“We Are Tired”: Duke Law Students Demand George Mason Professor Be Barred From Virtual Panel

“We are tired.” Those three words sum up a great deal of the anti-free speech movement growing on our campuses. Students and faculty have grown tired of free speech. Opposing views are now treated as threats and intolerable for students. A case in point is the effort by half of the law students at Duke to ban Helen Alvaré, a George Mason University law professor, from appearing on a virtual panel discussion about family law. The letter is both well-written and chilling in its call for censorship on campus. It dismisses any notion of free speech protection in allowing dissenting views to be heard on campus. Indeed, it does not even consider such values worthy of discussion. Instead, the students insist that the mere ability of an academic to speak on a panel is an endorsement of her views and a threat to current and future Duke law students.The panel is on “putting children first in family law”, which is the focus of Alvaré’s 2017 book.  She has been controversial due to her writings on same sex marriage and LGBTQ rights. Her 2012 friend-of-the-court brief in U.S. v. Windsor that argued for the state’s “legitimate” interest in “singling out” opposite-sex marriage for protection and that the expansion of marriage to include same-sex couples “ignores children and society.”As someone who supported same-sex marriage for decades, I strongly disagree with those views. However, many hold such views as did most of our elected officials at one time from Hillary Clinton to Barack Obama. These are questions that are tied to deeply-held religious, social, and legal views.  Alvaré has written extensively on those issues and is widely cited in the debate over same-sex marriage. They are the type of issues that universities once valued as subjects for debate and discussion.

The letter from a sizable percentage of the Duke law student population demands that Dean Kerry Abrams “remove” Alvaré from the event or “cancel the event entirely.”

They cite her “unapologetic anti-LGBTQ+-rights views,” including opposing same-sex marriage and what they claim is her support for conversion therapy. I have not been able to confirm all of these views and the letter does not cite sources on the conversion claim. The letter refers to Alvaré as “a speaker who, in the least, entertains conversations of conversation therapy.” However, it does not matter to the free speech question. Alvaré is an intellectual who holds controversial views for many at Duke. The solution is to engage her in substantive exchanges, not try to silence her so others cannot hear her views.

The students insist that even allowing dissenting ideas to be voiced on campus is an effective endorsement of those views:

When we ask a speaker to come to Duke, we are giving that person space and license to express their views on a particular subject—and by so doing, we are implicitly signaling our willingness to tolerate or our approval of those views. By hosting a speaker who, in the least, entertains conversations of conversation therapy for LGBTQ+ persons and who views same-sex couples as less capable of raising children, Duke is signaling at least a willingness to engage in those discussions and at worst, a tacit endorsement of those opinions. By not condemning injustice, you condone it. And that is the signal Duke will be sending to not only our current LGBTQ+ student body, but to all future potential students applying to Duke as well.

The students insist that allowing Alvaré to speak is a rejection of “diversity, equality and tolerance” and “undermines those professed values” of the school.  What the students conspicuously omit is tolerance for other views and free speech as values. Indeed, in seeking to shutdown a speaker, the students do not even mention free speech, let alone address the implications of their actions for intellectual freedom and discourse. Instead, they insist that barring a speaker with opposing views would show that “our diversity was not just tolerated, but celebrated.” (Yet, not intellectual diversity) That, with free speech, would be eviscerated by students who want to prevent others from hearing opposing views.

The controversy is ironic for Duke which was founded by religious groups and given the motto Eruditio et Religio (Knowledge and Faith). Many alumni and current faculty and students hold opposing moral and legal views on these views. A true celebration of intellectual diversity is to allow such views to be voiced and debated. The greatest danger to Duke is not hearing the views of Professor Alvaré but silencing such views.  Being “tired” of free speech is no license to deny it.

 

316 thoughts on ““We Are Tired”: Duke Law Students Demand George Mason Professor Be Barred From Virtual Panel”

  1. We’ve permitted a generation of cry-bullies to run rampant with the not-so-tacit support of their ivy tower nannies. Time we fired the nannies, drafted the bores and put the unfit ones over our knee. First thing is to publish this list of bar “unworthies” to the alumni so a mistake in employment won’t be made. Second, make ’em attend “sensitivity training” in the value of Constitution which law schools are supposed to be about. Third, make the little brats brief the good professor’s argument favoring the protection of heterosexual unions. Ought not to be hard for any lawyer given the historical precedent, but devastatingly impossible for any pretender,

  2. These future attorneys and apparently the faculty indoctrinating them are intellectually dishonest. Present and future Duke students might be offended. What happens if you’re offended? Nothing really, most adults just move on. Their inability to listen to opposing arguments and the demands to remove a speaker on the basis of their thoughts or writings speaks volumes about what our legal system and society may look like in the future.

    Winston Churchill said “A state of society where men cannot speak their minds cannot long endure.”

  3. You know what I’m tired of? Spoiled little s***s with no real responsibilities in life to speak of that think they are the tiny emperors of our society writ large, and older people that know better bending over backward to accommodate them. Find your spines. It would be so easy to nip this in the bud if we hadn’t devolved into a nation of cowards.

    1. You stupid twerp! Do you really think a piece in the WSJ debunks all the emails and the other witnesses who are coming forward???

      Sheeeesh, but you must think everybody is as stupid as the Democrats you hang around with. Did Hunter get on the Burisma board? Yes. Did Hunter get $3.5 million from the mayor of Moscow’s wife? Yes. Did the email say “10% for the big guy”? Yes.. Did Hunter say his dad gets 1/2 of everybody’s salaries? Yes.etc.etc.etc.

      Oh no, this is far from over and there is sooo much more about to come out. Face it – Joe Biden is a crook!

      Squeeky Fromm
      Girl Reporter

      1. Squeeky:

        Leave Gainesville alone. He’s still smarting over the beatdown Biden suffered (and that Corn Pop would envy) as well as Biden conceding away Pennsylvania and Ohio. Who needs fossil fuels? Ah, you do, Joe.

      2. You haven’t proved a single thing you wrote that’s contested, such as Hunter getting $3.5 million from the mayor of Moscow’s wife. Go ahead, prove it.

          1. Mespo, the “proof” you cite doesn’t say hunter Biden personally benefits from the $3.5 million.

            It’s a transfer to the company he co-founded with someone else. Note that nothing in that transaction is illegal or criminal. Your assumption that it was somehow criminal because money was wired to the company?

            Heck, if that’s the basis for criminal investigation you should be really concerned about Trump’s kids too. They get that all the time.

          2. Marky, thank you for showing that the Frommster is wrong in asserting “Did Hunter get $3.5 million from the mayor of Moscow’s wife? Yes”

            The Republican report you cited said “Baturina wired $3.5 million to a Rosemont Seneca Thornton LLC (Rosemont Seneca Thornton) bank account,” not to Biden.

            They cited a non-public document. Why didn’t they release the document?

            The Republican report said “According to The Financial Times, Rosemont Seneca Thornton is a consortium that consists of Rosemont Seneca Partners and the Thornton Group” and that Biden is a cofounder of Rosemont Seneca Thornton. But the opencorporates link they cited doesn’t confirm that, and if you search the Delaware Department of State: Division of Corporations site, the record for Rosemont Seneca Thornton does not name the founders either. The Financial Times article they cited is paywalled. Is it correct?

            A Forbes article says “George Mesires, Hunter Biden’s lawyer, told the Washington Post that Biden was not a “co-founder” of Rosemont Seneca Thornton and had “no interest in it”—and “therefore [the] claim that he was paid $3.5 million is false.””

            Even if Mesire is lying, if Biden was only one of multiple co-founders, which is what the Republican report says, then he’d only get a fraction of the $3.5M.

            You and the Froome-girl are pretty sloppy investigators.

            You should also read the Democratic response to the Republican report –
            https://www.hsgac.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/200923_FullReport_PetersHSGACWydenFinance.pdf
            Pages 48-49 are especially relevant, including that “The information in the documents cited by the Republicans has not been verified … Any credible investigation would have sought the underlying financial records at issue and spoken to the involved parties. At Chairman Johnson’s request, HSGAC authorized 46 subpoenas across four business meetings related to his current investigations, none of which sought information that could substantiate or verify the information in these documents.”

      3. Squeaky says, “ Did Hunter get $3.5 million from the mayor of Moscow’s wife? Yes.“

        After reading thru mespo’s link regarding the accusations it turns out that the assertion you make is not true as you put it.

        Hunter is only a co-founder of a financial assets management firm Rosemont Seneca LLC with John Kerry’s son. Nothing in the report says anything was criminal or illegal. Ironically these things are being done by Trump’s own children, all perfectly legal as well.

        Anonymous still has a point, you have to show us proof of your assertions.

        1. Hunter is only a co-founder of a financial assets management firm Rosemont Seneca LLC

          Did it occur to you that a lawyer with zero background in finance is not an optimal choice to manage someone’s money? Either he found a mess of marks or the ‘business’ was a conduit to launder money. (IIRC, he and his uncle took stupefying commissions).

          1. ArtDecox,

            “ Did it occur to you that a lawyer with zero background in finance is not an optimal choice to manage someone’s money?”

            Nothing says they have do have a background in finance.

            Trump has no background in military life but seems to claim often that he knows more than his generals. You don’t seem bothered by the similarities between what Trump’s own kids do and Biden. Heck just look at Jared Kushner. His only background is real estate, but is officially a diplomat of sorts.

            He too has some fishy dealings to contend with, he could be laundering money according to your own logic.

            1. we all agree on this though, including the Big Guy: Hunter Biden has awesome connections in China with white powder.

            2. Nothing says they have do have a background in finance.

              They’re employed as stock pickers, Peter. Who would hire them?

              Trump has no background in military life but seems to claim often that he knows more than his generals

              It’s an officeholder’s job to weigh competing considerations.

              You don’t seem bothered by the similarities between what Trump’s own kids do and Biden.

              The similarites are fictional.

            1. It proves that Hunter got him some Chinese and Eskimo puzzy, mighty cold, good for you, good for us, ummm good, mighty good,

    2. Gainesville on Friday:

      I see in your world “discredited” means “not obviously found in public records.” Like “Al Capone” means “Northside Chicago bookeeper with outside interests in organic chemistry, female advancement, gunsmithing and logistics.”

    3. “Blockbuster Report Reveals How Biden Family Was Compromised By China”

      https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/blockbuster-report-reveals-how-biden-family-was-compromised-china

      “At the meeting Biden said the US “fully understands that Taiwan and Tibet issues are China’s core interests, the U.S. will continue to resolutely pursue the one China policy, the U.S. does not support ‘Taiwan’s independence’, and the U.S. fully recognizes that Tibet is an inalienable part of the People’s Republic of China.”

      Hey Joe!

      Have you ever noticed that Xi Jinping looks just like Winnie the Pooh, and they’re both the same color?.

      1. Tough call Rhodes. You have the WSJ – otherwise know as the Democratic Party house organ – and you have your “blockbuster report” by (all from your link):

        “authored by the unknown Typhoon Investigations, was released by Christopher Balding, Associate Professor at Peking University ” who then says:

        “First, I did not write the report and I am not responsible for the report….” then:

        ” I will not be disclosing the individual who did write this report.” then:

        “Finally, I will not be answering any questions about the report.”

        Really, that is your “blockbuster report”

        1. Hey Joey, if you had actually taken the time to read the report in it’s entirety, and it’s linked sources, you would know that it is far more legitimate than something some writer at the WSJ conjured up after Biden’s people got to him.

          Of course, all of that assumes that you have the capability of understanding what is written in the report.

          Almost every single company that was funded by the ChiCom’s for the Biden family went belly up after they funneled the money out of the shell company.

          And they didn’t even attempt to make it look like they wanted the companies to succeed. They were just money laundering operations, and the Chinese knew that before they invested. That’s because the Chinese knew that it was money well spent in order to obtain Joe Biden’s influence in support of China.

          This is exactly what they were paying for:

          “the US “fully understands that Taiwan and Tibet issues are China’s core interests, the U.S. will continue to resolutely pursue the one China policy, the U.S. does not support ‘Taiwan’s independence’, and the U.S. fully recognizes that Tibet is an inalienable part of the People’s Republic of China.”

          – VP Joe Biden

    4. Joe Friday, are you referring to the verbal denials of people and the WSJ statement “Corporate records reviewed by The Wall Street Journal show no role for Joe Biden….”? If so, that’s not discrediting Joe Biden’s involvement or pay-offs. It just means that the official documentation hid his role. Same as how there’s no line on his tax returns for money held by his son or illegal bribes. Doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen.

  4. Allow me time to slip on my flame proof suit before responding because I’m bored . . . this should be fun.

    A boy wants to chop off his weenie and say he’s a girl. This is viewed as other than mentally diseased. OK, whatever, doesn’t affect me. At the same time, we can’t entertain either mental defect, or this adversely affecting children? And this is settled?

    Seriously?

  5. My military training offered one bit of wisdom….”If everyone agrees…then some SOB ain’t thinking!”.

    That holds true for every other aspect of Life no matter what the “issue” or “topic” it is.

    Life is far too complex and some answers to questions remain subject to debate.

    It is the polite, respectful, intellectual debate that advances our knowledge.

    My least favorite SecDef started that business of known unknowns and unknown unknowns but his thinking in that regard was spot on.

    We should be able to talk about our different views and see if some persuasion can take hold and bring others around to our view of matters.

    For that to. happen….you do have to listen to the other side’s views…..even if you remain steadfast in your own afterwards.

  6. These Duke law students are pathetic. Outside the bubble in which they have been raised, the essence of practicing trial law is taking a jury (jurors are not selected; they are what remains after others are deselected) and convincing those twelve or six people you’ve never seen before and probably will never see again that your client should prevail. Some of the jurors probably are going to hold views that are diametrically opposed to what the lawyer thinks, but any effective lawyer must show respect for opposing views and through evidence and powers of persuasion work to convince all of the jurors to accept your client and the evidence that supports the client’s case.

    If these law students were not such snowflakes, they would engage Professor Alvaré in debate rather than running to Mommy with fingers in their ears until she makes her stop. As to Silberman’s comment, “Must we entertain every nonsensical theory and irrational argument?” the answer is no. Freedom of speech includes the freedom not to listen. Of course, if we followed Silberman’s thinking, we should ban AOC and Joe Biden from discussing the Green New Deal since it is at least as nonsensical and irrational as creationism. You know, maybe he’s got a point.

    1. It is – for now. When these kids are lawyers and judges that may cease to be accurate. We must stop treating our historical precedent as immutable, it isn’t. It could turn on a dime under the right circumstances. This was largely the problem with millennials and gen z in the first place: we treated ‘the real world’ they were supposed to run face-first into in a similar fashion. We create these things and maintain them ourselves – or not.

  7. These law students should be automatically barred from public sector employment. Certainly not in the IC/FBI/DOJ/IRS.

      1. Of course. You’d have an opportunity to present your best argument and others will have an opportunity to rebut it. Why is that so difficult for you to understand?

  8. Fully 1/4 of the student body signed this wretched letter and it’s a reasonable wager that a counter-valing letter welcoming Prof. Alvare to the campus wouldn’t receive half as many signatures.

    You usually get your politics and religion from your father and your manners from your mother. It’s a reasonable wager that the median age of the parents of these twits is around 55. These twits are by and large the issue of the Gen-X professional-managerial class. Your contemporaries and mine, Prof. Turley. Heckuva job we all did.

    1. Yup. That about sums it up. It’s like a perverted double helix, the relationship between those two groups. Whenever I encounter this kind of nonsense it is very nearly always coming from one or the other.

  9. Are they tired of living? It was said that when one is tired of Paris, one is tired of life. Has Paris been replaced by Raleigh-Durham? Certainly these law students are tired of free speech and tired of dissent. When the totalitarian state they desire replaces the country we have, they will get their energy back.

    1. What’s disgusting is that they are proposing to enter an occupation where they’ll be making arguments all the time and they don’t control what the opposition has to say.

      1. They aren’t trying to control what she says. They’re trying to control whether she gets an invitation from the university. If she doesn’t get a university invitation, she’s still totally free to speak in the public square.

        They’re not necessarily right, but at least deal honestly with the situation.

        1. They’re not necessarily right, but at least deal honestly with the situation.

          You actually don’t get to control who your opposing counsel is or whether or not they get to represent your opponent.

          Do you ever get tired of being an utter humbug?

          1. I get tired of your loaded questions. No one is arguing that you get to control who your opposing counsel is or whether or not they get to represent your opponent.

            1. Their big bitc*h is that Helen Alvare is coming to campus and will offer her viewpoints, professional and otherwise. Do try to keep up.

  10. I must say that I constantly hear Democrats referring to LGBTQ people, leaving OUT the + (plus). My wife and I are pluses and we are OFFENDED… nay, OUTRAGED at this obvious attempt to discriminate against heterosexuals.

  11. So, students who are studying to enter into the profession where the defenders of our constitutional rights (including free speech) are (supposed to be) found are “tired” of free speech…brilliant. And what are they paying for that education at Duke?

    1. No one is tired of free speech. People are tired of rehashing settled questions. Is there no speech so fringe that we can’t say, “Take a hike.” Admittedly, we will never agree on where to draw the line, but Turley would have you believe that there CANNOT ever be a line. Consequently, we are obliged to politely listen to the free speech of members of NAMBLA.

      1. No one is tired of free speech. People are tired of rehashing settled questions. I

        You don’t get to define what’s a settled question.

          1. None of these get to define what’s a settled question, either. I’m sure the legal profession would be improved if you left it. The only problem is that you’d stink up some other line of work.

      2. Silverman says we gotta listen to NAMBLA but if he saw a manger on public property he would be on the phone to local chapter of ACLU muy pronto!

        I tell you these clowns like Silverman have warped the First amendment far, far beyond what it should be

  12. How are these snowflakes ever going to be lawyers? Are they going to want to ban every judge that rules against them? They won’t get very far in the legal profession being offended by everyone with an opposing view.

    1. Mark: “They won’t get very far in the legal profession being offended by everyone with an opposing view.”
      ***
      I hope they won’t.

      1. One of the cretins on this thread defending them is (if I’m not mistaken) an associate at Perkins Coie.

  13. Must we entertain every nonsensical theory and irrational argument in the name of free speech? Can’t a University say, “You are perfectly free to say what you want, but you can’t make us listen anymore. We have heard it before. Find an audience who have not already considered and rejected your thoughts.”

    1. Must we entertain every nonsensical theory and irrational argument in the name of free speech?

      You’re too stupid to be defining what’s nonsensical.

        1. You haven’t a clue what a constructive argument is. You’re whole point is that ‘me and my friends don’t think we should have to discuss this.’ Grow up.

    2. Must we entertain every nonsensical theory and irrational argument in the name of free speech?

      I believe that question was answered when the Challenger disaster was investigated.

        1. That’s quite a non sequitur, even for you, Olly.

          More deep thinking from you, eh Paint Chips? It’s a classic case study in Group Think.

          “NASA ruled the launch,” he explains. “They had their mind set on going up and proving to the world they were right and they knew what they were doing. But they didn’t.”

          A presidential commission found flaws in the space agency’s decision-making process. But it’s still not clear why NASA was so anxious to launch without delay.
          https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/01/28/464744781/30-years-after-disaster-challenger-engineer-still-blames-himself

        2. Anon: “That’s quite a non sequitur . . .”

          Actually, if you know anything about that disaster, you’d realize that his comment is spot on. Kudos to Olly, and to Richard Feynman’s “nonsensical” thinking.

  14. (music)
    Well, I went out with a Nazi. That I hardly knew.
    How was I to know…
    She was with the Russians too?

    Donna donut, dunt dunt Donna..
    Down the the no nuts too.

    1. We’re at Duke, we’re at Duke.
      We’re at Duke all the way!
      From our first piece of chocolate..
      To our last breathing day!

  15. It’s time for a university to truly honor its commitment to diversity, and expel the students who support censorship and sign letters like this.

    1. 1. There are academic critics of evoultionary models with engaging arguments.

      2. An aspect of Prof. Alvare’s remarks concerns normative questions.

      You set a standard for being obtuse that most of us would only shoot for in vain.

          1. Arty said “engaging arguments”, and I asked him about what he wrote.

            Are you saying that your only engaging argument is that you’re ignorant about theories of abiogenesis? That’s not so engaging.

            1. Are you saying that your only engaging argument is that you’re ignorant about theories of abiogenesis?

              No, actually you’re the one saying that. If the origin of life came from non-living matter, then where did the non-living matter come from?

              1. All planets are composed of chemicals. The chemicals on Earth have been here since the planet was formed. If you don’t know how the Earth formed, that occurred as part the formation of our solar system. There’s plenty to read about that. I bet you’re capable of finding it, but if you aren’t, I can give you some links.

                1. I can do this all day, but we can jump to the end of the First Cause argument if you haven’t bothered to look it up.

                  Where did the elements that made up the solar system come from? After some point you may get to The Big Bang. Whenever we get to the point of what you consider is the thing that that started it all, I’ll call it X, then the question is: Where did X come from?

                  1. You still haven’t answered my question: what engaging arguments do creationists have?

                    Are you trying to prove that you don’t have any engaging arguments, only questions?
                    Are you trying to prove your real questions aren’t about life on Earth but about the origin of the universe, and you’re trying to move the goalposts?

                    1. I adhere to the usual physics explanations ie big bang and billions of years of history

                      however i notice that the science and tech geeks have an updated version of the creationist narrative

                      it is called “simulation theory.” they take it very seriously. and it is analagous to creationism.
                      except the notion is, God is an advanced alien race, and we are all just in a big computer simulation. literally, i might add

                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfKiTGj-zeQ

                      I find it amusing how deadpan they are at discussing this, when it is so obviously similar to creationism.

                    2. Those goalposts you see moving require you to use the left half of your brain. You have yet been able to kick one through it.

                      The First Cause is actually an argument Creationists use about the origins of everything. Either look it up and we can discuss it, or don’t.

                    3. LMAO that Creationists think their God isn’t powerful enough to create the Big Bang and then leave our universe alone without intervening further.

        1. Art said “there are academic critics of evoultionary (sic) models with engaging arguments.” That statement does not allow you to assume he said or implied anything about creationism. That’s a fallacious argument. A straw man.

          Saying evolutionary theory has failed (so far) does not mean creationism wins by default.

          Art can defend what he meant about critics of evolutionary theory having engaging arguments if he chooses. But I’d refer you to “Darwin’s Doubt”, the most scientific take down of Darwin in the past 150 years. After you’ve read that try David Berlinkski’s, “The Deniable Darwin and Other Essays”.

          BTW, Berlinksi is not religious. He’s an agnostic, non-practicing Jew.

          1. Arty said it in response to Jeffrey’s suggestion, “Lets’s hear from Creationists.” I interpreted Arty’s response in context.

            One of the things that puzzles me about Creationists is that they seem to believe in an all-powerful God, but also seem to think that God was not powerful enough to enable abiogenesis and evolution.

            As for the your references, I’ll refer to you criticisms of them.

    2. Actually, the whole evolution thing is still open for debate. See epigenetics for example. As far as the Creationists and 8,000 year old Earth idiots, they are just delusional twits, of the same mindset as your typical Democrat who believes in Institutional Racism, or that men can become women by wearing dresses and taking hormones. And whacking off their weenies.

      Squeeky Fromm
      Girl Reporter

    3. I think the biggest problem with evolution is the statistical models for how long it takes to develop genetic mutations that could have lead to the amazing genetic diversity of all living things.

      I don’t advance this as a proof that God waved a magic wand like some people do– but consider that gene mutations are rare, and, when they happen, they are usually NOT helpful to survival.

      some statistical modelling work has been done on this and the findings were– interesting. I’ll leave it at that.

      consider the sturgeon fish. species 200 million years old. Gee, that’s a long time to remain a stable species.

      horseshoe crab, 445 million years old species.

      again the question is if species dna is generally so stable, could the random mutations have happened so fast to lead to the amazing biodiversity?

      what was happening to those early ratlike mammals that lead them to evolve so quickly into cows and whales and humans>?

      there are other anomalies with evolution. the field of epigenetics is moving fast working on some of those puzzling questions too

      1. “I don’t advance this as a proof that God waved a magic wand ”

        Kurtz, Why not?

        Obama said industry is not coming back ‘you would need a magic wand.’

        Trump waved the magic wand and industry is back.

  16. I would tell the students to grow up, that in real life you are not going to meet people who always agree with you or you views. Everyone has their own opinions that are a product of many factors in their life. It seems that people today want everyone else to live in the same bubble or echo chamber that they live in or want to live in.

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