U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) celebrated a victory for free speech after he received a letter from Stanford University about their response to the recent on-campus harassment of a federal judge. The letter from Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne and Stanford Law School Dean Jenny Martinez responded to Sen. Cruz’s March 14th letter and addressed the ways the school was responding to the recent harassment of Federal Circuit Judge Kyle Duncan by Stanford Law School students and one of Stanford’s deans. The letter notes that Assistant Dean and Diversity Administrator Tirien Steinbach has been placed on leave from her position following her involvement in the events that unfolded, and all Stanford Law students will have to attend a mandatory session on free speech.
In response, Sen. Cruz said:
“This is a victory for sanity in this country and a step in the right direction, and frankly every law school should take note. While woke culture reigns supreme on college campuses today, we just witnessed a law school like Stanford stand up to it and place their ‘high priestess of diversity’ on leave. Stanford should be commended for holding its deans to a higher standard. As for the students – let me just say, this ought to be the first and only time you get to scream and curse at a federal Judge because in a court of law you’d find yourself in jail.”
In his initial letter, Sen. Cruz said:
“Far from conducting herself in a manner that students should emulate, Assistant Dean Steinbach’s behavior validated the protestors’ disruptive conduct, concluding her statement with ‘I’m glad this is going on here.’ Given her demonstrated contempt for the federal bench, guests of the school, and your own institution’s policies, I recommend that she is promptly dismissed from her position.”
Read the press release about his initial letter here.
Sen. Cruz also wrote to to Chief Justice Nathan Hecht of the Supreme Court of Texas along with Augustin Rivera, Jr., Chair of the Texas Board of Law Examiners, about Stanford Law School students who participated in the harassment of United States Court of Appeals Judge Kyle Duncan. In it, he called on the Texas Board of Bar Examiners to consider this issue when assessing the character and fitness of any Stanford Law graduates applying to the Texas Bar.
Read the press release about that letter here.
In response to Sen. Cruz’s call-to-action, Assistant Dean and Diversity Administrator Tirien Steinbach was placed on leave. Additionally, the university is taking the following steps to ensure a situation like this never happens again:
- Current law students will attend a mandatory half-day session on the topic of freedom of speech and the norms of the legal profession.
- A more explicit policy with clearer protocols will be adopted to prevent the recurrence of such an event or any other infringement of rights on campus. The policy will be enforced via disciplinary sanctions as the university sees fit.
- Staff will receive additional training on the role of any administrators present at events to ensure that university rules on disruption of events will be followed.
- A committee will be convened to hear feedback from faculty, students, and members of the bar to make recommendations as to any further steps Stanford Law School should take.
In the letter, President Tessier-Lavigne and Dean Martinez also said:
“Colleges and universities have an obligation to support a diversity of views so that the ideas sparked on our campuses can evolve and sharpen in the face of critique and competing opinions. We take this obligation, and these issues in particular, extremely seriously and believe that our actions will ensure that something like this will not happen again at Stanford.”
Read the full text of Stanford’s reply letter here.