Former Federal Judge Michael Luttig Offers To Pay For Pence Speech After Students Block Funding

We recently discussed the move by Stanford student representatives to block funding for a speech by former Vice President Michael Pence. The denial of $6000 in funding was an act of raw viewpoint discrimination by the students and is currently being appealed. Now, however, former United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit Judge Michael Luttig has written to Stanford to offer to pay the money to allow faculty and students to hear from Vice President Pence.

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.

Judge Luttig is a graduate of the University of Virginia and clerked for Justice Antonin Scalia when he was still on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. He was also a close associate of Chief Justice Warren Burger. He was an Assistant Attorney General in the administration of George H.W. Bush and assisted Justices David Souter and Clarence Thomas in their confirmation hearings. He left the court to become General Counsel and Senior Vice President to Boeing Company. His son attended Stanford.

The need for outsiders to pony up $6000 to fund a visit of a former Vice President to Stanford should be a disgrace for every faculty member, administrator, student, and the alumni at that school. The actions of the Stanford students show again that we have a rising generation of censors who have been told that barring free speech is a form of free speech. It is an insult to the value of free speech.

Many liberals have sought to deflect from their support of censorship by insisting that private companies and schools are not required to support free speech under the First Amendment. In recent years, many academics have sought to justify censorship on the Internet with an analogous argument. They argue that private companies like Twitter are not subject to the First Amendment, which only applies to the government. It is an obvious but largely irrelevant argument. Those of us who have denounced the rising censorship on social media and on campuses are defending free speech as a human right. The First Amendment is not synonymous with broader values of free speech.

Luttig’s offer is generous but Stanford has an endowment of $37.8 billion. It can afford $6000. What it cannot afford is to enable such censorship and viewpoint discrimination as an institution of higher learning. Hopefully, Luttig’s offer will trigger some sense of institutional self-reflection on the rising intolerance at Stanford.

Here is the letter:

To the Stanford Review and the Stanford Republicans:

My son, John Luttig, is a former Member of the Stanford Review and of the Undergraduate Senate, who now works at Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund.

I am in New York at the moment and just read that the Stanford Undergraduate Senate declined to fund Vice President Pence’s planned visit to the campus in February.

If the Constitutional Council also declines to fund the Vice President’s visit to the Stanford University campus, I would be honored to fund his visit.

Please keep me apprised of the actions of the Constitutional Council.

J. Michael Luttig

196 thoughts on “Former Federal Judge Michael Luttig Offers To Pay For Pence Speech After Students Block Funding”

  1. The ultimate culmination and point and purpose of a sexual reproduction and fetuses are children and offspring.

    1. So the sole purpose of sex is reproduction?

      How very Medieval of you.

      If your reply is: No. I’m focusing on the “purpose of sexual *reproduction*,” then your comment is an inane tautology. (Emphasis added.)

  2. Maybe someday Trevor Noah will be the victim of a crime such as arson, then that little a-hole won’t think it’s so funny.

    1. Trevor Noah grew up a victim of poverty, apartheid and racism.

      And probably arson.

      If he’s laughing now, he has every reason.

      Funny how it’s South Africans who come to America and do well: Musk, Trevor Noah.

  3. The people who have a problem with what say are the ones who should be punished, not you for saying it.

  4. Taliban and probably a lot of civilians just want Americans OUT.

    It’s an insult to have Anericans there showing them how to run their country.

    Yes we think it’s screwed up and dysfunctional but it’s their country.

  5. Karen S says:

    “There are individuals, such as Professor Turley, who argue for free speech, but they appear to be unheeded.”

    People are free to speak, and people are free to discriminate against lies, liars, haters and idiots. David Duke and Farrakhan can speak only to those willing to listen. People are free to refuse to listen and tell such people to take a hike and speak to people who want to listen to their hate and lies.

    That’s freedom for all.

    1. The dictators of nations that would not allow free speech used exactly the same reasoning as Ben and Jeff Silberman when they declared speech that they did not accept to be forbidden. They first declared that their opposition had other outlets and then they silenced the voice of their opposition by shutting the other outlets down.We have had congressmen calling for limiting speech on social media for those who do not agree with their point of view. They are calling for the limiting of speech on media outlets such as Breitbart and Fox. Ben tells us on the one hand that he is for free speech and then on the other hand he says that it is ok to limit speech. Ben and Jeff, I hear that the dictators of the world are looking for new shoe shine boys. You should apply due to your unquestionable qualfications. You’ll be making those rags pop.

      1. You can say anything you want, whenever you want, wherever you want.

        It is of little consequence to the world.

        Your opinion and $5 buys a cup of coffee at Starbucks.

        But others have the right to tell you how full of beans you are.

        Speech has never been freer than it is right now.


        Because of the internet, which reveals just how far off so many people are.

        Feel free to speak.

      2. P.S. There hasn’t been a president who twisted the truth or tried to limit speech as much as PussyGrabber: No presidential press conferences, barring certain reporters, lying about Election Fraud and 10,000 other things.

        So it’s nice that he was barred from Facebook and Twitter.

        They have rules. He broke them.

        Now he’s using a new APP called AWSHADAPP.

      3. Thinkitthrough,

        Just tell me this: Is Fox News censoring Giuliani and Sidney Powell by refusing to allow them ANY airtime to broadcast on its network? Fox will no longer allow them to speak freely about the election being stolen. Their speech is forbidden on Fox; they can appear on Newsmax and One America Network.

        Is Fox right or wrong?

        You won’t answer.

        1. Giuliani is a once-great now old, sad and probably borderline senile nutcase.

          The dude who bravely confronted the mob and cleaned up New York is now shilling for Trump and babbling about Election Fraud.

          Even Fox knows he’s no bueno.


  6. Academia has a growing reputation for intolerance, censorship, and bigotry, as well as demonstrable racial discrimination against Asian applicants.

    There are individuals, such as Professor Turley, who argue for free speech, but they appear to be unheeded.

  7. Many words are used in the expression of opinions here. The heart of the matter is that some people want to shut up people who they do not agree with. Can we look to history to see nations where the populace could not speak their minds? There are those writing here who align themselves with dictators of the past who crushed all dissent beneath their heels. Some writers here are no different than the censors of the past who were responsible for the death of millions. Luckily, at least for now they don’t have the power of there heroes. In our nation it is essential that we continue to allow them to write but we should remain watchful for their obsession with controlling of their opposition.

    1. Speech has never ever been freer than it is now, in the history of the world.

      There are endless avenues for people to speak freely – Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, personal websites, etc etc.

      And that is good as it opens up everything to public debate, and that’s how people learn.

      Zuckerberg would probably love to say “F@$ it” and make Facebook an open, unregulated, uncensored forum – short of child porn and other unacceptables.

      That’s what it should be.

      Facebook and Twitter stifled Trump, but the willingly broke their rules, thinking he could get away with anything.

      i’m sure Facebook and Twitter were dying to shut him up, and they gave him just cause.

      But there are dozens of other channels for Trump to express himself- Breitbart to Fox.

      Speech has never been freer than it is now.

  8. Don’t be ridiculous. Of course I can’t give you a name at this time. But I volunteer for a non profit called Exodus World Services. We help refugees resettle in the Chicago area.I cannot give you names for security reasons. We are not even allowed to take pictures with the new arrivals. I guess you are just going to have to take my word and that of the Biden state department. Are you saying that no Americans who wanted to leave are still not stranded there?

  9. Thank you. Exactly.

    The Taliban just wanted outsiders OUT and cooperated to enable that

    Those who got left behind, stayed behind but the anti-Bidenistas twost and squawk they were abandoned.

    They weren’t.

    Afghanistan us in deep kimchi right now.

    Taliban are having fun running a country with no money.

    Norway is helping but only through aid associations.

    1. Just so we are straight. Every American who wanted to get out is no longer there? Your own statement doesn’t make sense. Left behind is not the same as stayed behind. One is a willful act. The other is a result of something out of an individual’s control. If I stayed behind after my grade school basketball game that is not the same as my parents leaving me behind.

  10. Turley seems to forget that the issue with the judge giving the students the $6,000 is that the money has to come from on campus activities. Not from outside sources.

    The reason why the Republican student group is seeking the grant is because it qualifies as an on campus source. BUT, it’s not limited to just the grant. They can also fundraise the money through on campus activities and meet the requirement and pence can have his speech.

    It’s not the school that is denying pence to speak. It’s the student government following its own policies. Which are clearly spelled out in the linked articles from the school in Turley’s column.

    Turley is literally engaging in the “age of rage” mentality he complains about. Turley’s hypocrisy is in full display here.

    It’s interesting that he never mentions the events going on with the Jan 6 investigation. Mark meadows Turned over a power point presentation that is damaging to trump and his republican lackeys. They were planning on overturning the election through a load of lies.

      1. Mespo, the reason why they sought the grant is because the rules stipulate that at least 50% of the funds must come from on campus sources. The grant was one on campus source. Fundraising on campus thru activities they setup is another.

        But if the judge ponied up the money it means they will be able to have pence speak. Their only obstacle was funding. They believed they were entitled to an approval. That assumption was wrong.

    1. So Svelaz, what do YOU THINK of campus Democrats refusing the other side from having a former VICE PRESIDENT speak on campus? The same school that spent student money to hear Ibram Kendi will now ban a former VICE-PRESIDENT and a man that fought Trump regarding the election. Of course contrarians like Svelaz will never actually address the issue at hand.

      1. Spiro Agnew was a FORMER VICE PRESIDENT.

        Should Stanford build statues to him?


        He was a crook.

        Pence was a patsy who stood like Silent Bob as Trump trashed truth, justice and the American way while huffing Lysol like Dennis Hopper in Blue Velvet

        Pence didn’t fight Trump. He just did his job.

        Whoop de do.

        Even after Trump tried to execute him.

        Why isn’t Trump in prison? Or exile?

        Shacking up with that Syrian dentist dyde?

        1. Ben, just a small observation. On this particular thread of Turley’s blog , as of 3:58 PM of the 11th, there have been 154 comments. 64 of them were yours. That is 41.56%. As I am having surgery on Thursday I do not have the time to count the total words. But the eye test puts you easily over 50 %. For a guy that has stated many times that he finds Turley and many posters on HIS BLOG to be detestable, I find that strange. I don’t know if Lawrence Tribe has a blog, but if he did I would not validate it by wasting my time on a reprehensible individual’s blog. Maybe a good New Year’s resolution would be to get yourself some professional psychiatric help.
          Narcissism anyone?

          1. … I am having surgery on Thursday… — Paul

            Good luck and I hope everything goes well.

          2. Naw I’ve just learned you can learn a lot arguing with nattering nabobs of negativism who don’t know nothing.

            If they don’t have their facts straight, I must, and i do.

            For example, it was arguing with ning nongs that inspired me to figure out that the population of California has increased a thousand people a day every day since 1960.

            That fact right there explains why California has infrastructure problems – the power grid and water supply can’t keep up.

          3. I’ve actually met Ben in person and found him to be a charming and erudite companion.

            I don’t know what a brother has to do to get banned around here, but Breitbart woulda told me to shove off long ago.

            Perhaps I am making sense in a sea of BS?


      2. Hullbobby,

        “ So Svelaz, what do YOU THINK of campus Democrats refusing the other side from having a former VICE PRESIDENT speak on campus?”

        What makes you think they were all Democrats? They are a duly elected student government and if a majority chose not to allow it it is well within their prerogative as a student government. Just as a republican majority would deny a request of a Democratic minority.

        Secondly, they were not denying the former Vice President the opportunity to speak. They were denying a FUNDING request. There were security concerns and how to manage COVID protocols with such a large event.

        The Republican student group is just throwing a fit and falsely claiming they are being denied just because they are republicans.

        Turley is being massively disingenuous here. You should read they the linked articles in the column to get the whole picture. Turley obviously isn’t being honest here.

        1. When Turley is disingenuous and not telling the whole story, I call it the “Bill Barr syndrome” Tell only what their followers want to know, nothing more.

        2. Svelaz, there was demonstrable viewpoint discrimination, as far Left speakers were approved, with security. The group that had invited VP Pence were Republicans.

          Since the rules state that >=50% of security funding must be approved by campus representatives, then, yes, this denied the right to speak.

          Bias in favor of Democrats has been well documented in universities. Yet you deny the facts. That’s political poisoning.

          1. Karen,

            Left leaning speakers don’t require the level of security and organization considerations of a former VP with a secret service detail and a much larger crowd than the other speakers.

            There is no “viewpoint discrimination” going on. This is entirely a dispute on financial reasons.

            The Republican student group. Believed they were entitled to the approval when they stated that the student government was “constitutionally obligated” to approve the grant they sought. That was not true. The student body CAN vote to deny the request and there is an appeal process the republicans students can use. They are just throwing a fit because they didn’t get what they wanted and accused the school and student government of refusing their request because they are republican.

            It was a duly elected student government who made the decision. Not the school as Turley claims.

Comments are closed.