Aaron Sibarium Profile picture
Mar 10 25 tweets 6 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
NEW: Fifth Circuit appellate judge Kyle Duncan, who was shouted down by Stanford Law students yesterday, says the protesters behaved like "dogshit."

He is also calling on Stanford to fire the DEI dean who participated in the uproar.🧵

Duncan’s remarks come after nearly a hundred students disrupted his remarks in brazen violation of Stanford’s free speech policies—and after the law school’s associate dean of DEI, Tirien Steinbach, stepped in during the event to chastise Duncan for causing "harm."
In a fiery interview with yours truly, Duncan called on the school to discipline the students who disrupted his talk and to fire Steinbach, who he says subjected him to a "bizarre therapy session from hell."
One source of the students’ ire was Duncan’s refusal, in a 2020 opinion, to use a transgender sex offender’s preferred pronouns. The event, which was sponsored by the Federalist Society, got so out of hand that federal marshals eventually escorted Duncan from the building.
Tirien Steinbach, the school’s diversity dean, arrived on the scene when Duncan himself asked for an administrator to restore order. She then took to the podium and, in a video that has now circulated widely online, accused the judge of causing "harm." vimeo.com/806801455/16c7…
"Your opinions from the bench land as absolute disenfranchisement" of the students’ rights, Steinbach said.

"Do you have something so incredibly important to say," she asked him, that it is worth the "division of these people?"
Duncan warned that what happens at Stanford, long the second-ranked law school in the country, behind Yale, is unlikely to stay there. "If enough of these kids get into the legal profession," he said, "the rule of law will descend into barbarism."
The protest is perhaps the most extreme example yet of law students shouting down conservative speakers. A similar incident occurred at Yale last year when Kristen Waggoner, a prominent SCOTUS litigator, was drowned out by students protesting her views on transgender issues.
Also last year, students at the University of California-Hastings disrupted a talk with the libertarian law professor Ilya Shapiro, shrieking and jeering each time he opened his mouth.

The tactics used against Duncan were nearly identical.
Nearly everyone in the room showed up to disrupt the proceeding, according to Duncan and two members of the Federalist Society, and many of the hundred or so students on hand were holding profane signs, including one that declared: "Duncan can’t find the clit." Image
Each time Duncan began to speak, the protesters would heckle him with insults, shouting things like "scumbag!" and "you’re a liar!"

The din became so loud that Duncan asked for an administrator to keep order, according to video of the event.
That’s when Steinbach, the associate diversity dean, delivered her remarks. While she reminded students of the law school’s free speech policies, which prohibit the disruption of speakers, she proceeded to stand by while students continued to heckle Duncan.
She also expressed sympathy for students who wanted to "reconsider" those free speech policies, given the "harm" Duncan’s appearance had caused.

Here is footage from later in the talk that shows Steinbach standing by as the heckling unfolds.
At least three other administrators, including. dean of student affairs Jory Steel, were present throughout the event, according to Tim Rosenberger, a member of Stanford’s Fedsoc chapter. None of them told the students to allow Duncan to speak without interruption.
Eventually, one of the leaders of the protest instructed the students to "tone down the heckling slightly so we can get to our questions." So began a contentious Q&A between Duncan and his critics, who continued to disrupt and jeer as he spoke.

It was not very productive:
The students appeared to have little familiarity with Duncan’s jurisprudence. Some accused him of suppressing the voting rights of African Americans, Duncan said–only to cite a case in which Duncan had actually dissented from the majority.
Other questions were less academic. "I fuck men, I can find the prostate," one student asked, according to Rosenberger. "Why can’t you find the clit?"

Duncan was escorted out of a back door by federal marshals, who told him, he said, that they were there to "protect" him.
The meltdown followed a week-long pressure campaign against members of the Federalist Society, who were personally named and shamed by campus activists. Image
Over 70 students emailed the group on March 6 asking it to cancel the event or move it to Zoom, arguing that Duncan has "proudly threatened healthcare and basic rights for marginalized communities"—language Steinbach quoted in an email sent out the morning of the event.
Her email, which also reminded students of the school’s free speech policies, nonetheless said the event would be a "significant hit" to students’ sense of belonging.
When the Federalist Society refused to cancel, students began putting up fliers with the names and faces of everyone on the board. "You should be ashamed," the posters read. ImageImage
Other posters berated Duncan for opposing gay marriage, denying "Black Americans the right to vote," and denying "trans people the right to self-determination"—a reference to a 2020 opinion in which Duncan referred to a male-to-female child pornographer using he/him pronouns.
The public shaming continued the day of the event. As Duncan was being whisked away by marshals, protesters encircled members of the Federalist Society and hurled invective at them, Rosenberg and another Federalist Society member, Harrison Nugent, said.
Such tactics have become par for the course at elite law schools. The Yale Law students protesting Waggoner likewise sought to shame the Federalist Society, which had invited her, with posters littered throughout the school.

"Through your attendance" at the event, the posters… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
For Duncan, the attempt to shame individual students was the most disturbing part of the imbroglio.

"Don’t feel sorry for me," he said. "I’m a life-tenured federal judge. What outrages me is that these kids are being treated like dogshit by fellow students and administrators."

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More from @aaronsibarium

Jun 3
Last May, Princeton fired Joshua Katz, a tenured professor who had criticized the school’s racial politics.

So it took some chutzpah for Princeton’s president, in a commencement address last week, to scold Republicans for suppressing campus speech.🧵

Quoting a "queer" University of Florida student, Christopher Eisgruber, in a commencement address that would have fit right in at a Democratic political rally, warned that it is becoming harder for students and professors to speak their minds about controversial issues.
Not because of the campus censors on the left, of course, but due to red state laws that prohibit either "discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity" or "teaching disfavored views about race, racism, and American history."
Read 11 tweets
May 25
NEW: Seattle’s promotional exams for firefighters now test candidates on Ibram Kendi, Robin DiAngelo, and “Memoirs of a Transgender Firefighter,” among other woke texts.

The Lieutenant exam tests ~800 pages of material unrelated to firefighting tactics.🧵
When a fire truck approaches a blaze, the lieutenant decides how to tackle it—what windows to breach, which floors to prioritize, and how best to deploy the truck’s three or four firefighters against a shifting. It’s a hard job that requires lots of knowledge about fire behavior.
To see if they’re up to snuff, most departments administer a written test, typically multiple-choice, to prospective lieutenants. Candidates must score above a cut-off to be considered for the job, with higher scores increasing the odds of promotion.
Read 28 tweets
May 19
NEW: DC bar officials say they will "likely" lift the mask requirement for the city’s upcoming bar exam after my story yesterday.

But, judging from emails obtained by the Washington Free Beacon, they aren’t happy about it.🧵

I sent the DC Court of Appeals, which administers the test, a request for comment yesterday. Upon receiving my inquiry, Marie Robertson, the court’s acting chief deputy clerk, forwarded it to Doug Buchanan, the court’s PR director, with clear instructions: control the narrative.
"[S]omeone who probably doesn’t want to wear a mask sent it to the media to force our hand," Robertson wrote. "We are likely to lift the mask requirement, but I’d like to announce that closer to the exam and I prefer that we announce it, and not that it comes from the media." Image
Read 10 tweets
May 18
SCOOP: The DC bar will require all applicants to wear masks when they sit for the city’s 12-hour bar exam in July.

The requirement comes on the heels of a study that found masks can cause "difficulty concentrating” and "reduced cognitive performance.”🧵

“Applicants will be required to wear a mask fully covering their mouth and nose during the exam," the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, which administers the test, told registered test-takers in a Thursday memo. freebeacon.com/wp-content/upl…
The move comes on the heels of a German study that found masks expose users to toxic levels of carbon dioxide, which can cause "difficulty concentrating," "reduced cognitive performance, impaired decision-making and reduced speed of cognitive solutions." cell.com/heliyon/pdf/S2…
Read 10 tweets
May 15
NEW: All across America, hospitals are facilitating childhood gender transition with virtually zero gatekeeping.

Why? Because otherwise they’ll lose points on the Human Rights Campaign’s Healthcare Equality Index—a scorecard funded by Pfizer and PhRMA.🧵 freebeacon.com/latest-news/ho…
Let’s start at Children’s National in DC. It was 2019 when Beth Rempe, then a nurse at the health center, began to notice the change. Doctors were wearing pins with the transgender flag. More patients were on puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones, especially young girls.
Nurses were asking children, most with no history of gender dysphoria, for their preferred pronouns, which were entered into an electronic record system and documented on white boards outside their rooms.
Read 62 tweets
Apr 21
NEW: Stanford's Black Law Students Association will no longer help the university recruit black students after the law school apologized to Judge Kyle Duncan.

The group said the apology “was intimately aligned with White supremacist practices."🧵

The students cited what they described as the "scapegoating" of the school's diversity dean, Tirien Steinbach, for an incident last month in which students disrupted Duncan's remarks and Steinbach egged them on.
"We cannot, in good faith, participate in recruiting Black students into a community more concerned with palliating wealthy, White conservative donors than the 'student-focused and community-inspired' legal education SLS promotes,” the group told the administration in a letter.
Read 17 tweets

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