Recently, a federal judge was addressing a room full of law students when the event turned ugly. Stuart Kyle Duncan, a judge with the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, had been invited by the Stanford chapter of the Federalist Society. This group of students is not yesterday’s Federalist Society. The Federalist Society has had a history of exploring both sides of an issue and exchanging ideas to learn from each other.
The presentation ended abruptly when the students shut down the Judge with their catcalls and heckling. Many of the students walked out of the event, further disrupting the Judge’s time. The students were joined by Tirien Steinbach, associate dean of DEIJ, and her comments were critical of Judge Duncan. The issue the students and associate dean had with Duncan was that some of his rulings were adverse and hurtful to the LGBTQ community immigrants, Black voters, women, and others.
On Friday, Judge Duncan spoke to Reuters on Fridayabout the incident and said the student protesters were “idiots” and “bullies,” while calling on the school to apologize for his treatment. He also commented on Steinbach’s involvement.
“The administrators’ behavior was completely at odds with the law school’s mission of training future members of the bench and bar,” Duncan told the National Review.
Stanford responded to the incident with the following apology. “What happened was inconsistent with our policies on free speech, and we are very sorry about the experience you had while visiting our campus,” Stanford president Marc Tessier-Lavigne and law dean Jenny Martinez wrote in a Saturday letter to 5th U.S. Circuit Judge Stuart Kyle Duncan, a 2018 appointee of former President Donald Trump. There was no mention of Associate Dean Steinbach in the carefully worded response.
There have been a couple of interesting happenings since the incident. Both involve students and not the Judge. First, the school felt obligated to offer the students involved in the protest counseling sessions. These sessions do not address their poor behavior and reflection on the university. This counseling is to help them resolve the trauma they faced by having to endure such hateful speech from Judge Duncan.
The second is even more bizarre for students that may soon be a part of the judicial system, either as lawyers or future judges. They are demanding anonymity and to have their names purged from any reference to the incident by Stanford. They were so brave to shout down a sitting Circuit Judge but not to be identified as part of the ugly end of the presentation to the Federalist Society.
These young people are in for such a shock when they leave the safe culture of Stanford and get into the real world. Their only saving grace is their generation is making such a mark on society that they may never leave the cocoon.`WOKE thinking might make these young people feel warm and fuzzy and that they are good stewards of the earth, but it is doing nothing for them to face reality. It is going to be a hard fall for this generation, and maybe we are all to blame for letting it happen. We do have the power to change course, and we must rise to the challenge or live with regret as we watch this experiment fail, as our forefathers warned us.