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.