Stanford DEI dean on leave after fueling disruptive protests of Trump-appointed judge

Martinez wrote that "the role of any administrators present will be to ensure that university rules on disruption of events will be followed, and all staff will receive additional training in that regard."

Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

Stanford Law School Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Tirien Steinbach is reportedly on leave after she fueled the disruptive protests of Trump-appointed Fifth Circuit Appellate judge Kyle Duncan earlier this month.

According to a Wednesday memo obtained by the Washington Free Beacon, Stanford Law School Dean Jenny Martinez revealed that Steinbach is "currently on leave," giving no additional details, stating that the "university does not comment publicly on pending personnel matters."

Martinez wrote that "the role of any administrators present will be to ensure that university rules on disruption of events will be followed, and all staff will receive additional training in that regard." 

She added that administrators  "should not insert themselves into debate with their own criticism of the speaker's views."

In regards to students who participated in the disruption, Martinez wrote that instead of referring specific students for disciplinary sanction, all students would be required to take part in "mandatory education programming" on "free speech and norms of the legal profession." and how "vulgar personal insults" can harm students' "professional reputations."

At the speech, one protestor allegedly told Duncan, "we hope your daughters get raped."

Martinez wrote that a more detailed and explicit policy "with clear protocols for dealing with disruptions would better protect the rights of speakers and also those who wish to exercise their right to protest within permissible bounds, and is something we will seek to adopt and educate students and staff on going forward."

In regards to the Federalist Society, who hosted Duncan, Martinez wrote, "The Federalist Society has the same rights of free association that other student organizations at the law school have. Students calling for the law school administration to restrict the organization or the speakers it can bring to campus are demanding action inconsistent not only with freedom of speech but with rights to freedom of association that civil rights lawyers fought hard in the twentieth century to secure."

During Duncan’s speech, Steinbach issued a six-minute speech about same-sex marriage, trans rights, and reproductive rights.

Several students called for Steinbach to be fired, noting that it was Steinbach at the center of the day’s chaos, not the student protestors.

Martinez apologized to Duncan for the protests, only to arrive at her constitutional law class and see her whiteboard covered with flyers attacking Duncan and defending those who drowned him out.

"We, the students in your constitutional law class, are sorry for exercising our 1st Amendment rights," some flyers said.

Martinez addressed her apology in the memo, writing, "The President of the University and I have apologized to Judge Duncan for a very simple reason – to acknowledge that his speech was disrupted in ways that undermined his ability to deliver the remarks he wanted to give to audience members who wanted to hear them, as a result of the failure to ensure that the university’s disruption policies were followed. That apology, and the policy it defends, is fully consistent with the First Amendment and the Leonard Law."


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