“WTF is Wrong with You”: Columbia Center and Law Students Protest Meeting With Justice Kavanaugh

Columbia University law students and alums are in an uproar over an Instagram post that showed students in the Federalist Society meeting with Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh at the Court. It would ordinarily be a singular experience for law students to spend time with one of the nine justices. That is not how it went over at Columbia where some are outraged by the meeting and Columbia’s posting the picture on its social media account. The Empowering Women of Color group announced it was “withdrawing our participation from Columbia Law School recruiting events.” Columbia’s own Center for Engaged Pedagogy, simply declared “WTF is wrong with you.”

With the posting, Columbia offered the following description:

“On February 23, members of the Columbia Federalist Society (@clsfedsoc) visited the Supreme Court of the United States to engage in conversation with Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh. During the visit, they learned about the human side of being a justice, the Court’s deliberation process, and how to be an effective advocate. Justice Kavanaugh also answered questions about a few of his most famous opinions.”

That would seem precisely the type of opportunity that a premier law school seeks to make available to its students. However, Kavanaugh remains persona non grata due to his conservative jurisprudence and allegations from his confirmation hearings. It does not matter that Kavanaugh (who was later the subject of an assassination attempt) was never charged with any crime and vehemently denies the allegations of Christine Blasey Ford.

Those opposing any engagement with Kavanaugh raised both his legal viewpoints and the assault allegations.

The Black Law Students Association wrote on behalf of a large number of groups to oppose the posting and to “put the administration on notice” that it is unacceptable for law students to meet with the justice — or for the law school to support it.

“We believe that our school’s choice to platform Justice Kavanaugh is symbolic of a pattern of behavior that our organization does not and will not support and will not be affiliated with. We thank LALSA, NALSA, EWOC, OutLaws, QTPOC, IfWhenHow, APALSA, SALSA, and others, for joining us in this advocacy and struggle. We look forward to continued collaboration. By joining us in this effort, you have all helped put the administration on notice that we have a strong and growing collective.”

The objection to “platforming” Kavanaugh is telling. Deplatforming is a major tool used by the anti-free speech movement.

As discussed earlier, former Dartmouth Professor Mark Bray is the author of a book entitled “Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook” and one of the chief enablers of these protesters. Bray describes Antifa as “a pan-left radical politics uniting communists, socialists, anarchists and various different radical leftists together for the shared purpose of combating the far right.” However, the broader anti-free speech movement shares the same underlying opposition to “platforming” of those with opposing views.

Bray speaks positively of the effort to supplant traditional views of free speech: “At the heart of the anti-fascist outlook is a rejection of the classical liberal phrase… that says I disapprove of what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” He defines anti-fascists as “illiberal” who reject the notion that far right views deserve to “coexist” with opposing views.

Bray says that the protesters do not “see fascism or white supremacy as a view with which they disagree as a difference of opinion.” Their goal is not co-existence but “to end their politics.” Bray and other academics are liberating students from the confines of what they deem the false “allegiance to liberal democracy.” Once freed of the values of free speech and democratic values, violence becomes merely politics by other means. When pushed, Bray stressed that Antifa is only a threat to one side and one party:

“There is a certain political lens that — agree or disagree with the lens — there is an element of continuity in terms of the types of groups targeted. I don’t know of any Democratic Party events that have been ‘no platformed,’ or shut down by anti-fascists. So there is a political lens, people will quibble about what the lens is, who designs the lens, but I don’t think the slippery slope is actually, in practice, nearly as much of a concern as people imagine it would be.”

The Empowering Women of Color group rejected the position of Columbia that it should maintain a neutral and tolerant position on such events or speakers:

“We cannot condone complicity with a man who is credibly accused of sexual assault. The insinuation from the Communications Office that the post was neutral and just the Law School’s way of highlighting activities students are participating in is laughable and untrue. A post of this kind, with its caption, is a terrifying stamp of approval.”

In other words, there is no neutrality. Columbia is expected to refuse to participate or recognize any event with the justice, who has never been charged, let alone convicted, of any crime.

However, it is the posting of the Center, as an official office of Columbia University, that is most alarming. The Center account was used to object:  “WTF is wrong with you. Ah yes. Every day I wake up wondering what is the day in the life of someone who strips people’s rights away.”  The Center helps design curriculum and methods of teaching for Columbia and states a mission of instilling “abolitionist” values:

“The CEP invites faculty, students, and staff to participate in a spring discussion group and incubation space focused on using abolitionist thinking to challenge our existing pedagogical practices and the way we live our lives. Participants will use abolitionist values to create personal and pedagogical praxes, come up with actionable plans toward a meaningful material transformation of the world.”

Those “plans” apparently do not involve principles of diversity of thought, due process, or free speech. Unless this is an unapproved posting, the Center is suggesting that law students should not meet with Kavanaugh and that the law school should not support any events with the justice.

I have no problem with the protesting of these groups, though I strongly disagree with their position. However, the involvement of an office or department of the university is deeply concerning. If this was an unapproved posting, Columbia should make that clear. If it was a statement on behalf of Columbia’s Center, the university should explain how this is consistent with its commitment to free speech and tolerance for opposing views of its students and faculty.

135 thoughts on ““WTF is Wrong with You”: Columbia Center and Law Students Protest Meeting With Justice Kavanaugh”

  1. I think we’ll see a time when these groups will demand they don’t have to take the state bar exams, for some anti reason or another.

  2. It is now clear that it is not just a few universities and colleges that have gone off the rails. These institutions no longer serve their purposes and need to be defunded. I would advise any young person who is thinking about going to college to think otherwise. Stay away from these cesspools.

  3. They hang their moronic hats on claiming that Kavanaugh was “credibly accused of sexual assault” and therefore you cannot meet with him…and yet they have no issue with Bill Clinton, who was truly accused and even Sloe Joe Biden, who was also accused. Meanwhile the accusation against Kavanaugh was just a political hit piece in par with the attack on Clarence Thomas.

    I wish that I had gone to this school so that I could stop sending money to them. Any alumna that donates to the school is enabling the ruination of their alma mater

  4. The force behind this movement at Columbia Law is the same force articulated in an excellent article at the Jewish online journal, The Tablet. Good news, though. Unlike the masked anonymous cowards at Stanford Law who heckled a Federal Judge, the individuals at Columbia associated with their primal scream have their names and faces attached to the Instagram “up votes”. They may have had high LSAT scores but Emotional Quotient scores not so much. Every job recruiting firm and graduate school admissions team will know them. Good luck with that.


    A Guide to Understanding the Hoax of the Century: Thirteen ways of looking at disinformation

    “This is how the government-created “war against disinformation” became the great moral crusade of its time. CIA officers at Langley came to share a cause with hip young journalists in Brooklyn, progressive nonprofits in D.C., George Soros-funded think tanks in Prague, racial equity consultants, private equity consultants, tech company staffers in Silicon Valley, Ivy League researchers, and failed British royals. Never Trump Republicans joined forces with the Democratic National Committee, which declared online disinformation “a whole-of-society problem that requires a whole-of-society response.”

    1. They don’t need to know the law or legal reasoning if they belong to the right demographic.
      They don’t even need to know what a Brady motion is, or what Article 4 of the Constitution does.
      This is not conjecture, these are facts in evidence

      1. If I were that judge, I would have responded… you know I don’t know how to handle a Brady motion because my prosecutors would never do anything like that and expect to remain in my courtroom. But that’s just me. 😛

    2. Re: “Good luck with that!” Seriously. They are the future. If they are not hired by traditional law firms who have become converts, they will establish their own and continue from there. All best wishes to the citizenry who will have to depend on this lot for their legal representation.

    3. Thanks for the article, but I see confusion about McCarthy.

      “McCarthy said he had a list with the names of 205 communists in the State Department; the next day he revised it to 57.”

      The numbers, though there is variance, are close. The 205 figure was the federal list.

      I think comparisons are sometimes amiss. McCarthy was right about his claims. The Woke of today is wrong while stifling free speech.

  5. If you do t know who Yuri Bezmenov is, then you really aught to get to know what he warned about! Find his interviews on YouTube!

  6. The only thing to effectively combat this sort of outrage is to de-platform their collective gatherings. The federalist society members should attend all of these idiotic group’s gatherings and shout them down, disrupt their meetings and deny any speakers the right to speak. Perhaps when they see the idiocy of their position in action when taken against them they will rethink…if that’s possible…their positions on free speech.

  7. So, the little temper-tantrum darlings are mad because some fellow students met with a Supreme Court Justice who they feel is too conservative and must now be protested as part of their ongoing “struggle”. Seriously ??? A law student meeting with ANY Supreme Court Justice is an honor. But, I can see that the Communist Left has effectively brainwashed them. They have no self-awareness of how ridiculous they look. Thank you, Jonathan, for an excellent article.

  8. “The CEP invites faculty, students, and staff to participate in a spring discussion group and incubation space focused on using abolitionist thinking to challenge our existing pedagogical practices and the way we live our lives. Participants will use abolitionist values to create personal and pedagogical praxes, come up with actionable plans toward a meaningful material transformation of the world.”
    “incubation space” “abolitionist thinking” “personal and pedagogical praxes” “meaningful material transformation of the world”
    This is just gibberish from people who are supposed to be part of an intellectual elite. Our colleges have truly been “massified.”
    It is reminiscent of the movie Sleeper, set 200 years in the future, where society has been so dumbed down a leading poet (played by Diane Keeton) cannot remember whether a caterpillar turns into a butterfly or the other way around.

  9. Ah….equality and inclusion are so droll these days!

    Bloom County was so far ahead of its time!

    The Strip of Opus and Bentley peering into the front of the Underwear and pondering the what they saw…..warned us of that was coming for society.

  10. When you cater to something, you tend to attract more it. We have been catering to morons and this is the result.

    Any place where “LALSA, NALSA, EWOC, OutLaws, QTPOC, IfWhenHow, APALSA, SALSA, and others” lead is simply prelude to the ruin of that place. The left cannot build, they can only destroy – proof’s in the pudding.

  11. All the “diversity” alphabet groups have their heads up their you-know-whats. For them to say that Kavanaugh was “credibly accused of sexual assault,” when not only did the charge against him reek of the dirty politics of the Democratic party hit team, but there’s not even a hint of “innocent until proven guilty” in their statement. Either law schools are choosing students very badly these days, or they’re teaching students very badly. Either way, the future of human rights in America looks grim if we allow a bunch of anarchists and affirmative action losers to take over our schools. Let’s never forget that great empires have always fallen due to the rot within. These law schools and students are nothing but rot.

  12. “WTF is wrong with you.” I imagine that this question should be routinely asked of any adhering to the delusional ideology of prog/leftism. Anyone have an answer?

  13. This kind of hard snowflaking is completely expected coming from the 21st century lunatic social justice warriors, they’re out of their collective minds.

    We now live in an absurd place where some of the satire presented by the Babylon Bee becomes reality; it’s a place where boys claim to be girls, girls claim to be boys, and some others don’t know what heck they are; it’s a place where “it’s isn’t what it is” has become so common place that it’s becoming “normal”; it’s a place where the ends justify the means as long as the ends condemns aspects of liberty and promotes totalitarianism; it’s a place where you’re punished because you’re accused not because you’re found guilty in a court of law; it’s a place where you’re “guilty until proven innocent”; it’s a place where roughly 4% of the population that used to be considered the fringe non-normal, are telling the majority that the 4% are normal and the 96% are abnormal; it’s a place where individual responsibility is quaint; it’s a place where free speech is only allowed if the irrational fringe elements of society agree with you; it’s a place where the law which was a dominate core of society now takes a back seat to social justice cancellation; it’s a place where equity overrules all logic; it’s a place where common sense is dead; it’s a place where the status quo is considered wrong regardless of what the status quo is; a place where brainwashing propaganda is absorbed as factual truth even when the factual truth completely proves it wrong; it’s a place where statistics that are mathematically indistinguishable from zero dominate the minds of the irrational mobs; it’s a place where “do something” is a viable argument to be used for all things; it’s a place where striping the rights of the majority because of the actions of a miniscule few who abuse those rights becomes socially acceptable; it’s a place where being silenced has become so common that it’s badge of honor joke worthy; it’s a place where delusional thinking rules the roost and critical thinking is criticized; it’s a place where thinking like an inexperienced and immature 7th grader garners more respect in society than an experienced and mature adult; it’s a place where the sons and daughters of history are openly condemned and expected to pay for the sins of those that have been dead for well over a hundred years; it’s a place where history is wiped from the face of society and replaced with delusion; it’s a place where we’re judged by the color of our skin, not the content of our character; etc, etc…

    Need I go on?

    If you told the common man or woman walking down the street between 1955 and 1975 that our society and our culture would be in turmoil like this in the first quarter of the 2000’s you would have been shrugged off as a lunatic that needed psychiatric help.

    Our society and culture have been turned inside out and flipped on its metaphorical head and yet there are still people out there that refuse to believe that we’re in serious societal and cultural trouble.

    1. Well done, Steve. To which I would only add: “it’s a place where little, self-styled “revolutionaries” are unfamiliar with the name, Robespierre.”

  14. Simple soluton. Don’t go to school there. Refuse to pay for your children or grandchldren to go there. Stop all contributions, Make public that you will no longer hire graduates from there,

  15. it has come time to DEFUND the leftist fascists
    End all federal aid and loans to cities and colleges
    Time to TAX all non-profits where anyone receives $100k+($$$, stuff, services) including colleges, hospitals, non-profits, etc

    1. Guyv.

      Interesting suggestions that I have significant agreement with.

      Ask yourself the primary difference between for profit and not for profit institutions. The major difference is their tax status. The rest is relatively insignificant.

  16. This country is in a world of hurt when these Neo nazi leftists start flooding our judicial system. Every day I am more and more elated that I am in my late 60’s and may not be around to see the final nail in the coffin of this once great country. And they call the right fascist?? That is flipping hilarious!

    1. Apparently the Bar exams are being changed, dropping one whole section – not sure if it’s just my state, though.

      1. California used to be 3 full days plus a half day for the Ethics exam. Now they want a 2 day exam.

  17. I can’t even imagine being perpetually offended by the must mundane things others do or say every waking moment of every day. One would think this way of life, if you can call it ‘life’, would be a manifest burden on the personal physiology of the offended. Have these poor souls no desire to enjoy life, the miracle given to them – even for the tiniest moment?

    1. if you are a black, gay, trans, etc…you can’t be fired, demoted, etc…you gets colleges, scholarships, jobs, etc PURELY based on your Pigeon HOLE

      I don’t believe you shouldn’t be hired because you are black…I even more strongly believe you SHOULDN’T be hired because other skin colors can’t apply!

      I think any RACE based group should be outlawed…like the NAACP. If a group can’t be male, white, etc….then LETS go ALL AROUND in BANNING ALL RACE and GENDER GROUPS!

      More important…TAKE AWAY government and Colleges MONEY!

      1. One day, the ‘ultimate demotion’ will take place for these folks after they’ve chosen to push too many, too far, for too long. They’ll never foresee that coming in time to prevent it. It will matter not the color of their skin, the number, or lack thereof, of Y chromosomes in their DNA, nor their station in society. When it happens I’ll simply and quite calmly say to them, “What’d you expect?”

    2. It is a poisonous ideology that makes those who espouse it into small-minded fools at best and dangerously self-destructive at worst.

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