Dr. Gad Saad, a professor at Montreal’s Concordia University and author of the bestselling book, The Parasitic Mind: How Infectious Ideas Are Killing Common Sense, was taken aback at the reception he received giving a recent talk at the University of Southern California. Here’s what he posted on his LinkedIn page:
The hostility espoused by audience members was unreal. Two people were very disturbed by my “extremist” position that men don’t menstruate. A psychologist went on an unhinged rant. The woke insanity was breathtaking. Irrational vitriol fully decoupled from reality. I handled it coolly, calmly, and with a smile on my face. History will judge these folks harshly. They are everything but liberal in the true sense of the term.
Woke intolerance at American college campuses has become a “Dog Bites Man,” story, meaning it is so routine that it is no longer news. The reception Saad received at USC reaffirmed my dim perception of the school, a shrine to white privilege. USC is one of America’s most expensive universities, and it was ground zero of the “Varsity Blues” scandal, whereby wealthy parents bought admission for their children manufacturing phony athletic credentials. Little wonder USC also is disparaged as the “University for Spoiled Children.”
Where I’d expect maturity and an intellectually curious faculty and student body committed to open and rigorous discovery and debate would be Stanford Law School, which U.S. News ranks as the second-best place to receive a legal education in America. As American jurisprudence is based on legal precedents, an opportunity to hear a lecture from Kyle Duncan, a judge on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, on the judiciary’s approach to Covid restrictions and gun laws strikes me as one of the reasons Stanford law ranks so high. Not many law schools can attract speakers of Duncan’s accomplishment and experience.
Unfortunately for Duncan, he was appointed by President Trump to his current position and some of his previous rulings displeased Stanford’s law students, prompting them to heckle him and make it impossible to deliver his lecture. One of the protesters screamed, “We hope your daughters get raped.” Duncan recounted his experiences in an op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal, but of course there’s been little coverage about the incident in the mainstream media.
One might expect that Stanford’s faculty would be horrified by the disrespect, but that wasn’t the case. Tirien Steinbach, Stanford Law’s associate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion, came forward to address the protesters, delivering a six-minute diatribe that began with, “Is the juice worth the squeeze?” It was a rhetorical question, as Steinbach went on to admonish Duncan that his legal decisions “feels abhorrent” and “literally denies the humanity of people.”
I never before heard the phrase, “Is the juice worth the squeeze?” and apparently neither did Duncan. It was the title of a 2010 book about learning from one’s business experiences.
Jenny Martinez, Stanford’s law school dean, and the university’s president apologized to Duncan a few days after the incident, but that didn’t sit well with Martinez’s students, who staged a protest in the dean’s constitutional law class by blanketing the whiteboard with flyers that read, “Counter speech is free speech,” and standing silently as she left the classroom. Most of Martinez’s class—approximately 50 students out of the 60 enrolled—participated in the protests, the Washington Examiner reported. The few who didn’t join the mob received icy stares.
Some have called for the firing of Steinbach, including some brave souls at Stanford’s student newspaper. Steinbach seems in keeping with the values of Stanford’s legal faculty, which until late last year included Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried, the far-left liberal activists who championed the activities of their famous son, Sam Bankman Fried, the alleged crypto fraudster.
Even with a decided liberal bias, what I found myself asking is, “How did juveniles with no respect for their experienced jurisprudence elders get into Stanford’s law school?”
It’s a measure of my cluelessness about the pervasiveness of woke toxicity that I imagined that American Bar Association would be horrified about what took place at Stanford. In fact, if they took a public position, it likely would be in support of Tirien Steinbach, Stanford law’s DEI Dean.
The ABA last year moved to mandate that law schools include “Critical Race Theory” as part of their curriculum. The association also moved to increase student admissions and faculty-staff hires of members of groups underrepresented in law compared to the U.S. population overall, although it denied it was trying to impose quotas. Understandably, it takes an accomplished lawyer to understand the ABA’s intellectual gymnastics.
The ABA owns the bat and ball of law school education. Graduating from a law school accredited by ABA is required in almost every state for applicants seeking admission to the bar. They association’s liberal bias is well known and documented. A study of ABA evaluations of judicial nominees from 1977-2008 found “strong evidence of systematic bias in favor of Democratic nominees,” who were likelier to be rated “well-qualified” than similarly qualified Republicans.
Stanford’s intolerant law school graduates will have red carpets rolled out for them at well-known and once universally respected global law firms such as Hogan Lovells. Here’s what happened to Robin Keller, a retired Hogan Lovells equity partner, for daring to argue a dissenting legal opinion.
From Lovells’ November 29, 2022 op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal:
After the Supreme Court issued its Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade in June, global law firm Hogan Lovells organized an online conference call for female employees. As a retired equity partner still actively serving clients, I was invited to participate in what was billed as a “safe space” for women at the firm to discuss the decision. It might have been a safe space for some, but it wasn’t safe for me.
Everyone else who spoke on the call was unanimous in her anger and outrage about Dobbs. I spoke up to offer a different view. I noted that many jurists and commentators believed Roe had been wrongly decided. I said that the court was right to remand the issue to the states. I added that I thought abortion-rights advocates had brought much of the pushback against Roe on themselves by pushing for extreme policies. I referred to numerous reports of disproportionately high rates of abortion in the black community, which some have called a form of genocide. I said I thought this was tragic.
The outrage was immediate. The next speaker called me a racist and demanded that I leave the meeting. Other participants said they “lost their ability to breathe” on hearing my comments. After more of the same, I hung up.
Suffice to say, Robin Keller no longer works at Hogan Lovells. Here’s a taste of some of the legal media’s dismissive coverage of Keller’s experience, although one writer had the courage to take a contrarian stand.
Experienced lawyers getting forced out because of impolitic legal arguments is cause for great alarm. It ultimately leads to prosecutions not based on meritorious legal grounds and precedents, but cases manufactured to achieve desired political results.
One such case was the prosecution last year of Tom Barrack, a longtime friend of Donald Trump. Federal prosecutors concocted nine criminal counts against Barrack related to his work on behalf of a company he founded, including failing to register as a foreign agent, obstructing justice and lying to federal agents. But after a six-week trial it took jurors a mere two days to deliver “not guilty” verdicts on all the charges, a humiliating rebuke to President Biden’s Justice Department.
Said Rebecca Lovaglio, an alternative juror who heard all the evidence: “I thought much of the prosecution’s evidence was very misleading and misrepresented the truth.”
Few Americans know of the unjust prosecution of Barrack, who Bloomberg reported is playing a leading role in trying to save First Republic Bank.
At this writing, there are reports that President Donald Trump is facing an indictment for a payment related to a porn star, and possibly some other charges. While grand juries are supposed to be held in secret and their deliberations kept private, Emily Kohrs, the forewoman of a special grand jury empaneled by a Georgia prosecutor, conducted a national media tour, including saying this on CNN:
I really don’t want to share something that the judge made a conscious decision not to share. I will tell you that it was a process where we heard his name a lot. Um, we definitely heard a lot about former President Trump, and we definitely discussed him a lot in the room. And I’ll say that, uh, when this list comes out, you wouldn’t, there are no major plot twists waiting for you.
Kohrs was subsequently mocked in a skit on Saturday Night Live and late-night comedians are working overtime with their Trump jail jokes, underscoring that America’s justice system has become fodder for satire and mockery.
Arresting political enemies and their allies is the stuff of Banana Republics, and with Republicans investigating President Biden’s family dealings, America seems to be moving in that direction. While no doubt many will watch Trump’s arrest with great delight and amusement, count me among those who won’t be laughing.