The Right Coast

Editor: Thomas A. Smith
University of San Diego
School of Law

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Federalist Society Caves to “Rape Culture” Orthodoxy | Minding The Campus

I know that this isn’t a free speech issue. The Federalist Society, like any other organization, is within its rights to decide what speakers to sponsor. There was no breach of contract, only of basic courtesy. Yet, given that the society’s mission statement says it is “dedicated to fostering balanced and open debate about the fundamental principles of freedom, federalism, and the role of the judiciary,” its willingness to cave to those who would stifle debate is distressing—all the more so when the subject of that debate is an assault on the fundamental principles of freedom and justice.


I have a theory what this is about. Via

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Thank you for posting this. An outrage. I have enjoyed Ms. Young’s writing for years. She is always civil, and fair in her presentation of opposing views. I can’t imagine her speeches differ. But Ms. Young is wrong about one thing – this is a free speech issue – it’s about the Federalist Society caving to a heckler’s veto. The current treatment of sex abuse allegations on campus is important to the Society’s stated mission, yet it lacks the guts or gumption to support airing the issue on campus. At best, it cares more about butts in seats than putting up with the hassle of keeping the issue alive in the face of opposition. Or is it cowardice? If not the Federalist Society, who?

I am moved to write to Calabresi (board chair) and Eugene Meyer (executive director), stating that I will not renew my membership unless Ms. Young is reinstated with a published apology, and I will try and persuade others to join me. Alas, my membership is currently in arrears, so I doubt my letter will count for much. But something must be done. For me, this is a serious step. I have supported th Society in the past to the extent of traveling to the national convention at my own expense. No more, unless this shameful incident is corrected.

Posted by: Greg | Oct 20, 2014 9:39:15 AM

The Federalist Society has responded to Ms. Young’s objection to being dropped from the Society’s speaker’s list. The response states that the decision was “based on feedback from Federalist Society student chapter members who had invited her because they were eager to hear her point of view.” See
Maybe she is just a dud at the microphone. Or not. This still feels like a capitulation to “just shut up” tactics. The response cites to its sponsorship of other programs to address the handling of sex assault complaints on campus, such as one entitled “The Campus Sexual Assault Epidemic.” But adopting the flawed premise of the totalitarians as a program title leads me to believe the bullies have won again. Whatever her public speaking qualities, de-listing a distinguished warrior in these circumstances is not quality control, it is going wobbly.

Posted by: Greg | Oct 21, 2014 2:54:26 PM