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Stanford Diversity Dean on Leave After Heckling Incident 'from Hell', Dershowitz Reveals Marxist Group Planned It

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Stanford University's associate dean of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) has been placed on leave after she participated in a student-led protest during a federal judge's scheduled speaking engagement on campus.

In an eight-page memo to the Stanford Law School community that has been shared by multiple media outlets, Law School Dean Jenny S. Martinez announced, "Associate Dean Tirien Steinbach is currently on leave. Generally speaking, the university does not comment publicly on pending personnel matters, and so I will not do so at this time."

"I do want to express concern over the hateful and threatening messages she has received as a result of viral online and media attention and reiterate that actionable threats that come to our attention will be investigated and addressed as the law permits," Martinez wrote. 

"Finally, it should be obvious from what I have stated above that at future events, 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," the Stanford Law School dean continued. 

slider img 2As CBN News reported, a protest broke out at the law school during a recent appearance by Fifth U.S. Circuit Court Judge Kyle Duncan, a Trump appointee. He had been invited to give a lecture to the university's Federalist Society chapter.  

When Duncan appeared at the school to give his talk to the group of students who had invited him, he was shouted down by almost a hundred students who prevented him from giving his address in spite of Stanford's documented free speech policies published by the university's Office of Community Standards. 

The protesters were angry with Duncan over a 2020 opinion in which he refused to use a transgender offender's preferred pronouns, according to several outlets. 

The heckling continued as Duncan tried to ask school administrators to step in and quiet the protesters. Despite the law school's free speech policy to prevent the interruption of guest speakers, none of the administrators who were in the room moved to quiet the students.

According to video clips of the incident posted to social media, it was then that Dean Steinbach stepped to the podium. Instead of admonishing the students, Steinbach proceeded to lecture the judge for several minutes from prepared remarks, accusing Duncan of causing "harm" through his work on the appeals court.

When recalling the incident to The Washington Free Beacon, the judge described it as a "bizarre therapy session from hell."

Duncan wasn't given the opportunity to continue with his lecture. After a hostile question and answer session, he was escorted out the back door by U.S. Marshals who were there to protect him, according to the outlet. 

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Stanford University President Marc Tessier-Lavigne and Martinez later apologized to Duncan in a joint letter, saying, "We are taking steps to ensure that something like this does not happen again." 

In her letter to law school students and faculty, Dean Martinez also addressed the students who were involved with the protests. 

"Several factors lead me to conclude that what is appropriate here is mandatory educational programming for our student body rather than referring specific students for disciplinary sanction," she wrote. "Accordingly, as one first step the law school will be holding a mandatory half-day session in spring quarter for all students on the topic of freedom of speech and the norms of the legal profession."

She also noted, "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."

Stanford Law Disruptions Were Orchestrated by the National Lawyers Guild

Meanwhile, in an op-ed published by the Gatestone Institute, attorney Alan M. Dershowitz revealed that the recent disruption at Stanford's Law School was orchestrated by the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) and was not "a spontaneous exercise of freedom to protest."

"It was a well-planned and carefully orchestrated effort to prevent other Stanford students from hearing the judge's conservative views. The disruption was organized by the local chapter of National Lawyers Guild as part of a nationwide effort to suppress conservative speech. Although not all the participants were associated with the NLG, the main organizers were," Dershowitz explained. 

The Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Emeritus at Harvard Law School, then went through the history of the NLG, including its refusal to support Soviet and or Cuban dissidents.

"The Guild has never abandoned its Marxist-Leninist provenance. It supports Antifa, which also employs violence to disrupt speakers," Dershowitz said. 

Since 1967, it has increased support for the Palestine Liberation Organization due to the Soviet Union's shift against Israel, he explained. 

"Since that time, the Guild has been a strong supporter of Palestinian terrorism and other efforts to destroy Israel," Dershowitz said

He warned the Guild has more than 100 chapters in American law schools and "they are coming to a law school near you. The NLG will not be satisfied until no conservative speaker is allowed to speak at any law school."

Dershowitz also explained why he thinks the Guild could ultimately succeed in their goal. 

"That is its objective, and it may well succeed, because cowardly administrators — especially deans of diversity, in order to avoid the embarrassment of what happened at Stanford, Yale, and Georgetown — will try to make sure that conservative speakers are not invited. They understand that it is much harder to object to the less visible non-invitation of conservative speakers than to publicly disrupting them," Dershowitz noted. 

The Harvard Law professor also praised Martinez's letter, saying it should be widely read, as "an articulate defense of freedom of speech, academic freedom of students to hear controversial views, and university neutrality. She refused to accede to the demands of radical students that she take back her apology to Judge Duncan and she said that student disrupters would be held accountable. She should be commended for her defense of constitutional values."

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About The Author

Steve Warren is a senior multimedia producer for CBN News. Warren has worked in the news departments of television stations and cable networks across the country. In addition, he also worked as a producer-director in television production and on-air promotion. A Civil War historian, he authored the book The Second Battle of Cabin Creek: Brilliant Victory. It was the companion book to the television documentary titled Last Raid at Cabin Creek currently streaming on Amazon Prime. He holds an M.A. in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and a B.A. in Communication from the University of