A Remedy for Stanford Law School's Free Speech Thugs

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Complaints to Bar Admission Authorities About Law Student Disruptors

WASHINGTON - Amzeal -- Those who value free speech should consider reporting law students who deliberately prevent guests from speaking to bar admission authorities, suggests public interest law professor John Banzhaf, who has filed several successful bar complaints.

He was reacting to the latest such violation and disruption which occurred when law students at Stanford Law School deliberately prevented a federal appeals court judge from speaking.

Since it appears that the school will not be disciplining any of the student offenders, the only effective remedy might be for law students and/or law faculty concerned about free speech to consider informing bar admission authorities of their actions.

As the law school admitted in a letter, the deliberate disruption of the invited speaker "was inconsistent with our policies on free speech."

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So, although Stanford may refuse to discipline the offending students, authorities charged with insuring that applicants for the bar possess the requisite character and fitness to be entrusted with the enormous powers which those admitted to the bar wield may well take a dim view of such conduct.

As the judge explained: "If enough of these kids get into the legal profession," he said, "the rule of law will descend into barbarism."

If Stanford refuses to enforce its own free speech policy and discipline the student disruptors, the only effective remedy may be for other law students and/or law faculty who care about free speech to consider informing bar admission authorities of what they did, and let bar authorities decide whether they are nevertheless fit to become lawyers - just as those who violated other school rules such as those concerning plagiarism or other forms of cheating, sexual harassment, stealing, etc. might likewise be reported.

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A few such law students might be denied admission to the bar, at least for a while, and others will probably - at the very least - have their admission delayed by hearings and other proceedings, says Prof. Banzhaf, who has filed several successful bar complaints, and who notes that complaints may even be filed anonymously.

The facts underlying the complaints should not be in issue, Banzhaf says, noting that there are many cell-phone video recordings showing which law students deliberately disrupted the judge's speech; recordings which could be mailed to bar authorities to document and support the complaint.

If no one is willing to actually file such complaints now after the fact, at the very least law students at Stanford - and at the many other law schools where similar free speech violations have occurred - should be put on notice that formal bar admission complaints may be filed in the future if similar violations occur, suggests Banzhaf.

http://banzhaf.net/   jbanzhaf3ATgmail.com   @profbanzhaf


Source: Public Interest Law Professor John Banzhaf
Filed Under: Education

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