Sunday, March 12, 2023
Mob Rule at Stanford Law School, Part II - by William Otis
Judge Duncan continued:
I hope a similar apology is tendered to the persons in the Stanford law school community most harmed by the mob action: the members of the Federalist Society who graciously invited me to campus. Such an apology would also be a useful step towards restoring the law school’s broader commitment to the many, many students at Stanford who, while not members of the Federalist Society, nonetheless welcome robust debate on campus.
Finally, the apology promises to take steps to make sure this kind of disruption does not occur again. Given the disturbing nature of what happened, clearly concrete and comprehensive steps are necessary. I look forward to learning what measures Stanford plans to take to restore a culture of intellectual freedom.
These are crucial steps. It’s necessary but woefully insufficient for Stanford to apologize to the Judge. The FedSoc student chapter, which the Law School betrayed, is obviously due an apology, as is every student who came to the auditorium in good faith to listen and learn, and left it wondering if they could get out without being shouted down or beaten up.
Ed makes one last observation:
The letter of apology is very tepid in its assertion that Stanford is “taking steps to ensure that something like this does not happen again.” We shall see what steps Stanford actually takes. Firing Steinbach would be a good first step. Identifying and publicly censuring students who engaged in flagrant misconduct would be another.
This is where the rubber meets the road. Are the Brownshirts going to win this battle or not? They got what they wanted — shutting down speech they dislike and boisterously if not exactly violently harassing the speaker. Will they have to pay a price that deters them, or will they get away with it? We all know what happened the last time the Brownshirts got away with it.
I cannot sufficiently emphasize how high the stakes are. This was Stanford University, one of the best in the world, and its Law School, one of the best in the country (and the hardest to get into if I’m not mistaken). The higher education establishment and entire legal profession will take note of what happens now.
Well, let's see what happens. If Stanford doesn't follow up with more than just an apology, then will the 5th Circuit do anything about *that*? It should. Will FedSoc, either the national office or the Stanford branch, have anything to say? To have shouted down a sitting Federal Circuit Judge is kind of a big deal, you know. And the behavior of the DEI admin was beyond atrocious. Stay tuned.