Columbia Law Students Are Upset
Oh boy, do I wish I was the Law School Dean at Columbia? Ok, I have no legal background...but qualifications never stopped me.
Let's see how could I diplomatically handle this? "Dear students, you're free to disagree and engage in lively debate. Are you free to tell us or anyone else here what to do, so long as they are following the law? Nope. If you feel uncomfortable in any way, however, feel free to take your ass somewhere else and study. Now go f-ck yourself".
Ok, maybe the "go f-ck yourself" part was a little over the top?
Columbia Law Students Are Upset
Members of the school’s Federalist Society met Justice Kavanaugh. Students are horrified.
By The Editorial Board
March 29, 2023 6:35 pm ET
The nation’s top law schools are the latest battleground for politics and free speech on campus. Barely two weeks after Stanford Law School students shouted down Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Kyle Duncan, Columbia Law School students want to erase news that some students met with Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
On Feb. 23, members of the Columbia Federalist Society went to Washington and met with Justice Kavanaugh at the High Court. On March 14, Columbia Law School posted a photograph of the meeting on its Instagram account with a brief note that the law students had a chance to “engage in conversation” and hear about “the Court’s deliberation process and how to be an effective advocate.”
There was a time when meeting with a Justice was an honor regardless of one’s judicial philosophy, but no more. Columbia student groups responded with vitriol aimed at the university for daring to “uplift” what they considered an offensive and ”hurtful” image—and at the students who met the Justice.
On Columbia’s Instagram account, students and alumni called the meeting “embarrassing,” “disgusting” and “disrespectful” and expressed outrage that the school had posted the picture during Women’s History Month. Justice Kavanaugh was part of the majority who overturned Roe v. Wade last year.
Student organizations, including the Black Law Students Association of Columbia and the reproductive rights group If/When/How, have written letters demanding that the school remove the social-media post. The American Constitution Society chapter noted that “at a time when the rights of vulnerable people are under attack, CLS used their platform to uplift a radical jurist who has consistently voted to take away those rights.”
Columbia Law School’s policy on free speech says that “all members of our community may engage in our cherished traditions of freedom of expression and open debate.” The law school did not respond to a request for comment. Last time we checked, the school had not removed the post.
In a bizarre attempt at retaliation, the Black Law Students Association said it will no longer support Columbia Law’s recruitment program for incoming black students, explaining that “the Columbia Law School Administration may be comfortable wallowing in ‘apoliticism’ and neutrality, but we are not.”
Progressive campaigns and the social pressure to support student groups based on identity silences students who fear they will be called racist or anti-women if they dissent from the orthodoxy. One Columbia law student told us that speaking out on the Kavanaugh flap is impossible. “I’m a Democrat and a liberal person and so are my friends but none of us can say anything,” said the student, who asked not to be identified. “If I feel this way, I can’t imagine how conservative students feel.”
Ending political intimidation is vital to restoring a healthy culture of free speech on campus. Columbia has a teaching moment here.