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Stanford law suspends associate dean in flap over federal judge’s speech

Stanford has suspended the associate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion at its law school after he participated in a student-led disruption of a speech by a conservative federal appellate judge at the university earlier this month, Reuters reported.

The students who protested 5th U.S. Circuit Judge Stuart Kyle Duncan will not be disciplined, Reuters reported. Duncan was appointed to the court by then-President Donald Trump in 2018.

The length of the suspension of Associate Dean Tirien Steinbach was not disclosed. Steinbach, who addressed Duncan and students during the event, said the judge’s presence was painful for some students.

In an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, Duncan defended calling the students “appalling idiots,” “bullies” and “hypocrites.” Two other Trump appointees, Judges James Ho of the 5th Circuit and Elizabeth Branch of the 11th Circuit, wrote last week in the National Review that law schools should discipline and punish students who participate in “disruptive tactics.”

In a 10-page letter obtained by Reuters, law school Dean Jenny Martinez wrote that Stanford Law administrators had not enforced the school’s speech policy, which prohibits shutting down speakers through heckling.