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Conservatives excluded from Stanford law dean search: report

One student member leads a group that reportedly helped shout down Judge Kyle Duncan last year

Stanford Law School’s search committee for its new dean does not include any conservatives or even liberals friendly to conservatism, according to The Washington Free Beacon.

The news comes as the law school has faced questions about its support for free speech following the shouting down of Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Kyle Duncan in March, a disruption that led to the departure of the institution’s “diversity, equity, and inclusion” associate dean, Tirien Steinbach (pictured).

Former law school dean Jenny Martinez is now the university provost.

One committee member is Matthew Coffin, the co-president of Stanford OutLaw, which reportedly helped disrupt Duncan’s event.

“The Washington Free Beacon could not confirm whether Coffin personally joined the protest, but two students who were present for the event said they saw him in the crowd,” the news outlet reported. “OutLaw organized the protest along with the National Lawyers Guild, according to fliers posted around the school and Stanford’s student newspaper, though Coffin’s group later denied responsibility.”

While Martinez, the former dean, spoke out against cancel culture and favorably in support of free speech, the search committee shows how “universities that commit publicly to intellectual diversity are often working behind the scenes to undermine it, stacking decision-making bodies with the most radical students and professors.” the Free Beacon reported.

The news outlet reported:

Stanford illustrates how this ideological screening can happen without an explicit litmus test. Though Martinez said in March that law school shouldn’t be an “echo chamber,” the committee searching for her replacement includes no conservatives or moderates. All of its faculty members are quite far left, four current and former students said, with even liberals friendly to the Federalist Society left off the list.

The committee includes [Pamela] Karlan, hailed as “a new hero for liberal law professors” in the wake of her impeachment testimony [against President Donald Trump], as well as Jayashri Srikantiah, the founder of the law school’s Immigrants’ Rights Clinic, and two administrators with roles in the university’s sprawling diversity bureaucracy: Dan Schwartz, the dean of Stanford’s Graduate School of Education, and Stephanie Kalfayan, the university’s vice provost for Academic Affairs.

Martinez, despite her pledge of support for open debate, also did not seek punishments for the students behind the disruption.

MORE: Conservative students appear blackballed from top law reviews

IMAGE: Ethics and Public Policy Center

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