….

At one point during the Q&A, Judge Duncan said, “You are all law students. You are supposed to have reasoned debate and hear the other side, not yell at those who disagree.” A protestor responded, “You don’t believe that we have a right to exist, so we don’t believe you have the right to our respect or to speak here!”

Finally, the event concluded when the heckling was so disruptive and Judge Duncan was so flustered that it could not continue….

After the event, Stanford FedSoc members asked Dean Steinbach for her thoughts. She asserted that nothing the protestors had done violated the Stanford disruption policy and that the event had been “exactly what the freedom of speech was meant to look like—messy.” She said that if Judge Duncan had wanted to give his remarks, he should have just kept reading them, and she claimed that he was disrespectful to the attendees….

Judge Duncan told me that while he was warned about possible protest, what he encountered far exceeded his expectations, as well as anything he has ever encountered at any of the many law schools he has spoken at. He also shared with me that he had received assurances from the SLS administration—through Professor Michael McConnell, the prominent conservative legal scholar and former Tenth Circuit judge, who served as intermediary—that while there might be protesters, they would not be disruptive. So Judge Duncan was definitely (and understandably) caught off guard by what transpired yesterday….

What did Judge Duncan have to say for himself in general? In a phone interview this afternoon, he made several points to me:

  • “I don’t want anyone to feel sorry for me because I had to endure a bunch of people jeering at me. I did think it was outrageous and unacceptable, but nobody should feel sorry for me. I’m still going to be a judge, and I’m still going to decide my cases.”
  • “I do feel bad—and outraged—for the Stanford FedSoc students. They are awesome people who just want to invite interesting judges to come talk to them. They’re a small group, obviously way outnumbered. They are the ones who lack power and status at Stanford Law. It’s ridiculous that they can’t get treated with civility, and it’s grotesquely unfair.”
  • “I get where my critics are coming from, and I understand why they don’t like me. They claim that I am marginalizing them and not recognizing their existence. But this is hypocritical of them, since that’s exactly what they are doing to their classmates in FedSoc.”
  • “I get the protesters, they are socialized into thinking the right approach to a federal judge you don’t agree with is to call him a f**ker and make jokes about his sex life. Awesome. I don’t care what they think about my sex life. But it took a surreal turn when the associate dean of DEI got up to speak…. She opens up her portfolio and lo and behold, there is a printed speech. It was a setup—and the fact that the administration was in on it to a certain degree makes me mad.”
  • “I later heard that the associate dean of DEI was claiming two things. First, she claimed that I didn’t have a prepared speech and was just there to stir up trouble. It was a long flight out to Stanford, I’m not a professional rabble-rouser like Milo Yiannopoulos, and I’m not trying to sell a book. I actually had a speech, it was on my iPad, and I was going to be talking about controversial cases handled by the Fifth Circuit that present difficult issues because the Supreme Court’s jurisprudence on them is in flux.”
  • “Second, she claimed that the fact that two U.S. marshals showed up at the event was a sign that I’m a rabble-rouser and disruption always happens when I speak. But I didn’t bring or invite these marshals; these marshals from the Northern District of California just showed up after getting a tip-off. I have never been protested like that at any other law school, I have known of other conservative judges who have spoken at Stanford without any problems, and I spoke there in 2019 without any problems. So I was lulled into a false sense of security.”
  • “You don’t invite someone to your campus to scream and hurl invective at them. Did I speak sharply to some of the students? I did. Do I feel sorry about it? I don’t.”


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Fire the dean. Expel the students.

I hadn’t realized Indian students are just as bad as blacks


I suppose the silver lining is that the intolerant leftists are no longer even pretending to respect free expression or the rights of others to be heard and more importantly the right of the audience to hear from the speaker.

When these totalitarians reject speech and the free exchange of ideas as a way to resolve differences while simultaneously claiming that words are violence and that large swaths of the public are irredeemably evil by their very existence they should not be surprised when the tribalism they are spawning comes to fruition and ends in some form of tribal conflict with actual violence as the preferred method of resolution. It’s a one way street without any exit and these intolerant fools are driving our Nation into a cul de sac of resentment, strife and violence.

It’s a conceit to think that law students and faculty are any smarter than the rest of the population.

Richard Epstein, astoundingly insightful commentator on legal matters, has had nothing useful to say for a few years because the rules no longer figure in the law.

End of some commentary by Derrida, as it happens on bin Laden but it applies here,

That is why, in this unleashing of violence without name, if I had to take one of the two sides and choose in a binary situation, well I would. Despite my very strong reservations about the American, indeed European, political posture, about the “international terrorist” coalition, despite all the de facto betrayals, all the failures to live up to democracy, international law, and the very international institutions that the states of this “coalition” themselves founded and supported up to a certain point, I would take the side of the camp that, in principle, by right of law, leaves a perspective open to perfectibility in the name of the “political,” democracy, international law, international institutions, and so forth. Even if this “in the name of” is still merely an assertion and a purely verbal commitment. Even in its most cynical mode, such an assertion still lets resonate within it an invincible promise. I don’t hear any such promise coming from “bin Laden,” at least not one in this world.”

“Autoimmunity: Real and Symbolic Suicides” _Philosophy in a Time of Terror_ p.113

It is Law School 101 not to insult any judge.

The dean’s law license should be pulled!

Standard’s tuition is about $70,000. The parents of these airheads might as well flush their $$$ down the toilet.

These brownshirts, if they are truly offended, should not have showed up for the event.

I hope the judge has a real good memory, in the event any of those crybabies appear before him,

    fscarn in reply to ParkRidgeIL. | March 10, 2023 at 6:58 pm

    Speaking of brownshirts.

    Yet again we see it. In The Coming of the Third Reich, historian Richard J. Evans explains how, in the early days of National Socialist Germany, Stormtroopers (Brownshirts) “organized campaigns against unwanted professors in the local newspapers [and] staged mass disruptions of their lectures.” To express dissent from Nazi positions became a matter of taking one’s life into one’s hands. The idea of people of opposing viewpoints airing their disagreements in a civil and mutually respectful manner was gone. One was a Nazi, or one was silent (and fearful).

    Today’s fascists call themselves “anti-fascists.” Just like the Nazis, they are totalitarian: they are determined not to allow their opponents to murmur the slightest whisper of dissent. Forcibly suppressing the speech of someone with whom one disagrees is a quintessentially fascist act.

      CDR D in reply to fscarn. | March 11, 2023 at 11:57 am

      There is a saying in Italy: “In Italy there are two kinds of fascists – fascists and anti-fascists.”

      JoAnne in reply to fscarn. | March 11, 2023 at 3:25 pm

      Thank you. Well said!

      BierceAmbrose in reply to fscarn. | March 13, 2023 at 2:05 pm


      Similar program, different situation: English Common Law tradition of individuals and individual rights, a Constitutional Republic established in part by declaring such things — thus, “Legal Insurrection” is both contradiction and makes complete sense, a chattersphere that got loose worse than those bible-reading for themselves congregations once printing happened…

      and we’ve seen this before enough times we see what’s going on.

      How it plays out is uncertain; what is certain is this time it’s playing out differently along the way.

    Old Navy Doc in reply to ParkRidgeIL. | March 11, 2023 at 9:25 pm

    I suspect these children won’t be clerking for anyone worth a damn.

Twilight faith. Pro-Choice ethical religion. Class-disordered ideology. Diversity [dogma]. #HateLovesAbortion

It’s a shame Karl Marx isn’t alive to share his wisdom on human misery potential there, they would love him.

I want grownups back.

E Howard Hunt | March 10, 2023 at 7:36 pm

A fat, inarticulate, loudmouth who doesn’t feel comfortable lectures the judge, who just stands there with a stunned, disbelieving smile. Judicial temperament be damned. Men like him need to raise their voices loud, and deliver a jeremiad on what, stupid, disgraceful, scum they are, and then storm out indignantly.

    mailman in reply to E Howard Hunt. | March 11, 2023 at 2:55 am

    Wasting your time with that approach. These people have no interest in hearing anything you have to say. They are closed minded intellectual Pygmy’s and would make the taliban blush.

      E Howard Hunt in reply to mailman. | March 11, 2023 at 9:16 am

      It’s not meant to change the minds of such scum. It is meant to provide a manly (vs pusillanimous) videotaped exit so that those wavering viewers may feel that they mustn’t act as compliant sheep when faced with similar circumstances. People must not lie down and die as is presently the case. It is beyond me that a convention doesn’t start such that $50,000 is put into escrow to be forfeited to the invitee if order is not permanently restored within a certain time period. Fight, man! Stop crying in your beer.

      BierceAmbrose in reply to mailman. | March 13, 2023 at 2:08 pm

      As E Howard said, it’s playing to the peanut gallery, as an example.

      That’s what the clown “protesters” and “dean” are doing, and it pisses them off even more when you do what they’re doing, but better.

      Judge-guy isn’t backing down in his interview. That’s a start.

      /moar popcorn

    I think he did push back, said they were idiots, and there were other idiots who said he’s the one who should apologize. The judiciary is making a big mistake if they take any Stanford grad as a clerk.

Self-important twits doing exactly what they claim to abhor. He should have laughed in their faces. The Dean is despicable.

    More from Robert George’s twitter feed:

    “The question must be faced: Are Yale and Stanford “law schools” training students to be lawyers–people who argue and engage counterarguments–or to be tyrants–people who intimidate and censor?”

    And a response:

    “Remember, many of these folks are training to *argue* in front of judges and against opposing counsel. What are they going to do? Shout them down?”

    Like a bogus vote cancels a legitimate one, these “lawyers” cancel out the work of good lawyers, and they are destroying the law just like the destruction of education, public health, media, and other institutions.

    The inmates are truly running the asylum. The results of their fakery, FTX and now SVB, the tip of the iceberg? The death of this globalist panacea offered by corrupt and delusional idiots and grifters cannot come soon enough.

MoeHowardwasright | March 11, 2023 at 3:05 am

I was in Iran in 1979. It’s not a leap to think that crowds will be whipped into a frenzy chanting “death to conservatives”. It’s frightening to think about. Crowd manipulation is an art form. This sh$t is scary.

    BierceAmbrose in reply to MoeHowardwasright. | March 13, 2023 at 2:10 pm

    “Will be”, um, try another tense, both the whipping up and the whipped up crowds. Getting people “all wee-wee’d up” one might say.

Diversity Dean so kind of like a Commasar to make sure everyone follows the larty line?

The Packetman | March 11, 2023 at 7:32 am

I know this won’t be popular but until these protesters start getting beaten for their efforts, such behavior will continue.

The diversity dean should be first …

RepublicanRJL | March 11, 2023 at 8:15 am

This incident reminds me when former NYPD commissioner Ray Kelly went to speak at Brown and he was shouted out to the point he just left the state.

Simply revoke Stanford’s tax exempt status for First Amendment violations

Capitalist-Dad | March 11, 2023 at 9:51 am

A decent university would fire the (useless) DEI dean. A university truly committed to the law would expel the anti-free-speech students as unworthy of the law profession. Sadly, none of this will happen. The university itself is corrupt and seems dedicated only to raising the next generation of lawyers committed not to justice but only to the Democrat Reich.

Associate Dean for DEI Tirien Steinbach should be fired immediately, for embarrassing the school. The “students” have flunked a civility test, and should be expelled. There is no place in the law for that kind of behavior.

What a hideous collection of ignorant, intolerant, hate-filled leftist tools. Spoiled little brats who think they are right about everything and nobody is allowed to speak otherwise. Somebody needs to start grabbing these hate-filled little snowflakes by the short hairs and kicking their arses across the room.

    Dolce Far Niente in reply to yerheinous. | March 13, 2023 at 12:11 pm

    Apparently these hate-filled snowflakes are fully supported in their behavior by their parents; they weren’t created in a vacuum and they cannot maintain their activist student lifestyle without outside funding.

    Those parents are mask-wearing sheep who have spawned their own ravening wolves.

Judge Duncan seems to be a man with a wry sense of humor and an abundance of patience. After the Commissar of DIE finished her prepared remarks and most of the protestors left, one remained behind. “Your sign is upside down,” he told her several times.

Never underestimate the value of a well-place quip.

These vile, goose-stepping thugs are utterly Maoist and totalitarian in their intolerant and fascistic antics and worldview. These are the future Dumb-o-crat corporate counsels, federal judges and law firm attorneys who are being sent out to “practice” law.

Every student who participated in this Maoist brownshirt agitprop should be promptly expelled. That’s what should ideally and fairly happen, but, we know that the law school administrators enable and support the fascistic behavior of these jackboots.

It’s astounding how infantile and obnoxious these Dumb-o-crat twits are, and, even more astounding that they’ve gained admittance to a supposedly top law school. They’re utterly incapable to civilly responding to and debating dissenting viewpoints. All that they know is Maoist intimidation tactics and thuggery.

    alan4.0 in reply to guyjones. | March 13, 2023 at 6:11 pm

    Yes, these “students” should be so treated. That said, their being so appropriately treated is unlikely to happen.

LukeHandCool | March 11, 2023 at 2:39 pm

Nothing says “We’re not a brainwashed cult” like a group of law students snapping their fingers in lieu of clapping.

When in school, I was always taught to listen, then to think about why I agreed or disagreed, and then to take the opposite position and defend it. And to do it respectfully. So glad I grew up in that era.

We hate you! You don’t have the right to exist! Duncan can’t find the clit! This is the level of protest at Stanford Law School??? To visitinbg federal judge??? Stanford Law is rated the 2nd best law school in the country, with a tuition of $66,000 a year. Maybve it’s over rated.

I do not consider Dean Tirien Steinbachtook’s remarks to be appropriate. I also think that Judges announcing another boycott of prospective clerks from Stanford would be in order.

There are a lot of photo evidence that can be used to identify the actual disruptors. Stanford also has computer access to the listserves of the student organizations that sent messages inciting the disruption. I respect acts of civil disobedience, but those people engage in the disobedience with the acceptance of the consequences. Here Stanford students violated the rules, and Dean Tirien Steinbachtook gave them a false sense of security.

Steven Brizel | March 13, 2023 at 8:55 am

The students who participated should face disciplinary action and the dean should be terminated forthwith

Perhaps, conservative judges and lawyers should avoid speaking at these institutions of ignorant leftist indoctrination. Why waste your time. Then, when any graduates of these schools seek employment, turn them down. Ivy League no longer means “smart”.

    BierceAmbrose in reply to Photoman42. | March 13, 2023 at 2:18 pm

    Argument, emotion, and politics — advance one, another other, or all three, if you’re good.

    Be admirable; have a point, and bait the other guys into doing something despicable, all fed into a PR apparatus in place. You don’t need all, three.

    Of course, you have to decide to win the game you’re in before all that. Indeed you can work those in reverse-order as The Orange Crush demonstrated. So. Much. Winning.

      BierceAmbrose in reply to BierceAmbrose. | March 13, 2023 at 2:21 pm


      I’m having an 80% brain day today.

      Detailed execution, like proofreading, not working so well. It happens. At least I’m making coherent points noisily, vs. noise incoherently.

    alan4.0 in reply to Photoman42. | March 13, 2023 at 6:07 pm

    Re Ivy League no longer means smart, did it ever?

In view of the apparent connivance by the Administration in this disgraceful showing of disrespect for (and ignorance of) the law by purported “Law Students”, I believe two (maybe three) things need to happen;

1. Stanford School of Law should be decredentialed (or whatever the process is called) as a law school.

2. The School should be closed forthwith until it can be cleaned (and no, Hillary, not “like with a cloth”) and a new administration brought in that understands the Rule of Law.

3. (optional) the position of “Associate Dean (or as in some schools,”Vice President”) for DEI” should be banned from any credentialed Law School or University.

And no, the offending — and offensive — students don’t get their law degree, and their tuition is forfeited.

Don’t get angry. Get even. The Fifth Circuit should get a list of the rioters and declare them ineligible to practice in the Circuit and refer them for discipline. Other courts may follow suit automatically. And they will have to disclose and explain that on every bar application they ever make as well as on certain other professional applications, probably to every law firm where they apply to work.

I can’t be the only one who’s convinced violence is the only solution at this point.

    BierceAmbrose in reply to Durwood. | March 13, 2023 at 2:38 pm

    I’m convinced that a measured, bounded response in kind is sometimes the last remaining answer. Not to “punch pack twice a hard” as a famous Nobel Peace Prize recipient has said. But, sometimes the last remaining thing to try is to punch back, to stop the punching.

    “You aren’t welcome to say that here, in our space. Woop, woop!”

    “I’m sorry you are confused. This is my space right now, and if you’re gonna act like that, you aren’t welcome here.”

BierceAmbrose | March 13, 2023 at 2:25 pm

Dear “protesters” — not a good look when you make the “Proud Boys” look measured and necessary.

You did forget to dispatch some fake Tiki-Torch Nazis to “discredit” the speaker. (Bad false-flag impersonation of bad LARPing, of a bad ideology, movement, and sub-culture — how many layers of bad all at once? Impressive those Lincoln Project folks, but I digress.)

This round of clowns are bad a similar whole stack of ways all at once. Also impressive. Just sayin.

Should it turn out that the individual is uninterested or unhappy with whatever a speaker might have to say, they have the privilege of taking a nap, reading a book or newspaper or leaving the room. They do not have the right or privilege of disturbing the speaker and or those who might be interested in what is being said. Those “students” who cannot comport themselves in a civil, adult manner should be booted out of the university, where they obviously do not belong.

As for the actions of this Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, in my opinion the individual should be fired immediately. By the way, I wonder as to EXACTLY WHAT an Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is supposed to do. Equally curious is what the duties of a full Dean might be.

Another appalling example of Americans today – thoroughly brainwashed by the takeover of universities an colleges by liberal teachers, professors and administrators. Imagine having to deal with young folks who have tiny closed minds even to listen to the point of view that has made the USA the greatest nation, maybe ever, with the highest standard of living for the greatest percentage of its population? Those socialists educated young adults with no manners should be sentenced to one year living in Venezuela without any support from Mommy and Daddy and come back and see if they might have an idea or two contrary to their administrators, teachers, professors!!