Students call on Stanford to fire dean who ambushed judge at law school event

Students at Stanford University are calling on the prestigious school to fire an associate dean for diversity, equity, and inclusion who ambushed a conservative judge at a recent law school event.

And while Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne and Stanford Law School Dean Jennifer Martinez apologized to U.S. Circuit Judge Kyle Duncan, the school has made it clear that Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Tirien Steinbach isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

The students calling for Steinbach’s ouster penned a scathing op-ed in the school newspaper that put her in the company of “anti-speech zealots.”

“If Stanford cares about free speech, it must fire any administrator who actively encourages these unruly actions against it. Someone who is so eager, at the behest of an unruly mob, to shut down free speech, which Stanford itself considers ‘a bedrock principle for the law school, the university, and a democratic society,’ has no place as a Stanford dean,” the students wrote. “She helped engineer chaos with her email before the event, delivered prepared remarks interrupting his speech, took the spotlight for herself, and has shown no remorse since.”

Commenting on the apologies, the editorial said “it is unclear what Stanford plans to do to prevent such disruption in the future. Firing Dean Steinbach is a good start.”

“If these law students are to be trained for bench and bar, it certainly should be with a deep respect for the bedrock principle of free speech,” the students concluded. “Steinbach’s actions not only degrade the principles of free speech but degrade the prestige and reputation of Stanford Law School itself.”

Duncan, from the New Orleans-based Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, was invited to speak about “Covid, Guns, and Twitter,” an event hosted by the school’s Federalist Society.

Beset with protestors, he was unable to deliver his speech because of all the heckling. And while the judge appealed for an administrator to take control, Steinbach intervened on behalf of the protestors, taking command of the lectern.

“Your work has caused harm… and I know that must be uncomfortable to hear,” the DEI associate dean told Duncan.

“I had to write something down because I am so uncomfortable up here. And I don’t say that for sympathy,” said Steinbach said, reading from prepared remarks. “I just say that I am deeply, deeply uncomfortable. I’m uncomfortable because this event is tearing at the fabric of this community that I care about, and I’m here to support.”


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