University officials need to reprimand students and administrators who violate free speech policies and stop caving to the “woke mob,” a former law professor told Fox News.
“University officials … are spineless cowards unwilling to enforce their own rules when they’re violated by students, much less administrators,” Ilya Shapiro, a former Georgetown University law professor, told Fox News.
FORMER LAW PROFESSOR CALLS ON STANFORD OFFICIALS TO ENFORCE THEIR OWN POLICIES. WATCH:
Stanford University’s Federalist Society chapter invited Judge Kyle Duncan of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to speak at the college’s law school on March 9. An associate dean, along with a handful of students, heckled the judge during his remarks. He was unable to finish his lecture, and federal marshals escorted him off campus.
“People should be allowed to protest … but hecklers shutting down events, that does not counter free speech,” Shapiro, who is now the director of constitutional studies at the Manhattan Institute, said. “That imposes on others free speech.”
Stanford DEI Associate Dean Tirien Steinbach joined student protesters in arguing that Duncan’s rulings caused harm. They said the judge’s rulings caused harm and pointed, for example, to his refusal to use a transgender offender’s preferred pronouns in a 2020 opinion.
Steinbach also questioned the school’s free speech policies and whether Duncan’s remarks were worth the “pain and division” his presence caused.
“It’s appalling,” Shapiro told Fox News. “Steinbach should be fired.”
WATCH STANFORD STUDENTS SHOUT AT A FEDERAL JUDGE:
“She did not enforce the school’s policy,” Shapiro said. “It’s for the dereliction of duty that she should be fired, not her speech.”
Stanford’s campus disruption policies state that the university supports students’ right to protest against viewpoints they disagree with so long as it doesn’t “prevent or disrupt the effective carrying out of a University function.” Shapiro said the dean encouraged students to disrupt and end the judge’s remarks rather than protest against his perspective.
Shapiro is familiar with cancel culture himself.
Last year, Georgetown placed Shapiro on leave after he criticized President Biden’s pledge to choose a Black woman for the Supreme Court. The former law professor clarified he didn’t want candidates to be restricted by race and gender, but Shapiro ultimately resigned after students pleaded for his termination and said his remarks were racist.
At Stanford, meanwhile, a student could be heard shouting “your racism is showing” at Duncan during his remarks. University President Marc Tessier-Lavigne and Stanford Law School Dean Jenny Martinez apologized to the judge after the incident, prompting hundreds of students to line the hall outside Martinez’ classroom on Monday wearing masks that read “counter-speech is free speech.”
“It does give me pause about our future leaders,” Shapiro said. “It’s not even a matter of disagreeing ideologically or a matter of constitutional interpretation. It’s as seeing their political enemies as not just wrong, but evil.”
If students are not being taught the values of upholding policies, free speech “and how to understand the perspectives of different sides, then we’re in a lot more trouble than speakers getting shut down on campus,” Shapiro said.
The university’s administration failed to “get across the values of free inquiry, free speech, civil discourse, due process,” Shapiro said. These values “should be as central or more to a law school’s mission.”
“There needs to be consequences,” Shapiro said. “Otherwise this thing spreads.”
Stanford did not respond to a request for comment.
To watch Shapiro’s full interview, click here.