Stanford Doubles Down On Upholding Free Speech Violations

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Stanford Doubles Down On Upholding Free Speech Violations; It Tries Unsuccessfully to Hide Guilty Students’ Identities From Bar Authorities

Stanford Law Doubles Down

WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 27, 2023) – Just The News has uncovered that Stanford Law Hides Identities of Students Who Shut Down Conservative Judge Since Sen. Ted Cruz and Law Professor Ask Bar Admission Authorities to Intervene, by “going out of its way to inhibit bar admissions authorities and judges from learning who was involved.”

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Because U.S. appellate judges James Ho [5th Cir.] and Elizabeth Branch [11th Cir.] are boycotting clerkship applications from one law school [Yale] where students violated free speech rights, and have urged their judicial colleagues to do the same.

And U.S. Senator Ted Cruz has asked the bar board in Texas to "take particular care" regarding students graduating from Stanford Law School during the next three years, Stanford Law School's [SLS] decision to try to block such efforts is at the very least questionable, says public interest law professor John Banzhaf.

As the article also notes, "Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Banzhaf have both said they are contacting bar admissions authorities to ensure they scrutinize Stanford Law graduates who may have participated in the disruptions, and possibly refuse admission to confirmed participants," but Banzhaf has found an easy way to identify many of the guilty students. 

The article continues: "Stanford Law School's attempt to find a middle ground between punishing students who repeatedly and crudely disrupted a conservative judge, and tacitly encouraging them to do it again by withholding any sanction, does not appear to be winding down the controversy." 

It notes that the Dean decided not to impose any discipline on the students she has identified as having violated its free speech guarantees - including even the mildest sanctions in its list such as "education" or "community service" - and its DEI dean who apparently led the disruption which stopped a federal judge from speaking is likewise doubling down:

Stanford Equity Dean Who Sparked Fury When She Ambushed Conservative Judge at Law School Event and Stoked Woke Students' Protests BRAGS About Her Behavior and Refuses to Apologize - Daily Mail

"Dean Jenny Martinez said the school will host a 'mandatory half-day session' for all students on free speech 'and the norms of the legal profession' in lieu of identifying and punishing those who disrupted 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Kyle Duncan. . . . SLS is also going out of its way to inhibit bar admissions authorities and judges from learning who was involved.

Martinez said faces will be blurred from the recording the Federalist Society chapter paid Stanford Law to make, due to 'vitriolic and threatening' messages against disrupters, even as she acknowledged they had no 'reasonable expectation of privacy' at the event and many video and audio recordings are circulating."

As Stanford Law Students Who Shouted Down Judge May Be Reported to California Bar explained: "Asked how he plans to identify the law student protesters, Banzhaf said in an email to The College Fix that the 'names of some of the disruptors have been posted in various places on the Internet. There are also several video recordings of the event showing many of the disruptors...

Also, virtually everyone in the audience, and even many other law students who did not witness the incident in person, know who the disruptive students are,' he said. 'It is not necessary to identify and file complaints concerning each and every participant. If only a few – who may or may not be among the ringleaders – are identified, there will still be an important impact.'”

Some in influential positions are already taking action against SLS's refusal to impose any discipline upon the guilty. "Judge "Duncan's 5th Circuit colleague James Ho and 11th Circuit Judge Elizabeth Branch, who are already boycotting clerkship applications from Yale Law due to a similar previous incident, preemptively warned Stanford Law against this path in a National Review essay last week.

Law schools have already suspended, expelled or threatened to report students to state bar examiners for disruptions, and 'at a minimum they should identify the disrupters so that future employers know who they are hiring,' they wrote."

The article continued: "The dean's explanation for letting identifiable students off the hook is that administrators at the event didn't quell the disruptions. Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion [DEI] Tirien Steinbach went further by literally deplatforming Duncan to give her own lecture about the 'harm' his work has caused."

"'Her reasoning' for the non-punishment 'would have earned a low grade if submitted by a law student,' George Washington University law professor John Banzhaf said in an analysis that called the decision 'bizarre and dangerous.'"

See: Stanford’s “No Discipline” Ruling is Bizarre and Dangerous; But Disruptive Stanford Law Students May Still Face Consequences

"He accused the dean of repeatedly contradicting herself, including by unilaterally making a decision about student discipline. Martinez noted the Office of Community Standards has that jurisdiction because 'it involves a deliberate process including fact-finding and hearings.'"

A more detailed analysis of her reasons reached the same very critical conclusion:

"In particular, her categorical refusal to refer any disrupting students for disciplinary sanction and the feeble reasons she offers in support of her refusal severely undermine the principles she professes. 

Martinez sets forth three 'factors' that lead her to conclude that referring disrupting students for disciplinary sanction is inappropriate. None of her three factors makes any sense, and their makeshift nature suggests that Martinez is looking for an excuse not to punish students."

Stanford Law Dean’s Letter Responding to Student Complaints - National Review

The article continues: "Banzhaf told Martinez that he plans to file complaints with bar admissions authorities with 'links to video recordings of the disruption' because of her failure to pledge sanctions despite Martinez agreeing they violated Stanford policy.

'Students at Stanford are likely to see [her decision not to punish those identified as violating free speech rules] as a green light 'get-out-of-jail-free' card' for future violations, as will students at other schools,' he wrote in an email to Just the News.

 '[A]fter all, if a top-ranked school believes it is wrong to punish students clearly guilty of disrupting a speech, surely the same policy should be OK for all the lesser-ranked schools,' Banzhaf said. Martinez didn't respond to Just the News queries about the criticisms."

The activist professor explained the rationale behind his actions this way in Law Prof To File Bar Complaints Against Stanford Students Who Heckled, Harassed Federal Judge:

“I have advised Stanford Law School that I am planning to file complaints with the appropriate bar admissions authorities regarding the violations of its own free speech rules by some of its law students because, like many others, I feel that their actions in deliberately preventing a federal judge from speaking to law students who wanted to hear his views and perhaps question him about them reflects adversely on their character and fitness.

And, perhaps most importantly, because the Law School – which actually encouraged the wrongful behavior – is apparently refusing to take any actions regarding the disruptive students.”

"I have long believed that one important role law professors can play is to file legal complaints where appropriate since doing so effectively often requires being a lawyer; yet many lawyers in private practice are reluctant to take controversial actions for fear of losing existing clients or alienating prospective ones – a risk law professors do not face...


That’s why I have over some 50 years of public interest practice filed many complaints, including those which have led to the ban on cigarette commercials, the current criminal investigation of Trump in Georgia, the House’s reprimand of Barney Frank, the discontinuance of wrongful police prosecutions in Baltimore, a $12 million settlement by McDonald’s, the $300 million settlement which established FAMRI, and more.”

California bar authorities have indicated that they will thoroughly investigate any incident which might reflect on the applicant's "respect for the rights of others and for the judicial process."

One would assume that violating SLS's own free speech rules to deliberately disrupt a federal judge and invited guest from speaking clearly indicates little respect for the rights of the federal judge to speak, and also for interested students to hear him speak. Since he was hoping to discuss the judicial process, such conduct also shows a clear and blatant disregard for that very judicial process, argues Banzhaf.

In addition, regarding the admissions process itself, as the USF School of Law warns its students: "A positive moral character determination is a prerequisite to being admitted to the bar and practicing law in California. The filing of the moral character application begins the process of character investigation which generally takes four to six months to complete, but could possibly take longer."

So the outcome for those students who are known to have violated the free speech rules of Stanford Law School have yet to be determined, says Prof Banzhaf.