At Stanford Law School, the Dean Takes a Stand for Free Speech. Will It Work?

April 08, 2023 1 min read

Stanford Law School was under extraordinary pressure. For nearly two weeks, there had been mounting anger over the treatment of a conservative federal judge, whose talk had been disrupted by student hecklers. A video of the fiasco went viral. An apology to the judge from university officials had not helped quell the anger. Finally, on March 22, the dean, Jenny S. Martinez, released a lawyerly 10-page memo that rebuked the activists.

The question for Stanford and other institutions is whether the memo can ease tensions in this fraught and seemingly intractable political climate. In an era of high-pitched politics, living up to lofty free-speech principles can get messy on the ground.

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