Stanford’s DEI Dean Doubles Down on Duncan Controversy

We have been following the controversy at Stanford Law School in the aftermath of a disgraceful cancellation of remarks by federal appellate judge Stuart Kyle Duncan. The center of this controversy was Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) dean Tirien Steinbach, who seemingly joined the mob in denouncing the judge for his views. She was later publicly reprimanded by Law School Dean Jenny Martinez, who apologized to Judge Duncan and put Steinbach on leave. Now, Steinbach has publicly responded and appears to be doubling down on her actions in a Wall Street Journal opinion column.

First a short recap of how we got here.

The Stanford Federalist Society invited Judge Duncan of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to speak on campus. However, liberal students, including members from the National Lawyer’s Guild, decided that allowing a conservative judge to speak on campus is intolerable and set about to “deplatform” him by shouting him down.

In this event, Duncan was planning to speak on the topic:  “The Fifth Circuit in Conversation with the Supreme Court: Covid, Guns, and Twitter.” A video shows that the students prevented Duncan from speaking from the very beginning. Many called him a racist while others hurled insults like one yelling “We hope your daughters get raped.”

Duncan was unable to continue and asked for an administrator to assist him.

Dean Steinbach then took the stage and criticized the judge for seeking to be heard despite such objections.

Steinbach explained “I had to write something down because I am so uncomfortable up here. And I don’t say that for sympathy, I just say that I am deeply, deeply uncomfortable.” While reaffirming her belief in free speech and insisting that the judge should not be cancelled, she proceeded to attack the judge for the content of his views.

Steinbach declared “It’s uncomfortable to say that for many people here, you’re work has caused harm.” After a perfunctory nod to free speech, Steinbach proceeded to eviscerate it. She continued “again I still ask, is the juice worth the squeeze?” Is it worth the pain that this causes, the division that this causes? Do you have something so incredibly important to say about Twitter and guns and Covid that that is worth this impact on the division of these people.”

Dean Martinez later apologized and then released a letter with Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne that reaffirmed the commitment to free speech, but did not commit to holding the students accountable for their disruption. (The students with the National Lawyer’s Guild later complained about their names being mentioned in an article despite a campaign to name and shame conservative students).

Dean Martinez then issued another letter with a strong defense of free speech and declared that all students (including the victims of the disruption) would be required to attend a free speech appreciation session. However, she declined any action against the students responsible for the disruption. That is a familiar pattern at universities.

That brings us to Steinbach’s column. The Wall Street Journal was correct in running her account and it contains an important perspective to consider, even for some of us who were highly critical of Steinbach’s remarks.

First, Dean Steinbach rightfully points out that she tried to get the students to allow the event to proceed. At one point, she suggested that students walk out in protest over Judge Duncan’s views. She also insists that she opposed efforts to cancel the event before it was held and continues to oppose such attempts to limit speech. She reaffirms the classical liberal view that the solution to bad speech is good speech, not less speech. That is all to her credit.

However, the column has elements that are, frankly, less compelling or commendable.

Steinbach appears to be responding to this admonishment by Martinez:

In this instance, however, the failure by administrators in the room to timely administer clear and specific warnings and instead to send conflicting signals about whether what was happening was acceptable or not (and indeed at one point to seemingly endorse the disruptions that had occurred up to that point by saying “I look out and say I’m glad this is going on here”) is part of what created the problem in the room and renders disciplinary sanction in these particular circumstances problematic.

Steinbach insists that she was simply using her training at “deescalation” and that she was asked to attend the event by the Federalist Society for that reason:

I stepped up to the podium to deploy the de-escalation techniques in which I have been trained, which include getting the parties to look past conflict and see each other as people. My intention wasn’t to confront Judge Duncan or the protesters but to give voice to the students so that they could stop shouting and engage in respectful dialogue. I wanted Judge Duncan to understand why some students were protesting his presence on campus and for the students to understand why it was important that the judge be not only allowed but welcomed to speak.

The problem with the column, in my view, is two-fold.

First, in her remarks, Steinbach goes out of the way to show her agreement with the mob and indicates that she knew that they were going to stop the event. She soft pedals the attacks on Duncan and seems to blame both sides. She does not mention how the students prevented him from speaking, yelled about his being a racist, or called for the rape of his daughters. Instead, she describes how  “a verbal sparring match began to take place between the judge and the protesters. By the time Judge Duncan asked for an administrator to intervene, tempers in the room were heated on both sides.” That sounds a lot like blaming the victim. If the mob had not prevented the judge from speaking, there would have been “sparring” before the event was opened up for questions.

She is not alone in such spins. Some like Slate’s Mark Stern suggested that Judge Duncan manufactured the controversy. Democratic members like Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-MI) mocked Duncan as a “fragile flower.” Others at sites like Above the Law insisted, again, that silencing people like Judge Duncan is free speech.  Senior Editor Joe Patrice rejected the effort to “recast ‘free speech’ as the right of a powerful person to speak at the silent and unprivileged.” (In this case, “the silent and unprivileged” are Stanford students at an elite law school, who were invited to ask questions but asked not to prevent others from hearing from Judge Duncan).

Second, Steinbach still chastises Duncan for his divisive viewpoints and clearly blames him in part for the controversy by refusing to yield to the sensibilities of the students — presumably by remaining silent.

At one point during the event, I asked Judge Duncan, “Is the juice worth the squeeze?” I was referring to the responsibility that comes with freedom of speech: to consider not only the benefit of our words but also the consequences. It isn’t a rhetorical question. I believe that we would be better served by leaders who ask themselves, “Is the juice (what we are doing) worth the squeeze (the intended and unintended consequences and costs)?”

Steinbach appears utterly clueless about why this question is so offensive to free speech values. She continues to intentionally obscure her obvious desire for speakers like Duncan to curtail their speech by stating that we would “be better served” by speakers asking if their speech is worth “the intended and unintended consequences and costs.”

Avoiding “the squeeze” means being silent on points that have such consequences. Thus, to avoid angering these radical students, Duncan is expected to be silent on certain points or, in this case, any points that he might want to share. It is an invitation for self-censorship that would apply to any conservative jurist or speaker. While supporting free speech, Steinbach is condemning the exercise of speech when it could cause “pain” and “division.” Of course, such pain and division would not arise with a liberal jurist espousing the opposite viewpoints. Accordingly, liberal jurists would be free to speak without the sense of culpability while conservatives are expected to remain silent.

In the end, Steinbach did not “defuse” the situation but fueled the rage with her comments. To this day, she cannot understand why Duncan would persist in speaking when some take such great offense at his views. She asks “Is there a way that we can stop blaming and start to talk and listen to each other?” Yet, her answer appears to be for speakers like Duncan to recognize that their views are simply too hurtful for some and should not be voiced to avoid “the squeeze” of free speech.

The result is the type of doublespeak that is common on our campuses. Steinbach claims fealty to free speech while denouncing its exercise. She laments “how polarized our society has become,” but added to that polarization by expressing her own concerns over the “harm” that Duncan’s speech has brought for many at the school. She asked “how do we listen and talk to each other as people” while maintaining that, by stating his jurisprudential views, Duncan might not be worth the harm (or “squeeze”) to others.

Anti-free speech advocates often try to portray the exercise of free speech as a complex challenge. It is not. The Duncan controversy shows how the issue is stark and simple. Judge Duncan had a right to speak and others had a right to hear him. Those who disagree with him had a right to protest outside of the event and to ask tough questions inside the event. The only thing that they could not do is disrupt the event itself; to prevent others from hearing from Judge Duncan.

The solution is also stark and simple, though it has, once again, been ignored by an administration. Students who cancel events or classes on campus are taking a position that is not just antithetical to principles of free speech but of higher education. They should be suspended or, in extreme or repeated cases, expelled. Otherwise, the law school is not achieving any greater clarity than this column. It is professing an absolute commitment to free speech while declining to enforce that commitment.

108 thoughts on “Stanford’s DEI Dean Doubles Down on Duncan Controversy”

  1. So the Judge created the situation so he got what was coming to him. Sounds just like the if she had it coming because she wore a short skirt argument to me. It was his fault because he went to a place where he had been requested to speak and she went to a bar. What do they think would happen?

  2. So this university administrator is a person with a law degree who is a trained “de-escalater” – rather than a lawyer. What a waste of a law degree! what a waste of a position in a law school to have “DEI” with a title. While earning a JD in 1969 and while working in the real world thereafter for 30 years, I (and so many others like me) recognize that too many law school enrollees are not there to be able to earn a good living as attorneys, but to be activists in their lefty anti-USA crusades – while thumbing their noses at the USA constitution and laws.

  3. Jonathan: The Q is why Judge Duncan’s cancelled speech has stirred so much controversy among conservatives and why you have devoted so much column space to it? Here’s my take.

    It is interesting that last week there was a Federalist Society National Student Symposium in Austin, Texas. The button down law students heard from speakers who Q the wisdom of deferring to democratic majorities as a matter of principle. Eugene Meyer, the CEO of the FS, spoke about FS moving away from it’s long held position of “judicial restraint” in favor of a more activist courts willing the defy majority opinion. Meyer cited the Dobbs opinion that went against the polls that showed the vast majority of Americans support the right to an abortion. Some in the audience endorsed MTG’s call for a “national divorce” and said this “country is not a democracy but a republic”–meaning a minority of states should be able to dictate national policy–like happened during slavery. Other panelists discussed the pending case before the SC–Moore v. Harper, a case out of North Carolina that would empower state legislatures to ignore the popular vote in national elections. It’s called the “independent state legislature” theory that posits that state legislatures should have the power to ignore democratic voting majorities. This is the theory John Eastman pushed on Donald Trump to try to get certain states to appoint “independent” slates of electors in the 2020 election. In other words, minority over majority rule. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott also spoke at the Austin Symposium. He called for young conservative lawyers to fight against “the social justice warriors and anti-constitutionalists”. Abbott and other speakers want conservative students and lawyers to be more confrontational.

    How does all this apply to the controversy at Stanford law? The FS wanted a confrontation over Judge Duncan’s speech. They knew it would provoke vocal opposition from the majority of the law students. So they pushed the envelope–taking up the clarion call from speakers at the Austin Symposium and the new more confrontational approach of the FS. They actually believe minority rule is preferable to majority rule by the “mob”.

    And you apparently agree with the FS. You are still unhappy that Stanford has yet to suspend or expel the protesters. But what about the 1st Amendments rights of the protesters? Should their “free speech rights” be ignored? I guess so because you apparently endorse the idea that minority rule is preferable to the rule of the “mob”. That’s consistent with your position that universities should be forced to hire more conservative faculty and you endorsed the Dobbs decision–a minority opinion opposed by a majority of Americans. Majority rule is no longer important for conservatives. It’s not important to Donald Trump either. He tried to violently overthrow the 2020 election to impose minority rule. Unfortunately, you are in good company with the FS and the Trumpster.

    1. So in a long rant about the Federalist society – What is your Point ?

      I do not know the specific debat in the TX federalist society – but Judicial Restraint is Borkean originalist nonsense.

      Actual judicial activism is the correct originalist position – But only Specific Activism.
      That activism that protects the rights of individuals FROM Government.

      I would note Randy Barnet has been arguing that for about two decades – it is NOT new.
      It is called the presumption of liberty.

      While you Rant about Dobbs, you seem to forget that Both Gorsuch and Kavanaugh authored opinions that advanced individual rights – such as those of Gay and Trans people. Are you opposed to those decisions ? Those were “judicial activism” and they are also rooted in the Barnet/Federalist “presumption of liberty”

      It is disturbing that those of you on the left know so little about what you are talking about – especially when you try to talk about various groups on the right.

      Why are some upset about what happened with Judge Duncan ?
      What kind of an idiot are you ?

      We have just gone through an excellent lesson regarding the harms of censorship – with Covid.

      Let me try to make that clear to you.
      Lots of people died accross the world from Covid. It is now, and was obvious even at the start that all those deaths were inevitable
      Absent a vaccine that actually was effective – that would be 97%+ effective with a half life over ateast 4-5 years – something we never came close to,
      Nothing we did was going to stop Covid.

      If you realize that and you have any remaining brain cells then you understand that what we needed to do, was the OPPOSITE of what we did.
      We needed to NOT shut everything down. We needed to keep our economy running. we needed to keep out schools open.

      We needed to do everything possible to NOT F#$K up the rest of our lives while Covid roared through them.

      Everything that is occuring NOW – Inflation. lost education – which will harm us for decades, rising violence, drug use, suicides, bank failures rising interest rates,
      nearly every problem we are experiencing NOW is a direct consequence of our WARPED priorities responding to Covid.

      It should be crystal clear to anyone with half a functioning brain that the Censorship of Covid information resulted in Bad choices that has caused – in the US and accross the world the mess we are currently in.

      We had 2.5% growth for 3 years under Trump with low inflation. The income of the working class rose 4500 in 3 years.

      Despite Covid there is no reason in the world that could not have continued right through to today.
      There was no reason for inflation – We inflicted that on ourselves. There is no reason for bank failures, high interest rates, declining standard of living.
      Those as well as nearly every bad thing that has happened since 2020 is the direct consequence of our bad policies and those bad policies are atleast partly caused by Censoring the dissent.

      So yes we should be upset about siliencing Judge Duncan – as we should be upset about silencing anyone.

      Those protesting Duncan were free to do so in the auditorium and orderly. Silently once Duncan started his speech.
      I would defend their right to do so as much as Duncan’s right to speek.
      Or outside loudly if they chose – and again I would defend their right to protest outside as much as Duncan’s right to speak.
      They are also free to bring in their own speakers

      What neither they nor the university are free to do is SILENCE anyone.

      Which is exactly what Steinbech and the protestors in the auditorium tried to do.
      That is wrong, it is a violation of Stanfords speech code – which is a binding contract with EACH student,.
      And is likely a violation of the law and constitution.

      So yes, people are upset.

      The real question is Why aren’t you ?

      I have defended the free speech rights of Nazi’s the KKK and Adult Book Stores – Where were you ?
      Why do you think I would not defend the free speech rights of a federal judge ?

      Possibly the single most significant distinguishing factor separating the US from the rest of the world, from the rest of the west is our strong porotection of Free speech.

      It is a major reason why – regardless of all our historic problems – that those of you on the left fixate about – this country is Great, it is exceptional.
      It is why there is no where else in the world where even 100M people have our standard of living.
      It is why Nowhere else in the world manages to take in 2-3M immigrants legal and illegal and Still have a significantly rising standard of living.

      Myriads of economic studies have found that the rate of rise in standard of living is proportional to the measure of freedom in that country.

      So YES Free speech matters.

    2. Of course courts should defy majorities when individual rights are in question.

      Why is that hard for you to understand ?

      The entire concept of Rights is something that the majority CAN NOT infringe on.

      Everytime you are saying something is a right, you are saying that the courts and government are obligated to protect that from the wishes of the majority.

      That is what right means.

    3. Depoending on how you ask the question you get different answers on abortion.

      The super majority position is that of Bill Clinton in 1992 – Safe, Legal and RARE.

      Super majorities would bar abortion in the 3rd trimester for all be very exceptional circumstances.

      Majorities would ban all abortions after 20 weeks – except rare circumstances.

      If we had national abortion law that Conformed with the will of the majority it would be very close to TX SB8 – with nearly all abortion after the 15th week banned.

      It appears likely that thought the political effect of Dobbs was actually quite small, that it was likely sufficient to turn the Red Tidal wave into a red trickle.

      Republicans won the popular vote by several million but lost a very very large number of house and senate races by less than 1% of the vote.
      A very small swing in the vote would have resulted in a red tidal wave that was predicted.

      Dobbs is now the law of the land, and it will be clear by 2024 that it has NOT resulted in the end of the world.
      We are rapidly adapting to the post Dobb’s world – which is truthfully indistinguishable from the pre dobbs world.

      Conservatives have succeeded in broader abortion restrictions in some states. While lost abortion fights in ohers.

      While that is not likely what conservatives hoped for.
      It is absolutely what the Supreme court intended.
      The court has successfully gotten rid of an isxue that has politicized and polarized the court for decades.
      Even Ruth Bader Ginsberg though Rowe was wrongly decided.
      Not because she opposes abortions, but because this needs worked out closer to the people.
      It is NOT an issue that SCOTUS should decide for all of us.

    4. There is not going to be a national divorce. That said – this nation is a republic.
      That does NOT mean the minority gets to dictate to the majority.

      It means the Majority can not dictate to the minority.

      That is precisely what Rights means – and issue that you clearly do not understand at all.

      Trans people are 0.03% of the population – and while MTF trans should be absolutely barred from SOME things that are reserved to Women – such as sports and girls locker rooms. People who claim to be Trans or people who claim to be dolphins are entitled to exactly the same rights no more no less as the rest of us.

      The fact that Trans people do not even make up 1/3 of 1% of the country does not mean that their have different rights from the rest of us.
      They have equal rights to all PEOPLE.

      The same is true of gays, hispanics, blacks, muslims, the autistic.

      The majority does NOT have the right to infringe on the minority.

      All minorities, blacks, Hispanics, trans, gay, baptist, muslim. All have the same rights as every other person.

      And those Rights are NOT dictated by the majority.

      This nation is NOT a democracy. It has never been one. There is no actual democracy that has ever not imploded, and become abusive.

      Democracy is a well know failed form of government to anyone with actual knowledge of history.

      There is no current nation in the world that would do more than pretend to be a democracy – democracy DOE NOT WORK.

      Democracy does not work, it does not scale, it does not protect rights, and it always becomes tyranical.

      We are not getting a national divorce.

      But We ARE one way or another ending the tyranny of those who keep trying to impose their will by force on the minority – or frequently even the majority of people.

      Hopefully that fight will be won at the ballot box, and/or in the courts. But if not it will eventually be won by other means – possibly force.

      “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government”

      We WILL restore the “presumption of liberty” – One Way or the other.

      You can back down peacefully now. And grasp that political power – whether achieved by legitimate majorities or not,
      Does not include the power to infringe on the rights of individuals.

      A majority can not eliminate the first amendment.

    5. “Moore v. Harper, a case out of North Carolina that would empower state legislatures to ignore the popular vote in national elections. It’s called the “independent state legislature” theory that posits that state legislatures should have the power to ignore democratic voting majorities. ”

      It is not a theory it is not merely part of both election clauses. But central to the constitutions structure.

      As said REPEATEDLY – which you still do nto get – Not only is the US not a democracy – there is no actually Extant Democracy.
      Democracy does not work.

      It is absolutely guaranteed that in every single government arround the world today and in the future – Government will NOT be determined solly by the will of the majority.

      That is a given – Get over it. The popular vote is OBVIOUSLY not sacred – anywhere.
      When this country was formed – only representatives were elected by popular voted.
      For half our history Senators were appointed by legislatures.

      The constitution Explicitly states that elections are the domain of the state legislatures.

      There is absolutely nothing in the constitution that prohibits State legislatures from deciding who the electors from their states are.

      The ONLY reason any state decided who their electors for president are, is because that state legislature has passed laws governing the way elections are conducted OR because it has passed state constitutional amendments.

      So whether you like it or not it is already ABSOLUTELY True that each state can conduct their presidential elections as they please.
      With the caveat that the constitution ALSO empower congress to make SOME national election laws – there are significant differences between the presidential election clause and that governing the election of federal representatives.

      The question before SCOTUS is NOT as you claim – whether State legislatures can appoint their slate of electors.
      That is a long ago decided issue.

      The question in Moore, is what is the power of Governors and State Courts and State constitutions in federal elections.
      The constitution says PLAINLY that the power to control federal elections resides with STATE LEGISLATURE shared in some instances with congress.

      If you were playing the slightest intention – SCOTUS has absolutely no intention – and no one is arguing that state legislatures should have exclusive power over federal elections. One of the reasons they are not arguing that is because that was NOT true in the founding era.
      What WAS True was that State courts stayed OUT of Federal Elections with few exceptions until very recently.

      There are two areas the Court is wrestling with. The first and least significant is the relationship between the legislature and the governor.
      That area is for the most part only deemed problematic because of the Failure of State Courts to follow their own laws and constitutions.

      38 State in the US – including 5 of the 6 states that is currently a “swing state” has a constitutional provision REQUIRING Secret ballot elections.
      Secret Ballots can not be accomplished EXECEPT by a voter coming to an election office or poll getting a ballot, Voting there in private and giving that ballot to the election officials before leaving. I would further note that the constitution specified that the US has an election DAY, not an election weak, not an election month.
      not an election season.

      What we saw enmasse in 2020 and continuing through today is Democrat controlled state executives and courts disregarding state law and constitution and conducting elections lawlessly. We have in a few months returned U elections to very nearly the same disasterous mess we had in the 19th century that resulted in all those state constitutional amendments in the first place.

      Throughout US History until recently – State Courts stayed out of Federal elections.
      Throughout US History Federal courts have stayed out of the state specific decisions of State courts.

      What is really going on with Moore and ISL is that The Supreme court is trying to determine a framework for this NEW world in which state courts meddle in federal elections and do not follow their own laws or constitution.

      What is near certain to be the outcome of Moore is NOT elections in the exclusive control of State legislatures, but SOME limits on the power of State Courts and some increases int he power of Federal courts.

      The CORE premise of ISL – which you are oblivious to, is that the elections are FEDERAL elections.

      I have no idea what the outcome of Moore witll be – Except that it absolutely will NOT be “state legislatures can do whatever they please”, and it will NOT be – State Supreme Courts are free to violate their own constitutions. in federal elections.

      The Justices all fought over how to address the current problem – but the Universally accepted that there was a problem. Even Judge Jackson opposed the status quo, whether she embraced the position of the likely majority.

      So what is clear – is just like in Dobbs – You do not know what you are talking about.

      And you do not have a clue about what is occuring with Moore or ISL.

      You further do not understand that we do not and never have had the scheme you claim. and that we will neither have what you fear or the abysmal approach you want when this is complete.

      My personal Guess is that SCOTUS will decide Moore such that States – as a WHOLE – legislature, executive, and judiciary are free to establish the Procedural aspects of elections – pretty much exactly as they please – including amending their own constitutions with respect to procedural aspects of elections.
      But that State Courts will no longer be permitted to go beyond procedural matters without subjecting themselves to review by the federal courts.

      To give you an example – if state law or constitution requires secret ballots (or allows mailin voting) – that would not be reviewable by federal courts.
      But if a State constitution had a provision that said something like the state must has free and fair elections – a state court decision that means – mailin ballots are required would be overturned by a federal court. Essentially the state court will be forbidden from creating procedural facets of federal elections outside those in existing law or constitution.

      As I recall Moore is fundimentally about redistricting – though the matter the court is considering goes beyond redistricting.

      The redistricting matter has been solved already – the voters changed the state supreme court and the redistricting plan that was rejected has now been approved.

      Personally I do not give a schiff about redistricting. SCOTUS is only back in redistricting because State courts did not take the advice of SCOTUS to federal courts when it decided that this was a “political” rather than a constitutional or legal issue and the courts did not belong in it. Not fedral courts – not state courts
      not in red states not in blue states. There is no objectively correct way to redistrict. There is no constitutionally correct way.
      There is no politically corrupt way that is not very dangerous to the party engaged in the political corruption.
      The greater partisan advantage you seek from redistricting the more likely your party will be wiped out by a small shift in the electorate in a wave election.

      Any party that controls a majority of seats in a state that wishes to continue to control that majorty risks losing that majority exponentially proportionate to the extent it tries to gerrymander a larger majority

      Regardless in Moore the state supreme court failed to follow state law and state constitution with respect to a matter that effects federal elections.
      The very fact that SCOTUS has chosen to hear Moore alone means that SCOTUS is already saying that was misconduct by state supreme courts that the federal courts are no longer barred from reviewing.

      Contra your claim – what will result is not some massive change to elections. The change is actually recent – with greater state meddling in Federal elections, and the claim that because that meddling is driven by the State Supreme courts nebulous misreading of the state constitution that federal judicial review is barred.
      That premise is already dead. The state courts did not do this until recently. THAT is the sea change – not Moore.

    6. Eastman did not posit a theory. He followed the constitution.

      Without Scoutus making any decision at all on Moore, it is currentlyacceptable under the federal constitution for a state legislature to select the electors it sends to Congress to be certified.

      Constitutionally that is not only allowed – but Congress would be required to accept them. Though there is ZERO chance that no matter what Congress did, SCOTUS would intervene. Another CORRECT position by Eastman (previously advocated by Tribe) and something that occured in the 19th century is that
      Just as a legislature can send its own electors. Congress can actually accept or reject whatever electors it pleases.

      This is not some bizarre theory – it has HAPPENED, and it has been tried in every election in my lifetime – though always by democrats.

      Aparently the democrats concept of constitution and law is everything is constitutional when we do it, while unconstitutional if republicans might succeed.

      I would note that everything I said above is specific to the US constitution. State constitutions and state law do have some power and authority over federal elections within a state. A state constitution could probably bar a state legislature from choosing its own electors.
      I am not aware of a state constitution that does.

      It would be obvious too you Why these options – both at the State and Federal level are both necessary but should only occur rarely.

      The left ranted in 2016 that Trump was somehow a Putin plant.

      What is shortly after the election it was found out that was True. Or that for some other reasons Trump even though elected could not legally be president.
      As an example it turned out he was not actually a US Citizen. Or that he had bribed people to vote for him – all the ballots were correct, and therefore could not be rejected. but clearly Trump could not be allowed to be president. Or there was massive fraud of some kind that the courts could not sort out.

      In those or myriads of other rare instances of election failure, The state legislature has the power to step in.
      Those of you on the left have fixated on the emergency power of governors – real emergencies also justify legislatures to act.

      And they allow congress to act.
      Congres passed laws governing the federal election – but as a point of fact, Congress can not pass binding laws governing its own constitutional powers, just as it can not pass binding laws governing the exclusively executive powers.

      What Eastman sought did not violate the federal election law. But even if it did – Federal election law dictating how congress must perform its own duties regarding an election is not binding or it is not constitution, and equally important unreviewable. The supreme court is NOT going to take a case challenging how congress followed the law governing its own rules.

      All of what you want to rant about regarding Eastman is just part of the “checks and balances”.
      It is overrides that are to be used Rarely, but reserved for extraordinary circumstances.

    7. “But what about the 1st Amendments rights of the protesters? Should their “free speech rights” be ignored? I guess so because you apparently endorse the idea that minority rule is preferable to the rule of the “mob”.”

      While your spin is attrocious – you are actually correct. That is precisely what MUST occur.

      Where individual rights are involved the rights of the minority must be protected.

      The right to free speech does not include the right to silence the speech of others – that would be absurd.

      The right would be meaningless.

      the “mob” as you say – was free to protest outside – nonviolently as they pleased.
      They were free to protest inside – so long as they did not interfere with Judge Duncan’s right to speak, or those who came to hear hims right to hear what he said.

      Protestors were also free to hold their own event – and at that even to enjoy the same protection of their free speech rights as Duncan and the FS.

      “You and I are told increasingly we have to choose between a left or right. Well I’d like to suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There’s only an up or down – [up] man’s old-aged dream, the ultimate in individual freedom consistent with law and order, or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism. And regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would trade our freedom for security have embarked on this downward course.”

      the ultimate in individual freedom consistent with law and order,

      Liberty without order is anarchy.
      Law and order that does not protect individual rights is tyranny.

      1. Oh, Say, can you see that no one’s reading any of the thermonuclear bomb you just deployed on the Turley Blog?

        Seriously? That’s nothing but a nuisance. You know that, right?

    8. Dennis says: “He tried to violently overthrow the 2020 election to impose minority rule.”

      False. That is a lie. But as we know, Democrats’ playbook includes repeating a lie often enough so that people like you believe it is true. The bold and dangerous lies told to the country by the J6 Committee is just one example of their MO.

      Dennis says: “But what about the 1st Amendments rights of the protesters? Should their “free speech rights” be ignored?”

      What about them? The protestors fully exercised their rights and then trampled all over the other students’ rights who were there to lsiten and have a dialog with the judge. They trampled all over the judge’s free speech as well, because they are communists/marxists/radicals. The proper question is: What about the 1A rights of the students who were there to listen? Should their “free speech rights” be ignored by the school? The answer is hell no. Fire the DIE dean. Suspend the communists thugs. Institute a zero tolerance policy and enforce it across the board.

      Dennis says: “and you endorsed the Dobbs decision–a minority opinion opposed by a majority of Americans.”

      You have zero understanding of the law, Constitution or Bill of Rights. Popular opinion s/b irrelevant to the job of a SC justice.

  4. BLM: black communists.

    LBGT: gay communists.

    Antifa: FBI-backed communists.

    DEI; anti-white communists.

    ESG: Wall Street communists.

    All the acronyms are communists.


    1. Get with the program.
      Come on in for the big win.

      They’re non-Capitalist Anti-American Communist & they’re running.

      Then there are American Hating non-Capitalist Fascist that are well disciplined also waiting to slit our throats.



        1. Still as Fm Rep Dr Ron Paul supporter & hopefully of his son Sen Rand Paul, I on this issue agree with Prof. Turley that Trump needs to Check his Rhetoric/Mouth & tell his current handles to Ph off.

          Trump can keep his recent mouth in NYC if that’s the way he rolls.

          DeSantis mouth/handlers I think killed any chance for him in this current 2024 cycle for prez. this week. His best bet now is to STFU & be a great Gov 4 the next 6 Years & learn mouth/handler control.

          I’m not walking into a trap with Trump & I’m holding my mouth.

          Listen to the below if interested in the topic.


          EXCLUSIVE: Alex Jones Responds To Trump’s Threats Of Death And Destruction



          Mar 24, 2023
          The Alex Jones Show
          The Alex Jones Show

          Alex Jones responds to Trump’s recent threats of death and destruction after his impending arrest.

          1. Thanks for the link. I can’t understand what DJT was thinking either, and I thought the same thing AJ said. Curious to tune in to rally and see what he says about it.

            When I saw this news item about envelope sent to Bragg’s office, I thought here we go, all of these will be blamed on his supporters….


            1. If Trump wishes to come down here & tap into the serious yet peaceful Ron/Rand Paul Pro American’s supporters he’ll have to stop insulting us & pay Homage to all of us Millions that have built a known peaceful movement.

              Dance with the one that brought’em!

              Trump needs to figure out if he wants to win or be Fired soon by many of his supporters. Gnite.


  5. Words that may be hurtful to some. Apparently, the saying that sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me, no longer applies. For aspiring lawyers this one of the first life lessons that should have been learned in grade school. Believing that words leads one to launch into unhinged behavior or cause you to run to a “safe space, indicates your legal career is going to be very short. I’m sure mom and dad will love having you residing in their basement.

    1. I’ll never forget first class, first day of law school when a student commented that a result of a case was not fair. The professor responded, “neither is life.” Yup. But that was in another lifetime.

      1. Yep. I had a similar experience, but I already knew life wasn’t fair. That unfairness never stopped me from accomplishing what I wanted to in life. Lead, follow or get out of the way. I prefer to lead regardless of the obstacles life presents.

  6. Steinbach is following the “Motte and Bailey” strategy–push as far as you can, and if you get caught fall back to a more defensible position.

    The person we see on the video of the event is the real one, the WSJ column is carefully crafted dissembling–or, to use a more accurate word, lies.

  7. DEI is the antithesis of free speech. It is there to enforce an ideology on everyone that squashes and shames non-believers. It is a Marxist ideology enforced through Maoist methods.

  8. “However, liberal students, including members from the National Lawyer’s Guild, …”
    Eh… There’s nothing “liberal” about those students. This wasn’t all that far from Brownshirt territory.

  9. Steinbach is an activist. Her position as one who advances diversity, equity and inclusion as illiberals would have us understand it requires it. Had she not been one who is on board with those who aggressively impede social and political discussion not to their liking, she would, as a responsible administrator, have implored the disruptive students to simply cease and desist and listen to what Duncan had to say. Only after that would the opportunity avail itself to the protestors to then engage a respectful give and take discussion with the judge. The saddest thing about the whole regrettable incident is that no one in the room knew for certain what Duncan was to say. And because he was not allowed to speak, no one in the room was allowed to intellectually challenge any of it. All in all a great disservice was done to hearing and experiencing varied points of view.

  10. Dean Steinbach states that she observed at the very beginning of the meeting Judge Duncan was met with protests from students in the audience. The dean does not give any rationale for why she, and an administrator, did not step in immediately. Instead this travesty was allowed to continue until the Judge, out of frustration, was forced to ask for assistance from an administrator, This is dereliction of duty.

    Dean Steinbach also does not mention that she, once called to assist the Judge, pulled out prepared (printed) remarks. Clearly, the dean fully expected this event to melt down and prepared her speech accordingly to scold the Judge. The dean is not forth coming,

  11. Toward the end of her article, she talks of the need to “balance” free speech and diversity, equity and inclusion. This shows she has no understanding of free speech or Stanford’s policy. Articulating opposition to affirmative action, transgenderism and affirmative care or any other sacred cows of the DEI establishment should not be “balanced” against the views of that establishment and censored if that establishment considers the “balance” to be against it.

    It is also worth noting that Duncan’s proposed presentation had nothing to do with DEI subjects per se. It was about recent decisions by the 5th Circuit on Covid, Guns and Twitter and how they relate to Supreme Court decisions. The 5th Circuit has written interesting opinions in these areas recently, and they are likely soon to be taken up by the Supreme Court. The topic should have been of great interest to Stanford law students.

    1. It is also worth noting that Duncan’s proposed presentation had nothing to do with DEI subjects per se.

      Duncan’s mistake was not knowing his audience. Sure, in his defense he is a sitting justice on the 5th circuit court and educated in a pre-modernist version of the United States legal system. His audience; the law students and their DEI overlord are steeped in a post-modern worldview of the legal system. Duncan’s scales of justice have no place for DEI to bring a “balance” in his legal interpretation of the law. Thus, he was always going to be “out-of-balance” with those in attendance. We need to stop viewing this denial of free speech at places like Stanford as a bug that needs to be removed to protect a society that does not want it. It is a feature of post-modern legal theory that is being pumped into all of our institutions and subsequently embraced as a necessary good. We are destined for complete chaos if we don’t eradicate the latter. Below is a very good article on this topic.

      It is one thing, however, to deny the possibility of authoritative order to academic modes of cultural comprehension for which there are alternative models of aesthetic understanding, and quite another to deny that possibility to the law, whose very project is the creation of legitimate and authoritative forms of social order. The attempt to do so leads directly to two questions: does Post-Modernism imply the negation of law?

      1. Olly: I just cursorily reviewed your link, i.e., Post’s critique of Peter Goodrich’s book. Yikes, I’m impressed with you, Olly. That is some pretty heavy thinking for a rainy Friday afternoon. Notwithstanding, my real problem with the Stanford saga is neither “free speech,” nor protestation as a facet of free speech–it is with the appropriate forum.
        Within a student lecture or presentation, I cannot see how either side (students who invited the speaker vs. the protesters) could really formulate and test their inferences and conclusions without CONTROL of the environs. Constant outbursts and interruptions, waiving signs and placards, hurling unrelated insults (“hope your daughter gets raped”), etc.—I really cannot see how either side was enriched or learned anything.
        A really open and vigorous debate and Q &A afterwards could have been so much more fruitful/beneficial.
        And besides, Duncan would have had the opportunity to remind students what/which/all decisions he wrote or contributed to that had not been overruled on appeal. Teach them good shepardizing to review nuances or challenge the results..

        1. 😉 Thank you lin. The sun is finally shining again here in San Diego county, so I felt the urge to do some thinking about all of this. Clearly I agree with your opinion, but as I’m learning about the post-modern legal theory, this was not the appropriate forum for any of your suggestions. Should it be? Of course. This is still the United States and a constitutional republic. We still have the Bill of Rights. One would think a law school at a “prestigious” American university would be teaching students in such a way that when they eventually take their oaths, they are sincere in their commitment to it. That can no longer be the expectation. These post-modernist law schools are not “equipping” students to be humble practitioners of constitutional law. They are arming them to be lawfare warriors in a post-modern society. Their fidelity to the oath they take is as reliable as that of most members of the political class.

      2. Olly,

        Sorry, but I’ve got to be a grammar Nazi here.

        People need to stop with the DEI, the correct spelling is DIE for Diversity, Inclusion, Equity.

        It’s like that because this nation is Dead if White Men & White Women figure out what there Junk is for & get busy.

        Enough of that Crap of putting the least qualified person in key positions.

        People need to think about the Commies/Fascist positioning next time they think about an Airline Pilot, Surgeon, Judge, Soldier, Firefighter & on & on.

        We the people are going to have our Governors & State Legislators to tell the Supreme Court & other courts to Piss off. We don’t have to allow the courts to force our nation to commit suicide! Like whats going on with the on going invasion of our borders while US waste billion in resources in far off Ukraine.


        (Enough off those evil Pfizer/Fauci type Phk’ers Bio-Chem Weapon Vaccines making the kids/adults retarded or dead! )

        National Crisis: CDC Says 1 in 36 Children Now Identified with Autism Spectrum Disorder
        by Jim Hoft Mar. 24, 2023 7:30 am529 Comments

        Autism is becoming more prevalent among young children.

        Earlier this year, a new study published in the journal Pediatrics analyzed data from more than 4,000 8-year-olds in New York and New Jersey and found that the prevalence of autism has tripled in the last 16 years, Forbes reported. More…..

        Can some see the front line of the War against us yet?

      3. “We are destined for complete chaos if we don’t eradicate the latter. ”


        In case some fail to understand the point I was attempting to make it was we are not “destined” , we are in the middle of being devoured by our enemies.

        Just like a spider or a wasp injects the poison into it’s pray to stun it & eats it alive, like Americans & other nations like Ireland/Scotland/England etc.

        Ireland, Gen Pop 5 Mil, currently being flooded with at least 5 million military age males. Gone if the Gen Pop does nothing.

        We witnessed academic discussion have not been possible in the 3rd world crap holes of Chicago,La, NYC, etc. for decades

        Now it appears such discussions are not even possible in Law Schools. Supreme Court, clear compromised & Gone!

        And I witnessed this week this nations banks/FED/Treasury officials haven’t a clue as to their balance sheets & the mess they’ve put our nation in. Plus EO 14067

        Then spend one whole minute thinking about the “USA’s Exceptionalism” against the Putin & Xi meeting this week.

        Yet millions of people still believe that fantasy that they “Pension” & their “Assets” will be there for them.


        lol;) Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow….. Psalms 23:4-6

        Pro Tip: Extra pair of socks, a towel & think clean water.

        1. Typo:

          Just like a spider or a wasp injects the poison into it’s pray to stun it & eats it alive, like Americans & other nations like Ireland/Scotland/England etc.

          “Ireland, Gen Pop 5 Mil, currently being flooded with at least 5 million African military age males. Gone if the Gen Pop does nothing. “

        2. In case some fail to understand the point I was attempting to make it was we are not “destined” , we are in the middle of being devoured by our enemies.

          My turn to be the grammar Nazi. The word “destined” implies a future state. Being in the middle of a devouring enemy is current state. Therefore, our individual points are not in conflict.

          1. Among all the other issues I became a bit more dis-jointed about yesterday.

            For decades I’ve fought against people/groups like the Tulsa Builders Association & certain people in Govt pushing for more illegal Cheap Slave Labor.

            Then I see this “Cheap Slaves” story on local news:


            Man Accused Of Hitting, Killing McAlester Officer In Crash Appears In Court

            Wednesday, March 22nd 2023, 5:10 pm
            By: Jordan Tidwell

            TULSA COUNTY, Okla. –

            The man accused of hitting and killing a McAlester police officer during a procession appeared in court Wednesday.

            Police said Martin Rodriguez was in the country illegally and didn’t have a driver’s license. He faces four charges related to the wreck, including first degree manslaughter.

            Rodriguez is in the Tulsa County Jail on a 75,000 bond. However, the judge told Rodriguez even if he posts bond, he won’t get out of jail because he has a hold on him for immigration, customs enforcement.

            Police said Rodriguez was driving in Glenpool last Friday and didn’t realize other drivers had stopped to show their respects for a processional as McAlester officers escorted a police captain, who had died earlier in the week, to a funeral home. ( A bit more)



            This case just happens to a LEO & families, yet there or likely 100’s of thousands of other cases of Cheap Illegal Slaves injuring citizens.

            Among the many things I can do I’m already continuing to pressuring politicians & Biz’s to stop this madness.

            With such things Biden’s/Congress’s duty, as the “Take Care Clause” of the USC…..

            And now I think I’ll trying to pressure Tulsa Bldg Assoc & some others to admit some guilt pay up up to those harmed X10.

            I’ll see.

            Moving on, in August 1971 Nixon took the US off the Gold Standard, I remember thinking what does that mean?

            I’m not going into financial advise, but people, if not aware, should seek out those few that have been aware of the problem.

  12. We have lost the art of courtesy. Even, in days of old, combatants exercised civility. One example was when General Beauregard’s delegation sailed to Ft. Sumter to require its surrender. Major Robert Anderson received the communication with courtesy and replied, “I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication demanding the evacuation of this fort, and to say, in reply thereto, that it is a demand with which I regret that my sense of honor, and of my obligations to my Government, prevent my compliance.”

    A professional represents their position or office without regard to their personal beliefs. The actions of the Dean reflect poorly on this prestigious institution.

  13. Effort to squash Biden family stories long predated Hunter laptop, newly released emails reveal
    “Records newly released by the National Archives show efforts to suppress negative stories about the Biden family’s business deals long predate the Hunter Biden laptop controversy, dating back to 2015 when an aide to then-Vice President Joe Biden boasted she got a reporter to “only use” negative information “if her editors hold a gun to her head.”

    1. Biden is taking a page from Chamberlain’s playbook not merely on appeasing the enemy, but also controlling the press and preventing negative stories from being told.

  14. Somewhere along the line, individual/collective “feelings” has been introduced as a superior natural right above all others. Yes, we have an unalienable right to life, liberty and property. But it’s no longer the pursuit of happiness. It is now just happiness. And once happiness became an accept natural right, it opened up Pandora’s Box and released every inclination of our nature as a natural right to pursue. If we don’t figure out how to slam that box shut and end this erroneous interpretation that feelings are some sort of trump card, then we end the way every great republic has ended.

  15. It may be naïve to think that these “students” attend Stanford to seek a “higher education” and open their minds to new ideas, perhaps even ideas they have never thought of before. Clearly, Stanford’s student body is not at the college level. Stanford should either raise the standard for acceptance or increase the curriculum to six years to include two additional years of high school level instruction.

  16. Freedom of speech and freedom of inquiry in a university setting should come as naturally as breathing. Sadly, there are not many universities, today, where that is the case.

  17. The events at Stanford Law School lead one to the inescapable conclusion that university offices of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are antithetical to the very idea of a university, whose lifeblood is open intellectual discourse and the search for truth. DEI offices exist to promote the opposite: intellectual intolerance and ideological conformity; they exist not to promote diversity of thought, but to crush it. They therefore have no place in a university. They should be abolished.

    1. You could strike the word university and replace it with “a free society.” The parallels between these ideological maneuvers and those of the Communists, Fascists, and National Socialists in the 1920s and 30s are staggering.

  18. Well stated, Sam. Same thing happened recently at Cornell University where a conservative speaker was shouted down. The administration also issued a mealy-mouthed apology but the perps will never be held accountable or even identified. The university is therefore complicit.

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