Officials from Stanford University apologized to 5th Circuit Court Judge Stuart Kyle Duncan for the behavior of some of its law students and administrators who shouted him down during a speech last week, Reuters reported.
In a letter over the weekend, Stanford president Marc Tessier-Lavigne and Stanford Law dean Jenny Martinez said the heckling from disruptive law students during Duncan’s visit was “inconsistent with our policies on free speech.”
Duncan was at Stanford last Thursday delivering remarks to the campus chapter of the Federalist Society when his speech was shouted down by some law students, all of whom accused Duncan of threatening the rights of immigrants, blacks, women, and LGBT individuals.
When Duncan demanded that administrators present restore order, the law school’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Dean Angela Steinbach reminded the hecklers of the school’s free speech policy prohibiting the disruption of speakers. She then did nothing when the heckling continued, instead expressing her support for the hecklers’ demand that the free speech policy be reconsidered given the “harm” from Duncan appearing on campus.
In an interview with the Washington Free Beacon last week, Duncan described the incident as a “bizarre therapy session from hell.”
Duncan said he didn’t need anyone’s pity, noting that he has a lifetime appointment. Instead, what he found outrageous about last week’s incident is that the Federalist Society student members are being “treated like dogshit” by their fellow students and Stanford’s administrators.
Duncan told Reuters that the heckling students were “bullies” and “idiots.” He also blasted DEI Dean Steinbach and the other school administrators in attendance, telling the National Review that their behavior was at odds with the mission of the law school to train “future members of the bench and bar.”
While not mentioning Steinbach directly, Tessier-Lavigne and Martinez did say in their letter to Duncan that some staff members “intervened in inappropriate ways.”