GWU Law Students Afraid To Speak Freely

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GWU Law Students Afraid to Speak Freely; Major Survey Confirms Muzzling of Conservatives

Conservative GWU Law Students Afraid Of Liberal Professors

WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 30, 2022) – Suddenly students at the George Washington University [GWU] Law School who identify as conservative or libertarian are worried that they will be penalized by their overwhelmingly liberal law professors if they speak freely in their classes, at least according to GWU law professor Jonathan Turley. He writes:

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"With the start of classes at George Washington Law School, I have already had visits to my office of conservative and libertarian students asking if I thought they could speak freely in other classes without being penalized by professors.

Despite teaching for decades, it is a question that I never heard from students until the last few years. It is now routine."

He notes that what is happening at his law school is happening at many campuses. He suggests that "it is the widespread fear of conservative students who have faced faculties with overwhelmingly liberal viewpoints and growing intolerance on virtually every campus.

Now a new study at North Carolina confirms how conservative students routinely 'self-censor' and do not feel comfortable sharing their views in classes. Not surprisingly given the heavy liberal makeup of faculties, liberal students feel little such fear over retaliation."

This is a frightening development, especially among those who are about to become lawyers, since lawyers are routinely called upon the speak up on behalf of unpopular clients and causes, and to stand up to angry judges and threatening opposing counsel.

And now, all too often, to a cancel culture which threatens them in many ways, says public interest law professor John Banzhaf.

"Law schools are raising a generation of wuss lawyers, unable to stand up to tough judges and often underhanded opposing counsel in order to protect the freedom, the financial welfare, and sometimes even the lives of their clients," wrote Banzhaf.

Banzhaf has been thrown out of courtrooms, surrounded by marshals, and threatened with million dollar penalties and even disbarment.

If they are afraid to even express an opinion in class, how can we expect them to stand up for unpopular clients and causes, he writes.

But notes that law schools are also to blame for treating their students like delicate snow flakes; "as emotionally distraught young children in need of cuddling."

As just one example, he points out that the Michigan Law School scheduled a session with the law school’s “embedded psychologist” where these ultra sensitive souls would use play dough or Legos and blow bubbles to help regain their ability to continue studying.

Banzhaf asks, "What would attorney Patrick Henry, who famously said 'Give me liberty, or give me death!'), say if he heard law students now saying “Give me play dough so I can cope!”

Another equally shocking example of the consequences of refusing to treat law students as adults, with even a moderate amount of fortitude, is the increasing demand that law school not only stop teaching the law of rape.

Which many have already done - but also to even avoid the use of words which might be related to it to avoid “disturbing” students.

Real Trauma

This “perverse and unintended side effect of the intense public attention given to sexual violence in recent years” is a “tremendous loss – above all to victims of sexual assault,” says feminist Harvard Law Professor Jeannie Suk.

She says law students complain even about the classroom use of the word “violate” as in “does this violate the law?” because it could “traumatize” them.

But real “trauma” is what happens when your client is sentenced to death, or a widow who should have recovered from her husband’s death at the hands of a drug or auto company is condemned to a life of poverty – not when sitting in the sterile setting of a classroom law students hear words like “rape,” “violated,” etc.

If law professors cannot teach controversial topics like rape, affirmative action, police shootings, etc. because students might find it disturbing, the professors logically will logically cease to study them, and society will be denied a major source of information, policy analysis, and new ideas from independent experts.

If the law – and the related facts, arguments, etc. – cannot be taught or otherwise even discussed in the one place in society where freedom of speech and debate are supposed to be bedrock principles, how likely is it that such serious problems can be addressed in a meaningful way, asks Professor Banzhaf.