More on the Students’ Disruption of the Yale Law School Event

See here for my original post. There are three more:

[1.] Dean Erwin Chemerinsky (Berkeley Law)—one of the most prominent liberal constitutional law scholars in the country—and Chancellor Howard Gillman (UC Irvinie) had a Washington Post op-ed, “Free speech doesn’t mean hecklers get to shut down campus debate”; an excerpt:

Freedom of speech does not include a right to shout down others so they cannot be heard…. Some students claim a right of control over what messages can be accepted on campus, and then try to deny others in the community their rights to listen or invite speakers. This is deeply disturbing.

If such a “heckler’s voice” is granted, there will only be one speech. If Hastings protesters think they can overpower Federalist Society speakers, they should accept the fact that Federalist Society members are free to shout down speakers they don’t support. It won’t take long before no one will be able hold events that are worth their time.

[2.]David Lat did a follow up, entitled “Free Speech at Yale Law School: A Progressive’s Perspective / It doesn’t take a conservative person to be disturbed by the goings-on in YLS.” An excerpt:

The protest at the University of Toronto seems to be indicative of something more than just student and administrator attitudes towards freedom speech or liberal/conservative differences in politics. It seems that students are not willing to challenge their actions and beliefs. My peers and I see expectations of precision and rigor in class discussions as well as in community deliberation, which can be distracting from their normative urgency (many of them are my friends).

Students often slam Dan Kahan, a liberal professor. [former YLS dean]Tony Kronman was criticized as a bigot or conservative for clearly communicating challenges to student intuitives during classroom discussions. Sometimes student comments have become too absurd to be useful. Kahan was accused by classmates of being a woman-hater, even though he made every effort to show how the law violates misogynistic norms.

Although I consider myself a progressive, it has been difficult for me to share friendly amendments regarding student views within the classroom. There are many explanations to why this intellectual climate exists. Students are returning to law school more frequently after being away from difficult academic environments. The teaching at YLS is not known for excellence and there are many other reasons.Even though it is frustrating to hear truth treated this way,

[3.]Kristen Waggoner, from the Alliance Defending Freedom (lawyer) and Monica Miller, American Humanist Association (lawyer on opposing sides of the ideological spectrum), spoke at Yale. Their op-eds at Daily Mail stated that “The anti-free expression sickness plaguing America had infected our future legal professionals – this should alarm us all.” An excerpt:

Our goal was to demonstrate that even religious or political enemies can achieve great results when they work respectfully towards common goals.

But instead of encountering students who wanted to question us about the case {Uzuegbunam v. Preczewski—a U.S. Supreme Court case Kristen argued that resulted in an 8-1 ruling hailed by both the left and the right}, we encountered a crowd of activists who, perplexingly, tried to silence us.

There were 150 students, but only 120 of them chanted and banged on the walls. This disturbed classes and exams nearby.

Harassment, threats and violence were all reported. For our safety, we were taken out by the police and placed in a patrol car.

Some students freely hurled insults including the word ‘b—h,’ which was particularly jarring to us as female litigators….

[W]e … understand as litigators – and law students should recognize that – that one cannot effectively argue their position if they refuse to hear the other side of the argument….

Refusing to discuss with someone who has a different viewpoint is an intellectual disease that is evidently affecting public discourse. It’s shocking to discover that it has even taken root in aspiring attorneys.