And so when Duncan, facing the mob of alleged law students, asked Steinbach to restore order, she then took to the podium and began lecturing the judge, saying: “Your opinions from the bench land as absolute disenfranchisement” of the rights of students. When Duncan tried to respond, the mob screamed, “Let her finish,” a courtesy they never accorded to Duncan himself. Steinbach went on to repeat, “Your work has caused harm.”
Steinbach even accused Duncan of “tearing the fabric of this community” and asked him, “Do you have something so incredibly important to say about Twitter and guns and COVID that is worth this impact on the division of these people, who have sat next to each other for years, who are going through what is the battle of law school together?” About the mob’s refusal to let Duncan speak, Steinbach declared, “I look out and I don’t ask what is going on here, I look out and I say, I’m glad this is going on here.” She then left, to tumultuous applause, and the students walked out behind her.
Duncan is mincing no words about what happened. The protesters, he said in a Washington Free Beacon interview that was published Friday, acted like “dogs**t.” He wants Stanford to discipline the students who wouldn’t allow him to speak and to fire Steinbach for what he described as her “bizarre therapy session from hell.” But Steinbach’s job is likely secure. While Stanford Law School Dean Jenny Martinez claimed that the disruption of Duncan’s speech was “not aligned with our institutional commitment to freedom of speech,” she said nothing even about any students, much less Steinbach, getting disciplined.
What’s more, Martinez’s claim that Stanford has a commitment to the freedom of speech is risible. When I spoke at Stanford in 2017, the Stanford student press conducted a weeks-long smear campaign in the run-up to the event. Then, at the event itself, I had spoken for just a few moments when the students got up and walked out en masse; video showed that Nanci Howe, associate dean and director of Student Activities and Leadership, and Snehal Naik, who was then assistant dean and associate director of Student Activities and Leadership and is now senior director of the Office of Student Engagement, engineered the walkout. All these years later, Naik is still at it; he is shown prominently in the video of Steinbach hectoring Duncan as the fascist mob howls.
Stanford students even point to the disruption of my event as a model that students should follow. As recently as March 3, the Stanford Review published an article entitled “Apathy Descends on Stanford,” which hailed the efforts to prevent me from speaking as a high point in Stanford’s recent history: “Even just five years ago, people seemed to actually care. When the Stanford College Republicans (SCR) invited Robert Spencer, a self-proclaimed Islamophobe,” (that was ironic, genius), “to speak about radical Islam on campus in 2017, he was met with wide-scale protest by the campus left, to the extent that President Marc Tessier-Levigne addressed the tension in a blog post. SCR was equally dedicated, going through dorms to flyer numerous times to combat their opponents’ efforts to tear the flyers down.” The Stanford Left is proud of what it has done and is still doing to prevent those whom it hates and fears from speaking. There is no respect, at what is supposed to be an institution of higher learning, for the importance of the freedom of speech as the foundation of any free society. These people are authoritarians to the core.
Duncan warned that worse was to come: “If enough of these kids get into the legal profession, the rule of law will descend into barbarism.” Oh, yes.