Two judges have put a moratorium on their offices hiring law clerks from Stanford after the prestigious law school allowed students to shut down a speech by a right-leaning justice in early March.
U.S. District Court Judge Kyle Duncan was scheduled to give a talk at Stanford Law on March 9, but the event was cut short after students began shouting him down. After Duncan asked for school officials to intervene, Stanford’s Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, who had been sitting in the audience smirking during the harassment, took the microphone and proceeded to berate Duncan on his hurtful words for nearly 10 minutes straight.
Stanford Law students shouted down Fifth Circuit appellate judge Kyle Duncan while he was trying to speak.— Washington Free Beacon (@FreeBeacon) March 11, 2023
When he asked for an administrator to control the situation, Stanford’s “associate dean of diversity, equity, and inclusion” got up and lectured him for nearly 10 minutes pic.twitter.com/tjlUPOIMmQ
The constant harassment finally forced Duncan to gather his belongings and leave the room, calling one student an "appalling idiot" on the way out the door - an assessment with which I can't disagree.
Here’s another highlight (lowlight) from Stanford, when US Court of Appeals Judge Kyle Duncan told a student, “You are an appalling idiot, you’re an appalling idiot.” (Video obtained by @lawdorknews.) pic.twitter.com/qekHuJLn4o— Chris “Subscribe to Law Dork!” Geidner (@chrisgeidner) March 12, 2023
As a result, 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge James Ho and 11th Circuit Court Judge Elizabeth Branch said they’ll no longer be hiring law clerks from Stanford, a rule they’d already applied to Yale Law back in October after Yale allowed its students to scream down right-leaning speakers they’d deemed “offensive.”
“Lisa and I have made a decision. We will not hire any student who chooses to attend Stanford Law School in the future,” said Judge Ho during his remarks at this year’s Texas Review of Law & Politics event.
Ho added that action is necessary to stop the trend of leftist students being allowed to block, harass, and shout down speakers who don’t align with leftist ideology.
“Unless we take action to solve the problem – discrimination, not disruption – all we’re doing is giving speeches,” Ho said, according to a transcript of his speech reported by the Washington Times.
“Imagine that every judge who says they’re opposed to discrimination at Yale and Stanford takes the same path. Imagine they decide that, until the discrimination stops, they will no longer hire from those schools in the future. How quickly do we think those schools would stop discriminating then?” he continued.
While the point is well made, judges shouldn't blacklist law clerks from schools that oppose free speech simply as a way to make a point. Given the United States' constitutional adherence to free speech as one of our foremost founding principles, any graduate of a school that allows - or even tacitly encourages - its students to harass and scream down speakers who have opposing views shouldn't be trusted anywhere near a court of law.