Stanford Student Government Blocks Funding For Pence Speech

One of the free speech issues that we have previously discussed is whether universities are effectively curtailing free speech through student surrogates on campus. We have seen student government bodies and boards engage in blatant content-based discrimination in exercising their control over budgets or publications (here and here and here). The latest example comes from Stanford University where the student government voted against approving a $6,000 grant request from the College Republicans to help host former Vice President Mike Pence for a campus speech. That’s right, they voted against supporting the right of other students to hear from a former Vice President of the United States.

The College Republicans needed 8 votes to approve the funding. However, the final vote was 7 in favor, 7 in abstention, and 1 in opposition.  Somehow the seven students not voting considered that act to be more ethical than just being honest and voting against the funding. It had the same effect. Despite only one student voting against the speech, the school refused to support a former vice president coming to its campus to address faculty and students.

The vote captures the rise of intolerance and speech controls sweeping over our campuses. This is a vice president who played a historic role in defying a president to certify the vote on January 6th. He did the right thing. However, whether you agree or disagree with him, this is an opportunity for students to listen and question someone who held the second highest office in the country and served in a critical capacity in a number of key policy areas, including the election and the pandemic. However, a majority of Stanford students in this vote refused to approve a small level of funding for the event.

One interesting element is that university rules require that events needing security must secure over 50% of funding from on-campus sources. That guarantees this type of control by student government leaders — authority that was abused in this case. Previously the Undergraduate Senate initially blocked conservative speaker Dinesh D’Souza.

Conversely, Stanford students approved sponsorship for an array of highly controversial speakers from the left including Professor Ibram X. Kendi. Kendi has written highly offensive commentary, including questioning the adoption of two Haitian children by Justice Amy Coney Barrett as illustrative of “white colonizer” values.

While Kendi’s event was opposed by conservatives on campus, I believe that all of these voices should be welcomed on campuses. Higher education is supposed to foster rigorous and passionate debate. These speakers are part of that spectrum of viewpoints that add to our rigorous debates and dialogues on social issues. For example, Kendi insists that “The life of racism cannot be separated from the life of capitalism. In order to truly be antiracist, you also have to truly be anti-capitalist.” That would make for a fascinating debate on any campus. Kendi has also called for a “Department of Antiracism” that would be able to oppose “racist ideas” and even veto or nullify any law at any level of government run counter to an “antiracist” agenda. That proposal runs afoul of a host of constitutional guarantees but again it is the type of viewpoint that can lead to substantive debate.

The actions of the Stanford students shows again that we have a rising generation of censors who have been told that barring free speech is a form of free speech. A new poll shows roughly half of the public supporting not just corporate censorship but government censorship of anything deemed “misinformation.”

They learned this intolerance from academic and journalistic figures of my generation. Faculty and editors are now actively supporting modern versions of book-burning with blacklists and bans for those with opposing political views. Columbia Journalism School Dean Steve Coll has denounced the “weaponization” of free speech, which appears to be the use of free speech by those on the right. So the dean of one of the premier journalism schools now supports censorship.  Free speech advocates are facing a generational shift that is now being reflected in our law schools, where free speech principles were once a touchstone of the rule of law. As millions of students are taught that free speech is a threat and that “China is right” about censorship, these figures are shaping a new society in their own intolerant images.

The Stanford vote will be appealed and could be reversed. However, that does not alter the disgraceful initial vote or its implications for free speech at Stanford.



344 thoughts on “Stanford Student Government Blocks Funding For Pence Speech”

  1. OT: Consumer prices rose by 6.8% in November over the previous year, Labor Department

    That means those people trying to climb the ladder are paying a tax of 6.8% on their entire income. That is a Biden tax. It is not progressive. That tax will go up, hurting the middle class, especially minorities.

    I don’t know the various property taxes in different states, but assuming 2% low for some, high for others, on $100,000 of property tax, that would be the equivalent to $2,000 per hundred-thousand of last year’s property tax.

    That is a remarkable amount for families that wish for homeownership. That is what many non-thinking leftists can’t seem to understand. Nor can a lot of our representatives in Congress.

  2. France, England, Philippines, these countries were not members of any official alliance when the U.S. came to their defense, so this idea that US can’t help Ukraine because is it’s not a member of NATO yet is false, The precedent is that, yes, you can help countries who are not members of any official alliance.
    Am I the only sane one left? Maybe I should be in charge.

    1. Every country has its sphere of influence for defensive, offensive, trade and other reasons. When a powerful country gets into the sphere of influence of a weak nation, not much happens, but when that country is strong with nukes, there is considerable danger. There are reasons to show strength over Ukraine, but it is easy to recognize that Ukraine is a Russian sphere of influence, not an American one. Moscow is less than 300 miles from the Ukraine border, while Washington to Moscow or Ukraine is thousands of miles away.

      We want to show strength, but that has been destroyed by the Biden Administration and their handling of Afghanistan, among other things.

      I worry a lot when an administration so poor at handling national security gets into a tight spot. That is where wars can start and people die.

    2. The US is helping it. But its not going to get Russia out of Ukraune and if it interferes with direct military action it will in all probability result in a nuclear war.

  3. When trolls are as aggressively thread hijacking and appear from nowhere like ‘Ben’, you can be assured that they are paid – ignore them. Let their troll farm bosses know their dollars are going straight down the cra**er. There is no point in engaging. folks like that are literally paid to come here and sow discord, and they will not relent, as that is what they are paid to do. They may even agree with you, but their paycheck requires them to do the opposite.

      1. Ben don’t get paid for trolling.

        Ben just lives in a very wealthy, prosperous California coastal city loaded with rich, liberal progressives and is a place where gullible proles would not be comfortable – even if they could afford it.

        California looks aghast at the rest of the country and the way they think and wonder “Are these people for real?!?!?”

        But we have to go online to actually engage these people in debate, to see how the 99% think.

        It’s frightening and disheartening, but the right wing conservative Red State Trumper ChemTrail Election Fraudsters help one understand how the German people could have supported Hitler and Nazism out of ignorance, arrogance, fear, insecurity, racism, hatred, greed and self interest.

        So keep on truckin’ man.

        1. To “Ben Marcus:” Well-bred, affluent persons don’t feel the need to tell others about their pecuniary health. This is at least the third time on this site (in the last few weeks) that I have read similar declarations from you about your circumstances….amusing, indeed. Moreover, intelligent and educated persons use the blog site to engage in thoughtful exchange of opinions on the substantive subject matter, and to improve their ability to persuade others to consider their opinions. Finally, good people do not stoop to crude, juvenile language. Please, do tell me, are you any of these [persons, people]?

          1. “Moreover, intelligent . . . juvenile language.”

            Well said.

            I’d add this: Confident individuals have no need to impress others by constant name-dropping.

            1. Name dropping is less of a sin than using pretentious words like “pecuniary.”

              And I shouldn’t have to explaim this but this is all an act.

              The best way to let people know they are trite and annoying is to be trite and annoying in the opposite direction.

              Although there is truth under the sarcasm.

              1. “Name dropping is less of a sin than using pretentious words like “pecuniary.”

                The word pecuniary is a very useful and specific word. I guess it is not a commonly used word by dog walkers that dream of living in those large homes on the ocean.

        2. Oh cupcake democrats have Republicans beat by miles in the totalitarianism department. Dems always accuse everyone else of what they themselves do.

    1. Darren Smith, may we vote to ban for life from the Turley Blog the bullying, rapidly decompensating narcissist, Ben Marcus, for his colossal failure to provide cogitations accretive to the debate, and for his egregious and persistent violations of the Civility Rule, through incessant ad hominem attacks against every commenter on the site who is not Ben Marcus?


    2. He must have made a good point if all you could manage was that pitiful ad-hom in response.

  4. That’s chump change. The Ohio State University paid the anti-Semite and race hustler Al Sharpton $25,000 to speak at the school on MLK Jr. Day in 2015. Where’s the equity?

  5. Jonathan: Let’s get this straight. The duly elected student government at Stanford refused to give a grant to the College Republicans so Mike Pence could speak on campus. The College Republicans could muster only 7 votes for the grant. You call the vote the “rise of intolerance and speech controls over our campuses”. Really? I call it democratic government in operation. If you are the minority in any representative body you often lose the vote on things you want. That happened when the Democrats were in the minority in Congress and vice versa. You often complain that conservatives are in the minority on most university campuses. The answer is to encourage more conservatives to run for student government not complain of “speech controls”. Mike Pence’s views are well known. For four years he supported all of Trump’s anti-democratic policies and actions. I wouldn’t give him a lot of credit for refusing to block the electoral college vote. It was pretty clear what the constitution requires. Pence wants to speak at Stanford to burnish his credentials for a run at the presidency in 2024. If Pence wants to make a campaign speech let the College Republicans reserve another venue close to campus. If the Stanford College Republicans really were interested in a free debate on important issues why did they oppose the invitation for Prof. Kendi? Had they been in the majority no doubt Kendi would not have been invited. But why should Stanford students be forced to fund a speech by Pence who apparently most students oppose? If you were genuinely interest in free speech across the board why have you been completely silent about efforts by GOP controlled state legislatures and conservative school districts to censure and fire teachers who attempt to discuss the racial history of this country in the classroom? Isn’t this equally “intolerance and speech controls over our campuses?

    1. Dennis: thank you for confirming for us the insidious, sub-surface infiltration of left-wing control of academia and media. The weak part of democracy is that there will always be more have-nots, more gimme gimmes, more wannabes, more takers, and more mediocrity -than there are givers, inventors, strivers for excellence, truth-seekers, and independent thinkers. There will likely always be more Democrats/liberals than Republicans/conservatives, -because it’s an easier life, isn’t it?

      1. Well the Democrat/liberal life as lived in California might not be easier, but it’s pretty sweet.

        That’s what happens when a state run by Democrat/liberals/socialists/commies/left-wingers/libtards or whatever you want to call them has a GDP of $3.3 trillion and is the fifth largest economy in the world.

        It’s not an easy life here in what is by far the most influential, most relevant, most progressive, most productive and most prosperous state in the union.

        Ride a bike along my street and you’ll find the 3600 square foot house Kanye West just bought for a whopping $57 million.

        There’s the house Pink bought in July and she is now flipping for a couple million.

        You’ll see Keanu Reeves jogging in the morning, Simon Cowell riding his E-bike and Adam Sandler goofing with his daughter.

        You might see Flea or Jonah Hill or Spike Jonze walking down the beach to go surfing, past houses belonging to a Coca Cola heir, one of the founders of Google, the founder of Public Storage (RIP), the CEO of Google Life Sciences, the owners of the Detroit Pistons, Rob Reiner, Jim Carrey, several other Oscar winners and lots of anonymous gazillionaires.

        That’s the easy life of Democratic/liberal California.

        It sucks, but we do our best. That’s all we can do.

        1. oh, but you’re not one of them, are you Ben? Do you work for one of them? Are you a wannabe?

          1. Naw. I live in Malibu and write books and occasionally hang out with the rich and famous.

            Here, being rich is nice but being talented is also respected.

            It’s nice.

            Best weather in the world.

            1. yeah, you’ve “weathered” a few storms, haven’t you, buddy. Homeless, broke, pandering to surfers to make money. I noticed that of your six “books,” (about surfing, Malibu), almost all of them got only one or two reviews (from ex-lovers, friends?) and they certainly weren’t moneymakers or in the realm of what could be considered journalistic excellence. You seem to fit the description of another commenter (above)

              1. Those books are popular.

                One of them for Clark Littke sold 10,000 copies for $100 – $250.

                You should see who I hang out with and the things I get invited to because of the Malibu book.

                I lived in a million dollar house on the nicest street I’m San Clemente and felt like a schmuck.

                Productive and poor is more fun.

                Staring at the ocean right now in fact.

                Its been interesting. Can’t complain.

                Better than living in some cul de sayc in a nowhere city in a nowhere state commuting to some cubicle to do a job I hate, no?

                And going to Target and Applebee’s for a big weekend.

                Tell us what that is like.

              2. The French version of the skateboard book got a nice video review, which was cool


                What happened there is I wrote that skateboard book in English around 2010 or something.

                In 2015 or so I was living on a boat in Kewalo Basin on Oahu, writing a couple of books and SUPing to Canoes every day.

                I got an email from The Sportel Awards in France telling me my book Skateboard: De la Rue a la Rampe had been nominated for Sports Books of the Year and a 3000 Euro prize.

                They wanted to fly me to Monaco and put me up for a night in the Monte Carlo Bay Hotel.

                I said “Cool, I’ll fly to Monaco and stay in your hotel but I never wrote a book called Skateboard: De la Rue a la Rampe, my French isn’t that good.”

                They said “Well your name is on the cover.”

                Sure enough the publisher had translated my book into French and never told me.

                I didn’t go to Monaco – too far from Hawaii – so I sent the photographer Lucia because she was in Hossegor.

                She took her dad.

                Maybe I should have gone but that was halfway around the world for one night in Monaco for a prize we didn’t win.

                They gave it to a book about Formula One, which kinda figures.

                But that’s the kind of stuff that happens from writing.

                It’s all pretty cool.

                There are a thousand more stories like that.

                Beats doing something you hate.

                It’s good to be good at something.

                Try it in your next life and you won’t have to be a prick Trumper prole.

                1. Actually, I was so good at practicing law, I retired at age 48. Now I rescue dogs like you. Pretty cool, huh?

                  1. (I did not write the comment about Ben being a dog walker; boat posts appear almost simultaneously.)

                  2. Personal injury attorney probably.

                    You thought it was about justice but it’s all about money.

                    Soaked a bunch of saps for dough and now you’re one of those Americans who think having money means success.

                    Most of the lawyers I know are alcoholic and/or suicidal.

                    Right now my friend V is executor of an estate giving away $40 million to animal rescues.

                    Trying to hook her up with Alison Eastwood who has a place in Agoura.

                    Lawyer. Swell.

                    1. Good, now we have a shared interest (animal welfare). So cool your jets, stop attempting to impress people, and try to stay on topic (the subject of the blog). P.S., no, I defended doctors and hospitals.

                2. The only one who cares about anything you are going on about is you. You do know that right?

              3. Ben is neither financially wealthy nor stable, and he most definitely doesn’t own anything resembling a Coastal Manse; or even a rundown cottage by a lake, for that matter. Check out his bio and you’ll find clear affirmation that he’s everything folks think he must be, and nothing he professes to be.

                – – – For folks too busy to: Ben is the very definition of a liberal, lunatic “troll”; He’a a lazy, self-professed ex-druggie/ex-surfer, who’s still stuck in the 70s(!) and pines for the waning days of the once-“cool”, now just a ‘chilly-chill-cesspool’ that is Santa Cruz. Sadly (but not unsurprisingly), Ben is also a long-since-divorced-fool who doesn’t get on well with society, perpetually teeters on flat broke (at 60!), and he appears to live vicariously & aimlessly through the observed experiences & lives he so clearly covets, as he simultaneously grifts to survive while hoping to get anyone in the “surfer world” to publish his “literary” memes.

                Ergo, no matter how he spins it differently while trolling, Ben’s mere existence seems to be just another pitiful metaphor for being stuck in his mother’s basement as he wiles away the autumn of his life obsessing over & attacking those who he worries may have achieved all the things he couldnt.

                (And before he pipes in to troll further here: Yes, Ben, I would know the truth about things like the sad state of Santa Cruz after spending years living in SF, then Mountain View, and then Los Altos Hills. (So shut it, please…for your own sake, truly!) ….I also know first-hand that there are many who visit these moderate & conservative sites who very much live the exact experience you pretend to here. Thus, beyond laying out your real truth here, I dont need to pretend to be that which I’m not, nor share that which I am…or have. If some of us here have managed to achieve success in our relationships, careers, overall lives and even finances,…we don’t need to share it ad nauseam with strangers on here just for the “get”; We got enough!)

                1. It’s been interesting. I can’t complain.

                  I could be living in a million dollar house in San Clemente and pretending to be successful but this is more fun.

                  And you wish you were a Boomer.

                  Better music. Better presidents. Cheaper gas.

                  The world is just getting dumber and more vulgar as this website is evidence.

                  1. Ah, but you couldn’t, and the world knows it, I promise. It’s plainly evident even just from your hateful, green-eyed comments on some random website! – – – Fool yourself all you want, though..FYI, that’s the very reason you have to grift for wifi and are alone & sad at your age. Will pray for you.

                    1. I guarantee you I have been more places and seen more things than you have.

                      I could have been living like a white Orange County Republican stooge – which is probably what you are – but it felt stupid.

                      We had a great house on Monserrat Street.

                      This is more interesting and more fun.

                      Right now doing a history book with the husband and son of the woman who played Daphne on Frasier.

                      Went for Thanksgiving in a house on the beach that rents for$25,000 a month.

                      Hoop de do. It’s a house.

                      I’ve lived in shacks, I’ve lived in mansions.

                      The world is more interesting.

                      Show your biography, if you dare.

                      You won’t. You’re a dullard prole.

                    2. Wow you had me worried with that self-examination deal but once I was done with it I felt pretty good.

                      What do you do after you’ve done everything you wanted to do?

                      Help others.

                      It’s like what Anthony Bourdain said “What do you do after all your dreams have come true?”

                      He killed himself, but I help others

                      It’s rewarding.

                      Try it.

          2. Ben is a dog walker lackey. When he wants lunch he goes to the Malibu Kitchen and competes with the dogs of the rich and famous for the scraps thrown on the floor.

            1. Usually breakfast.

              Work until my laptop battery dies, then ride home.

              The owner used to kick me out but he broke his hip so now I can stay as long as i want.

              The people I’ve talked to at Malibu Kitchen include Dr. Melfi, the director of Joker and Hangover, Mick the Masochist, Million Dollar Baby, retired talk show host with a lot of cars, guy who wrote the Soup Nazi Episode, Mr. Blonde, owner of Authentic, OJ’s driver.

              Pretty interesting place.

            2. Yes, basically. …..Ben will spin it, though, because it’s how he still manages to sleep at night, after a failed life.

              – – – To Ben, the homeless, mentally-ill, criminal vagrant who burned down the Fox Christmas tree in Manhattan (and whose own mother calls him a ‘dangerous loon who should be locked up in perpetuity’) …is probably just, eg: a ‘freedom-loving arborist with a passion for nature, who gets to spend his life traveling to some of the most exciting cities in the world, while rubbing elbows with national journalists & famous peeps and sites’! 🤣🤣🤣

              1. Well said! They hate it when you pull back the curtain and will spin it even when you do! Ignore reality and go for their lies is what they always sell.

                1. Nope.

                  Got paid to travel the world and surf for 10 years: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Canada (BC, Yukon, Alberta), Connecticut, Delaware, Fiji, France, Hawaii (Maui, Kauai, Oahu), Idaho, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mexico, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, New Zealand, Norway, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Panama, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Texas, Tonga, United Kingdom (England, Ireland, Wales), Utah, Washington, Wyoming.

                  Wrriten 25 books and one stolen screenplay since then.

                  Flew out to the Indy on the COD and watched John Milius shoot Flight of the Intruder.

                  Had mango juice with the King of Tonga.

                  All kinds of cool stuff.

                  Why live in one place and do some dumb job you hate when you can see the world?

                  I can’t believe the stuff I’ve done.

                  Ain’t complaining at all.

                  Ive been lucky. Very,

                2. Oh how horrible, you both have forced me into self examination.

                  Worse than cannabis. Will I survive?

                  Let’s see, right now I am sitting outside on a cool, clear, post-rainy Malibu evening.

                  This place rules this time of year, which is why Kanye West bought a $57 million house down the street.

                  This is the house where Steely Dan wrote Deacon Blues, if you go back that far.

                  Or you even know who Steely Dan are.

                  Football starts at 5:20 but until then I am:

                  1. Helping my friend Karen G draft a proposal for a solar-powered shuttle bus and EV charging station on the North Shore of Oahu – because Biden has set aside a pot of money for Green New Deal projects that could pay for all of it.

                  2. Helping Mia the Berber Moroccan apply to Harvard.

                  3. Helping Uli from Kazakhstan edit a short story about drama in relationships.

                  4. Helping the only surfer girl in Iran get promotion and maybe a sponsor.

                  5. Helping my friend Athena write and design a website for her real estate business in Las Vegas – she seems to like it there and I learned a lot about the difference in taxes and cost of living between Nevada and California.

                  6. Arguing with a couple of anonymous prole drips on

                  7. Not working on the delayed Malibu history book I’m working on with the husband and son of Daphne from Frasier.

                  8. Hoping to finish the book for Nachum Shifren, the Surfing Rabbi. It’s taking forever. Amazon Seller Central is a pain in the butt.

                  9. Trying to get into my PODS to gather all my historic surfing and Hawaiian movies for E and E from the French surfing archive.

                  10. Waiting for D Olan – the Surfing Lawyer – to send his book back for another edit pass.

                  11. Did I mention the anonymous drips on I believe I did.

                  12. Listening to Led Zeppelin on SONOS.

                  13,. Editing a pitch for a book about shark attacks – kind of based on the 1946 book Hiroshima. I have interviewed like a dozen shark attack victims and this book will compare the experience of six of them, between 1991 and now, from Malibu to Salmon Creek, above Bodega Bay.

                  This is the latest one. This is what inspired the book:

                  14. Watching TSLA dip under $1000. Oh well, it will be back. Today was supposed to be December 9 split day, but it didn’t happen.

                  Yeah you’re right.

                  Life sucks.

                  I blew it.

                  Boring boring boring.

                  Im just another boring drip on jonathanturley,org


                  1. Ben says: “Im just another boring drip on jonathanturley,org”


                    Minor editing recommended. You should say: “I’m Ben Marcus, THE boring drip on

                    1. That was facetiousness.

                      Life ain’t boring at all.

                      Where I live is too expensive for dumb proles and they wouldn’t be comfortable here so I have to go online to see how the proles think.

                      It’s scary.

                      These are the dingalings who elected Trump.

                      That’s the Silver Lining in Covid – it swept Trump from office and we don’t have to listen to his nonsense anymore.

                    2. I’ve never even seen meth but I’ve seen the effects from WIKIPEDIA to Santa Cruz.

                      A nasty drug and what I consider part of the ALV.

                      The Acceptable Level of Vulgarity.

                      As a Boomer, things like tattoos and meth were low class, white trash occupations.

                      Now they’re the norm.

                      But that’s just more evidence- along with the support of Trump -of how stupid America has become.

                      Idiocracy is here.

                      I haven’t touched drugs since tge80s.

                      Cannabis is WAY too strong these days.

                    3. And you’re a clueless prole who voted for Trump and bet on the Yankees and sold Bitcoin and missed out on the Capitol Riot because you drove all the way to Seattle before you figured it out.


                  2. Nobody babbles this long on a forum like this about themselves unless they are absolutely DESPERATE to paint over massive self inadequacies and desperately want others to think they are somebody.. Nibody else would put in the time.

    2. Dennis, this isn’t a vote on a bill or a new law or a nominee, it is a “vote” to allow one side to invite a speaker to their campus. Not just a speaker but an ex VP, a man who made news, a man who fought what many think is the good fight and a man who has never done anything untoward in his long public life. This is not democracy, it is the hecklers veto and you either know it or you are to stupid to know it.

      1. A patsy who stood idly by as a vulgar pyssy grabber made a mockery of the presidency and democracy under a horrid joke of a president voted in by the dumbest 50% of America.

        A guy who stayed loyal even after the president incited a riot to kill him.

        He has nothing Stanford wants and everything Stanford doesn’t want.

        He gets $100,000 per speech.

        That’s why he wants to talk to Stanford.

        That’s it.

        Cash from chaos.

    3. It was 7 for to 1 against with 7 abstaining. In a democratic process the funds would have been approved

  6. Seth Rogen and Sarah Silverman are accomplices to the Christmas tree arson at FOX.

      1. “Whoever did that . . .”

        Pretty sure that advocating arson violates the blog’s civility rules.

        1. No I meant they should have had a weenie roast.

          I would never advocate arson for Fox News.

          Fox is my link to the outside world.

          I watch Fox all day, every day and believe everything they tell me.


          Pence 2024!!!

          Let’s Go Brandon!!!!

  7. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, Ben Franklin, James Monroe, Patrick Henry, John Jay, George Mason et al. called on Mike Pence to save the nation.

    Pence failed them.

    Pence failed America.

    Mike Pence – Benedict Arnold 2.0

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