The Stanford Law School Culture, Not The Diversity Dean, Is The Problem (but I repeat myself)
Something is wrong with the culture at Stanford Law School, and many (most) law schools. Let’s address that issue.
The wheel continues to turn on the shout-down of 5th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Stuart Kyle Duncan at Stanford Law School. That disruption is an outgrowth of open hostility and incitement against conservative Supreme Court Justices that has now spilled over into academia even when a conservative appeals court judge appears.
Much of the focus has been on the antics of Stanford Law School Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Tirien Steinbach:
(full video here)
There are many calls for Steinbach to be fired, including by Judge Duncan, and there’s also a petition drive by Speech First.
I think the focus on Steinbach is a mistake, for reasons I articulated in my post Firing Diversity Dean Over Judge Shout-Down May Help Stanford Law School Escape Consequences Of Its Toxic DEI Culture. My point was that Steinbach was just doing what was expected of her as a DEI officer. She is the symptom, not the underlying problem, which is the DEI culture of intolerance.
That toxic culture evidenced itself after the shout-down. The Stanford Law School Chapter of the Federalist Society, which invited Judge Duncan to speak, got almost no faculty support (only two reached out privately), even though not just Judge Duncan but also Federalist students were targeted. Through its silence, the faculty sent a strong message that what happened was acceptable (had it been a liberal judge shouted down, you can be sure there would have been a faculty uproar.)
WATCH: @StanfordLaw student and @FedSoc president @TimJRJR joined @TuckerCarlson to discuss the outrageous treatment of Judge Kyle Duncan and how conservatives are treated at law schools around the country. pic.twitter.com/RZcDBR5Uxp
— The Article III Project (A3P) (@Article3Project) March 14, 2023
The Stanford Law chapter of the far-left National Lawyers Guild not only defended the shout-down, it promised to do the same to future conservative speakers. David Lat wrote:
In their Saturday email (also via the Free Beacon), the members of the NLG board declared their “firm support and admiration for every single person involved in planning or enacting the protest,” which “represented Stanford Law School at its best: as a place of care for vulnerable people, and a place to challenge oppression and bigotry in all their forms, including on the federal bench.”
In addition to condemning what it saw as Judge Duncan’s “abhorrent” behavior, the NLG Board declared its “deep disappointment” in the official SLS response: “In veiled language, the law school threw its capable and compassionate administrators who were present at the event, and who interceded productively, under the bus, and expressed an intent to ensure that such disruptions do not occur again.” Based on the unapologetic tone of the NLG email, as well as the fact that no actions have been taken against either the student protestors or Dean Steinbach, I wouldn’t be shocked if such disruptions do occur again.
Email Saturday from Stanford law school's National Lawyers Guild chapter ("an anti-racist, anti-militaristic, anti-colonialist collective of law students dedicated to the liberation of all people – from Ferguson to Palestine") shows it's not on board with this free-speech idea. pic.twitter.com/MEOVI4dtS5
— Ed Whelan (@EdWhelanEPPC) March 13, 2023
The Stanford Law Chapter of the leftist American Consitution Society also backed the disruption:
Stanford Law Students trying to parse the merits of "the vast majority of students' shouting" is quite a line of defense.
(The praise of the DEI dean's "care and compassion" would work better if there was no video of her intervention.)pic.twitter.com/HzDfTcOPM8
— KC Johnson (@kcjohnson9) March 13, 2023
The Stanford ACS thinks that Stanford Law School should tolerate clear misbehavior by students, but should hold *outside speakers with no Stanford affiliation* to some unstated standard of behavior. God help the legal profession. pic.twitter.com/wnwABVIRdx
— David Bernstein (@ProfDBernstein) March 14, 2023
And in the lastest salvo, The Free Beacon reports that approximately one-third of the law school student body dressed in black in protest of the Law School Dean Jenny Martinez apologizing to Judge Duncan, making her walk a hallway gauntlet after they plastered her classroom with legally illiterate claims that shouting down a speaker is just their own free speech.
Hundreds of Stanford student activists on Monday lined the hallways to protest the law school’s dean, Jenny Martinez, for apologizing to Fifth Circuit appellate judge Kyle Duncan, whom the activists shouted down last week.
The embattled dean arrived to the classroom where she teaches constitutional law to find a whiteboard covered inch to inch in fliers attacking Duncan and defending those who disrupted him, according to photos of the room and multiple eyewitness accounts. The fliers parroted the argument, made by student activists, that the heckler’s veto is a form of free speech.
“We, the students in your constitutional law class, are sorry for exercising our 1st Amendment rights,” some fliers read. As a private law school, Stanford is not bound by the First Amendment, though California state law does apply some First Amendment protections to private universities….
When Martinez’s class adjourned on Monday, the protesters, dressed in black and wearing face masks that read “counter-speech is free speech,” stared silently at Martinez as she exited her first-year constitutional law class at 11:00 a.m., according to five students who witnessed the episode. The student protesters, who formed a human corridor from Martinez’s classroom to the building’s exit, comprised nearly a third of the law school, the students told the Washington Free Beacon.
The majority of Martinez’s class—approximately 50 students out of the 60 enrolled—participated in the protest themselves, two students in the class said. The few who didn’t join the protesters received the same stare down as their professor as they hurried through the makeshift walk of shame.
“They gave us weird looks if we didn’t wear black” and join the crowd, said Luke Schumacher, a first-year law student in Martinez’s class who declined to participate in the protest. “It didn’t feel like the inclusive, belonging atmosphere that the DEI office claims to be creating.”
Another student in the class, who likewise declined to protest, said the spectacle was a surreal experience. “It was eerie,” said the student, who requested anonymity for fear of retaliation. “The protesters were silent, staring from behind their masks at everyone who chose not to protest, including the dean.”
Ironically, the student added, “this form of protest would have been completely fine” at Duncan’s talk on Thursday.
NEW: Hundreds of Stanford students lined the halls yesterday to protest the law school’s dean, Jenny Martinez, for apologizing to Kyle Duncan, the judge shouted down last week.
The students effectively subjected Martinez to an intimidating walk of shame.🧵https://t.co/6gEj2A0j4z
— Aaron Sibarium (@aaronsibarium) March 14, 2023
"We, the students in your constitutional law class, are sorry for exercising our 1st Amendment rights," some fliers read. As a private law school, Stanford is not bound by the First Amendment.
— Aaron Sibarium (@aaronsibarium) March 14, 2023
David Lat’s sources put the number of students in the gauntlet at one-third of the first year class, not one-third of the entire school (so under 100, not 100s), but clearly there was substantial participation.
These students thinking that it is protected “free speech” to prevent someone else from speaking reflects how uneducated these law students are. Ken White, clearly no fan of Judge Duncan, writes about the students’ position:
However, shouting down is not protected by the First Amendment. Neither is pulling the fire alarm, setting off an airhorn, or making bomb threats to stop the speech from happening. You couldn’t pass a law that said “no shouting down conservative speakers” or “no shouting down political speakers,” because those wouldn’t be content-neutral, but you can absolutely prohibit disrupting someone else’s exercise of free speech so long as you do so in a content-neutral way.
Firing the Diversity Dean is a distraction and deflection. Let’s keep her front and center, let her be the face of Stanford Law School for all the world to see. Because she reflects the culture there.
Something is wrong with the culture at Stanford Law School, and many (most) law schools. Let’s address that issue.
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How is this not full blown mental illness?
The left hates free speech. and freedom generally.
It’s a Marxist thing.
It’s an example of mass formation psychosis
No. We can’t simply dismiss this as “mental illness” or “childish behavior.” It may have attributes of both. However, we must come to terms with the fact that these people despise us and our cultural institutions. To them, Judge Duncan and the federalist society have zero legitimacy and are merely remnants of an oppressor class that must be silenced or destroyed. They view free expression and the objective rule of law as tools of the oppressors. This is classic Marxist ideology (dressed up in current woke terms) and must be taken seriously and opposed at every turn.
This is beyond disgusting. It is a blatant well planned Marxist attack on everything that has ever been good for America. It is beyond time that we burn all these places of evil to the ground and destroy the Marxist movement in our own country!
Yes, the culture; but hasn’t this law school, and others, hijacked the core educational purpose?
It’s like 4th grade.
The DEI deserves her fate, too. Look at the diverse student body she has helped coerce into existence.
But there’s no question that law school is less about law than it is about activisim, almost all from one direction, and the students are not particularly bright, but exquisite at virtue signaling.
Such weak crybabies that are only strong when a mob.
It’s EXACTLY like 4th grade, because that’s the only intellectual level these DEI clowns can function on, and they’ve convinced themselves that they’re really geniuses that have been kept down by The Evil White Man.
They’ve spent the last 15-20 years bringing down public education to a level where they can feel ‘smart’ by spewing crap like this low-tier intellect.
They are literally incapable of reasoning or logic because they aren’t smart enough to execute it.
The posting on the whiteboard is such a giveaway as to their lack of maturity. No adult does that. Not to mention their certainty about their goodness and prowess to achieve perfection, despite the lessons of the past, which they reject because they know better.
I agree, but there’s really no need to insult 4th graders. The ones I know do not act like this.
A boycott on hiring interns from Yale seemed to change their thought process a little. Perhaps judges should do the same thing to Stanford, and the other schools who don’t believe in the Constitution..
Agree entirely that federal judges should avoid hiring any of these leftists. I have a slight quibble with the use of the term “interns.” Stanford and Yale law students aspire to become federal law clerks, a very influential force in the judiciary. Clerks are not interns but recently graduated lawyers that are often in their mid to late twenties. Federal law clerks move on to the upper echelons of big firms, and government. It is the elite career path for lawyers.
If kangaroo courts are your thing, the future looks bright.
Look — embrace the power of AND.
Do anything you want to do, to fix the culture.
AND… fire that Dean. Now.
Fire her pour encourager les âutres.
Not only do WE want to “see consequences,” those consequences may serve as an object lesson to the loudmouthed students who have never seen such consequences applied in their squalid lives.
Show them it could happen to them. Or forget changing their behavior entirely.
I think that might work if she were replaced by someone that did their job right and started holding students accountable. But instead, she would probably land somewhere else where she can behave the same way and Standford would hire someone else who would behave the same way, so I am inclined to agree with PWAJ on this one.
The continued existence of the DIE (the correct ordering of “DEI”) office would just mean someone else like her would be put in place, and the existence of such an office at many other colleges would mean that even she wouldn’t be put out for long.
Simply firing her is insufficient.
But not firing her is even more insufficient.
She stays in place. Her office is not decommissioned, she is not decommissioned.
Fixing the culture would require her office to be decommissioned.
The first step in that process would be to empty it, wouldn’t it?
Well yeah, but it’s the culture that results in the hiring of a ‘dean’ who is clearly as crazy as a shit-house rat. One way or the other, these freaks will need to be rooted out of our society. Or we just cede the society to them. Which option would you prefer?
I almost went to college at Stanford, but decided to go to a smaller school. In the midst of my college years, Stanford went to the “straight A” system of grading. Every student who was alive got near A or A in classes. We were shocked as the average GPA in my school was 75…a C.
The school is totally to blame for this mess. Why aren’t the radical students expelled? Can it be that all the staff agree with these ridiculous ‘protests’?
If no students are expelled then you know that Stamford is a lost cause. There should be a taint on anyone holding a Stamford degree!!!
Another law school sending a strong message of “Avoid our graduates at all cost”.
Yale’s been sending that message for decades.
Diversity, Inequity, Exclusion or DIEversity
Critical Racists’ Theory (CRT) presumes diversity [dogma] (i.e. color judgment, class-based bigotry). The students created an opportunity, Steinbach led the protest with a speech to a captive audience. Yes, she represents the tip of systemic diversity (e.g. racism, sexism, ageism), but this is how class-disordered ideologies (e.g. wicked solution, political congruence, witch hunts, warlock trials, cancel culture) are birthed and progress (e.g. Pro-Choice ethical religion).
The observation that ‘these students thinking that it is protected “free speech” to prevent someone else from speaking reflects how uneducated these law students are,” isn’t quite correct. They are very well educated, having absorbed the default lesson of all areas in higher ed, in every concentration and major, in neo-Marxist theory and praxis. Debate is avoided because they have no reasonable legs to stand on, so shouting down ideological enemies is an accepted tactic of subversion and disruption of the straight white right, just as “protest” for left-wing causes has become, if not a requirement as it is in many social justice-themed courses, at least a rite of passage for US college students.
It’s time for everyone to face the fact that higher ed in the West is now a tool of neo-Marxist social engineering, an ideological factory. One can only hope that the medical, scientific, and legal degrees conferred still indicate some level of technical expertise on top of a politically correct neo-Marxist/identitarian orientation.
Indeed, all our institutions have been compromised, from the kindergarten class to the Pentagon, and the real resistance to this revolution has only just started, after the neo-Marxists’ 60-year head start. Where we go from here is anyone’s guess.
Think I exaggerate? Have a gander at this: https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/11/04/929233492/a-new-hippocratic-oath-asks-doctors-to-fight-racial-injustice-and-misinformation
So much for my only hope.
Let me jump back onto my favorite soapbox here. The problem is that Communism is Cool. Fashion du jour. All the cool kids are commies. It has enormous appeal to the poorly educated, the misfits, the disenfranchised, all who are (and this seems important) easily fooled by the clever and manipulative. Joining an angry mob, the gauntlet, is obviously more fun than studying or working or being an upstanding member of a decent society. You get to take out all your hostilities, to get justice for all the wrongs done to you — and you might even get laid.. Extremely seductive.
We can and have tried bombing it, banning it, firing its most overly excitable proponents who give the game away (like this DIE dean), plus other approaches, but all are doomed to fail if we can’t defeat it at the personal level. How? I’m getting desperate for ideas. Taking back education seems a place to start, but recall how culture mocks education and the classroom. The culture itself needs reorienting. Making Capitalism Cool Again?
This is crazy. Communism is awful, is doomed, is sure to fail every time, but somehow everyone thinks it’s the best thing since sliced bread. I don’t get it
Good observation. The issue is these weirdos engage in an odd sort of ‘predatory victim hood’. You either join the ranks of the ‘oppressed’ or you are automatically cast as an oppressor. It’s a totally bizarre illogical construction. The ‘oppressed’ can not be ‘oppressed’ when they wield power to disrupt, intimidate, coerce or destroy the so called oppressors.
The answer is application of consequences. While many more are finally coming to this realization the momentum within the institutions is all on the other side. Until the private sector pushes back by reviewing the CV of job applicants and eliminating members of these sorts of totalitarian campus groups from hiring consideration as well as purging their current staff who are ideological fellow travelers this will continue.
I guess this incident and even more the plethora of total liberal so-called news people and “journalists” is evidence that Brainwashing works, even on brighter than usual people! Here we had adults who don’t seem to take that step back and ask why they think what they have been “taught” is BEST nor why it is alright for adults to act with what might be more acceptable in a high school age person, but not grownups!! Even with youngsters, one would expect some adult to be on site and put a stop simply on the basis of good manners!! These stories are disgusting and show an appalling example of “group think in a mob”!
These Marxists have BEEN TAUGHT since K OR 1ST grade that their feelings matter more than facts.
Our local “award-winning” public schools failed both of my very different gifted & talented children: 1 STEM-oriented, the other Language Arts-oriented.
Ever-present as classroom mom who donated paper & made copies to overcome lack of repetition in textbooks even in the 90’s: I heard several teachers K=>3 telling our children they were “perfect just as they were.” & in discussions, “How does this make you feel?” My son who read easy Suess books on his own at 4, hated to read after 1st grade. He was supposed to read along as New decoders sounded out d-o-g, & was given demerits for turning pagec& reading ahead.
We ended up making. a great financial sacrifice to homeschool (2 yrs of private school had my daughter convinced she was stupid when they went switched from addition to subtraction, even tho 1/2 the class including her, hadn’t mastered addition) homeschooling.
Education in US is broken. I pray it’s not too late for #ParentalEmpowerment via #FundingStudentsNotSystems to help correct many of the problems.
However, if we don’t fund Classical Learning Teacher Colleges that teach teachers Science of Reading skills, & how to teach (inspire love of learning–not hammering 3,000 facts into each head), implementing solid curricula & REAL critical thinking skills throughout the Education spectrum, US Ed will not be salvageable…
You are completely and totally wrong about not firing Steinbach
1: If she isn’t fired, she will do it again
2: If she is fired, then we can focus on demanding that the next DEI Administrator publicly condemn the attacks on Duncan and the FedSoc students the attack in order to get hired.
Never let evil be free
There is only one way out of this for Stanford, and it’s not the firing of the idiotic DEI dean (though that should also be done).
The way out is to require every law student to sign a pledge (1) certifying their understanding of what freedom of speech means, (2) acknowledging that they will respect every invited speaker’s right to be heard, and (3) committing never to disrupt any invited speaker’s presentation under any circumstances.
Any student who refuses to sign the pledge or in any way attempts to qualify the pledge should be expelled immediately. And any student who violates this pledge should be expelled immediately. Just like all spoiled children, when the students at Stanford Law understand that their childish tantrums have actual consequences, watch how the problem takes care of itself.
One more thing: to model the concept of due process for these Constitionally illiterate children, each student (and their parents, where appropriate) shall be given notice of the need to review and sign the pledge and an opportunity to withdraw from the school without expulsion if they find anything in the pledge objectionable.
You are absolutely correct saying Stanford Law’s Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is just the “symptom” of the disease. The woke culture that abounds in our colleges and universities is the real cancer affecting many of our institutions today. My own alma mater Hastings College of the Law, the oldest University of California law school in the State of California, is suffering the same mania. It recently eliminated the founder’s name from the law school and now goes by the name “UC College of the Law, San Francisco.” Cancel culture is cancer culture. It erases history instead of using it to teach.
Ku Klux Klan Resurrection. Now the masks are black, but they’re still Democrats.
Here we go again. Address the toxic culture AND FIRE her! There are strong and justified reasonS to fire her. Stop with the priggish subtlety of mind malarkey.
So, they’re going to leave no other choice than violence as a response. I don’t think they’re going to like it when they get it.
“My point was that Steinbach was just doing what was expected of her as a DEI officer.”
Sorry but you’re wrong. She participated in the set-up to shout down the speaker. That is not her job.
That is why the school President and the Law School Dean wrote their apology and indirectly blamed her among others.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi practiced civil disobedience. Both spent time in jail as a result. I always believed that “wrongful” punishment was a part of the “civil disobedience.”
I think that Law Students who want to protest with civil disobedience should show the strength of their convictions by putting their legal careers on the line for their beliefs.
I don’t know who is responsible for teaching Constitutional law at Stanford, but they are clearly falling down on the job.
We are looking at the next generation of brownshirts or Maoists
There will be no LSAT exam requirement in the future
Bar exams will also be eliminated…it’s starting
Don’t hire a lawyer or a doctor who is under 40. These new practitioners are filled with woke ideology. They are ruining their professions by being ideologues.
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