SHARE
Yale Law Stu­dents Protested against free speech | Courtesy Wiki­media Commons

Many pro­fes­sions have fallen prey to the seductive influ­ences of wokeism over time, but thanks to Judge Lau­rence Sil­berman, the legal pro­fession could be the exception. 

Sil­berman, Senior Judge on the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, urged his col­leagues to con­sider denying clerk­ships to stu­dents who cannot handle the First Amendment, after around a hundred Yale Law School stu­dents booed and heckled a guest speaker from a reli­gious orga­ni­zation at a panel dis­cussion on free speech on March 10. 

“All federal judges — and all federal judges are pre­sumably com­mitted to free speech — should care­fully con­sider whether any student so iden­tified should be dis­qual­ified from potential clerk­ships,” Sil­berman wrote in an email to his fellow Article III judges.

Yale’s  Fed­er­alist Society planned to have Monica Miller, of the pro­gressive American Humanist Asso­ci­ation, and Kristen Wag­goner, of Alliance Defending Freedom, discuss civil rights. Instead, a mob of stu­dents demanded, unsuc­cess­fully, that Wag­goner be kicked off the panel alto­gether, prompting Silberman’s letter to his col­leagues. Wag­goner and Miller com­pleted the panel despite student protest. 

The stu­dents’ behavior would be a dis­grace if it hap­pened at a school designed to prepare future diversity officers or online activists. But it’s far worse at a law school that seeks to be the most selective, pres­ti­gious, and suc­cessful in the United States. 

The legal pro­fession requires a strict under­standing of American law and a mind willing to hear and evaluate both sides. It has no place for stu­dents who cannot bear to hear a view­point dif­ferent from their own, which is why Sil­berman wrote his letter. 

Many schools have expe­ri­enced pressure from stu­dents to alter its cur­riculum or uninvite guest speakers. But rarely do those stu­dents face con­se­quences for their actions. 

Sil­berman set an important example by encour­aging his col­leagues to think twice before accepting the appli­ca­tions of hyp­o­critical law stu­dents who can’t handle the First Amendment. And, thanks to an online petition to ban the unpopular speaker from campus, Silberman’s fellow judges will have no dif­fi­culty making a list of law stu­dents who have a lot to learn about the world. 

It’s nice to see someone standing up for the integrity of a pro­fession. The last thing the world needs is a fresh crop of edu­cated lawyers who have decided freedom of speech is a silly thing of the past. Let’s hope those stu­dents get the message.