Wednesday, March 23, 2022
WSJ Op-Ed: Mob Rule And Cancel Culture At Hastings Law School
Following up on Friday's post, Is Free Speech In American Law Schools A Lost Cause?: Wall Street Journal Op-Ed: Mob Rule and Cancel Culture at Hastings Law School, by Ilya Shapiro:
I’ve given more than 1,000 speeches in my career, and I’d never been protested—until March 1, when dozens of students shut down my event at San Francisco’s UC Hastings College of the Law. ...
On Jan. 26 I tweeted in opposition to President Biden’s decision to limit his nominee pool by race and sex. ... I was about to start a new job as a senior lecturer at Georgetown and executive director of its law school’s Center for the Constitution. Georgetown placed me on paid leave pending an investigation into whether I violated any university policy [see links below].
It’s clear that a vocal minority of Hastings students wanted to hear neither my reasoning about Mr. Biden’s selection criteria nor my broader analysis now that there is a nominee. They screamed obscenities and physically confronted me, several times getting in my face or blocking my access to the lectern, and they shouted down a dean. ...
The school’s chancellor wrote in a communitywide email the next day: “Disrupting an event to prevent a speaker from being heard is a violation of our policies and norms . . . which the College will—indeed, must—enforce.”
But don’t hold your breath for anybody to be disciplined there or at Yale Law School, where an event was similarly disrupted the next week. Too few administrators follow the example of the University of Chicago’s Robert Zimmer. In response to pressure to punish Prof. Dorian Abbot for criticizing affirmative action, Mr. Zimmer reaffirmed his commitment to faculty members’ freedom to “disagree with any policy or approach of the University . . . without being subject to discipline, reprimand or other form of punishment.”
Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:
- Ilya Shapiro, On Heels Of Georgetown Law Hiring, Faces Uproar Over Tweeting That Biden's SCOTUS Pick Will Be A 'Lesser Black Woman' (Jan. 28, 2022)
- Georgetown BLSA Demands Incoming Professor's Job Offer Be Rescinded Over Tweet That Biden's SCOTUS Pick Will Be A 'Lesser Black Woman' (Jan. 31, 2021)
- NY Times: Georgetown Suspends Lecturer Who Criticized Biden's Vow To Put Black Woman On Supreme Court (Feb. 1, 2022)
- More Commentary On The Ilya Shapiro Controversy At Georgetown (Feb. 3, 2022)
- NY Times Columnists Agree: Georgetown Law School Should Not Punish Ilya Shapiro For His Tweets (Feb. 5, 2022)
- WSJ Op-Ed: Why Colleges (And Law Schools) Don’t Care About Free Speech—And How To Make Them Care (Feb. 8, 2022)
- Georgetown Law Faculty And Students Debate Ilya Shapiro's Fate (Feb. 21, 2022)