The Shortsighted Complaint at Stanford Law School

This attempt at a "Gotcha" moment backfired.

|

Yesterday, Eugene blogged about an incident at Stanford Law School. I am still in the process of learning more about the specific facts, but here I wanted to address the issue at a high level.

Conservative students often complain about double standards. One set of rules seems to apply to progressive groups, and a different set of rules applies to conservative groups like the Federalist Society. And one way to highlight any double standards is to call the other side out for any transgressions. Alas, turnabout is seldom fair play.

Consider two recent incidents. The Rutgers Student Bar Association tried to force FedSoc to host CRT events. This policy was blatantly unconstitutional. Fortunately, FIRE intervened, and the law school begrudgingly relented. Yet, that story received zero press. Beyond my blog post, I did not see coverage anywhere other than the FIRE Blog.

FIRE also intervened on behalf of the student at Stanford. (Kudos to FIRE for protecting speech, regardless of who is speaking!). And this story made the New York Times and other leading outlets. The juxtaposition between these two incidents is stark. FIRE helps FedSoc, crickets. FIRE attacks FedSoc, national headlines.

We can draw some lessons here. Conservatives cannot expect to use liberal institutions to fight for conservative causes. More often than not, these efforts will backfire. Using the student disciplinary process as a "gotcha" moment for an obvious political satire may feel good in the moment. But that complaint had an entirely predictable process: martyring the student, creating a backlash against FedSoc, and alienating people who might otherwise be interested in learning more about right-of-center thought.

Every now and then, students ask me if they should file misconduct complaints against other students or groups. My advice is almost always don't do it. These efforts are counterproductive, and will not achieve the desired goals. A good analogy is public interest litigation. Groups like IJ or Goldwater or PLF or Becket or ADF do not bring every case to challenge every wrong. They select cases very carefully. They choose the right, sympathetic plaintiff. They select the right, unsympathetic defendant. And they choose the right time and forum to bring the case. They prepare an elaborate public relations campaign. And so on. Students should learn from these groups. The two-page complaint filed at Stanford was ill-advised, and was poorly thought through. It did not reflect the sophistication I would expect from Stanford FedSoc member. (And from what I've gathered, this complaint was filed by an individual member of the organization, and not the organization itself).

We should learn from this incident, and do better next time.

NEXT: Vanity Fair: "The Lab-Leak Theory: Inside the Fight to Uncover COVID-19’s Origins"

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. So reading that e-mail….it doesn’t instantly come across as satire. I mean there are a couple lines or words out of place.

    But the formatting, and many of the other lines which perfectly emulate a standard speech bit….

    1. So, sending an email on Jan. 25, with a flyer promoting a discussion titled “The Originalist Case for Inciting Insurrection” on Jan. 6 doesn’t “instantly” come across as satire? If it takes you 5 seconds to figure out that it is satire, instead of “instantly”, then it is okay to file a complaint that would hold up someone’s degree?

      1. Rescind the tax exemption of Stanford Law School, then shut down this Commie school. To deter.

      2. I’m not even sure it’s 5 seconds. Seriously, considering the source of the e-mail, without any real indications, some people could consider it to be real.

        1. So? Some people considered “A Modest Proposal” real. It is not the satirist’s responsibility to make satire so obvious that everyone understands it is satire.

          1. A Modest Proposal didn’t come out of the UK’s formal government publishing chain… It didn’t propose to be presented by Queen Elizabeth (or whoever was ruling at the time).

            1. Parody does not cease to be protected parody just because it claims to be from the person or entity satirized. See Hustler v. Falwell.

              1. Context is important.

                Hustler is not a major newspaper, but a different type of publication. Moreover the Hustler case had disclaimers put in that it was parody

                If part of the same ad were in, for example, a political advertisement on the television, without the disclaimers….

              2. Larry Flynt would never have been permitted to become a member of the California Bar. This was a 3-L falsely claiming to represent the Federalist Society when he did not.

                1. So law students can’t engage in parody now? That’s going to be news to a lot of people.

                  1. Parody, yes — misrepresentation, no.

                  2. What exactly is the legal standard for satire, if there is one?

                    Is it, “a reasonable person wouldn’t misinterpret this”?

                    Or is it an “I know it when I see it” type of thing?

          2. A New Speech, presented by the American Constitutional Society.

            Today, Nancy Pelosi comes to give a speech about how storming and occupying the capitol is the duty and responsibility of Americans who fail to have their views heard by the government. Such protests are “Democracy in Action” and based on the history of our country, are a valid and just means of achieving real change.

            Satire or Real?

            1. Yes obviously.

              1. Which one? Satire or Real?

                1. Satire. No one who knows anything about Nancy Pelosi would ever think she would say anything resembling a bold call to action.

                  1. It’s actually real. After protestors stormed and occupied the Wisconsin capitol in 2011, Pelosi celebrated their actions as “Democracy in Action”

                    https://meaww.com/nancy-pelosi-hypocrite-wisconsin-capitol-storming-capitol-riots

                    Something to think about

                    1. Well played. I apparently need to lower (or raise?) my standards for Nancy Pelosi.

                    2. There are also the things which Kamala Harris said in support of BLM.

                    3. It’s not a game.

                      Many things which you apparently take for parody actually happen.

                      I’ve got wider standards for what is possible.

                    4. You’re right. It is not a game. The Federalist Society at Stanford actually tried to derail someone’s career and cost them thousands of dollars over this. But you’re defending that for some reason.

                    5. http://archive.jsonline.com/blogs/news/116923148.html

                      The situations were not analogous. The protesters in the Wisconsin case actually occupied parts of the Capitol building for weeks as they were trying to pass that legislation, and legislative business continued. (Though Democrats left the state to deny them a quorum for a while, it eventually passed in such a quick vote that many Democrats couldn’t actually get their votes registered in the electronic system.) Police union leaders actually said that they stood with the protesters, even though their unions were exempt from the changes.

                      “Jim Palmer, executive director of the WPPA, said in a statement released Friday morning that Gov. Scott Walker should keep the building open and allow the protesters to stay.

                      There had been speculation on Friday that the effort to move out tables, chairs and other items from the building was the beginning of an effort to move protesters out. But the state Department of Administration said Friday that the building would not be closing at 4 p.m. Friday, as had been rumored.

                      “Capitol Police are working with protest organizers to begin removal of some large items that could pose fire hazards such as mattresses, folding tables and chairs,” the state agency said.

                      Palmer’s statement, issued before the Department of Administration statement, said “the protesters are cleaning up after themselves and have not caused any problems.”

                      “The fact of that matter is that Wisconsin’s law enforcement community opposes Governor Walker’s effort to eliminate most union activity in this state, and we implore him to not do anything to increase the risk to officers and the public. The costs of providing security can never outweigh those associated with a conflict.”

                    6. As others have pointed out, key differences between the two include the fact that the Wisconsin people were unarmed, coordinated their activities with the Capital police, didn’t use force to enter the Capital building. didn’t attempt to enter legislative chambers or offices unbidden, didn’t attempt to interrupt the legislative process which remained ongoing while they were there, and didn’t issue death threats against legislative leaders.

                      I think these are some of the elements that traditionally distinguish a “protest” from a “riot.” Our laws and system of government have always seen a very big difference between the two.

        2. I’m not even sure it’s 5 seconds. Seriously, considering the source of the e-mail, without any real indications, some people could consider it to be real.

          Did you miss the part about how the flyer was advertising for an event that was more than two weeks in the past? And that anyone not living under a rock would recognize that Jan. 6 had particular meaning for what was being described anyway?

          Only people that glanced at it without really paying attention missed the satire. I read read the complaint (filed two months after the flyer was emailed, by the way, further making it more obviously satirical for those sharing it on Twitter and Facebook). That some people online didn’t get the joke right away and responded as if it was real does not make it any less satirical. It happens all the time that someone shares some Onion article or something like that, and then some people don’t get the joke and think it is real.

          This is just sour grapes about your side being the butt of a joke. A joke that works quite well, in my opinion.

    2. So what if it doesn’t instantly come across as satire? The Anarchists Cookbook is worse, and its protected.

      1. That falls into a different category. The Anarchists Cookbook isn’t claiming to be from a particular group.

        The reason it’s an issue is that it plausably asserts to be from a particular group, and thus acts as a form of slander.

        1. I think that the correct legal argument is that for it to be considered satire, it should be funny (here is some satire right here: https://babylonbee.com/news/bars-on-kids-cages-to-be-painted-rainbow-colors-for-pride-month).

          This email was not funny, ergo its not satire. It’s actually a proven fact that wokeness on campus has killed all humor anyway, since any attempts at insightful humor are risky and must be met with retractions and apologies.

          I am not sure its legally slander either, since the Federalist Society are clearly a bunch of racist Trump supporting monsters. So, this email seems more like a compliment.

          1. WERE they hosting the event?

            Then it’s libel, and you can’t claim “absence of malice.”

            1. Were they hosting an event on January 6th entitled “The Originalist Case for Insurrection” in California, headlined by a United States Senator who needed to be in the Senate that day objecting to the electoral college certification? Is that what you’re asking.?

            2. “WERE they hosting the event?

              Then it’s libel”

              Jumping the gun a bit. there are several elements to libel, and all of them have to be present for there to be libel. Are you claiming that all of the elements are actually present, or are you just asserting your usual wishful-thinking-that-claims-to-be-analysis?

          2. I think that the correct legal argument is that for it to be considered satire, it should be funny

            Right, and that’s not a standard ripe for abuse or anything. (That was sarcasm, by the way, even if you don’t think it is funny.)

    3. The fact that “The Originalist Case for Inciting Insurrection” doesn’t immediately scan as satire is about the most damning indictment of the modern right wing I could imagine.

      1. “immediately scan”? really?

        What country before ever existed a century & half without a rebellion? What country can preserve it’s liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. the remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon & pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants. It is it’s natural manure.

        Did I just write satire, or an Originalist Case for Insurrection?

        1. Indeed. Just the point.

        2. You did indeed make an originalist case for insurrection. One broad enough to also justify 9/11, and pretty much every other act of political terrorism imaginable. This bloodlust is one major reason most people find modern conservatism so revolting.

          1. See below for leftist examples of “bloodlust.”

            By the way, what do you think it means, “The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon & pacify them.”

        3. “What country before ever existed a century & half without a rebellion?”

          Certainly not this one. We didn’t even make it a decade & half.

      2. How’s this?

        “It is the duty, the responsibility of the African American Community to protest and even rebel against the government if their rights are not respected. If the police continue to act in ways that suppress African American rights, even if those ways are deemed legal, the African American Community and those who support them have the responsibility to rebel against this unjust authority, in order to make their views known”

        Is that satire?

        1. What’s the context?

          1. A flyer that appears sent out by the American Constitutional Society to the student body, regarding a speech by Maxine Waters.

            1. Certainly satire given what other ACS programs are typically like.

              1. Would a “reasonable” person know what ACS programs are typically like though?

                1. At Stanford? Yes.

                  1. Not a reasonable law student. A reasonable person.

                    1. A reasonable person doesn’t have access to the Stanford listserv. Unless you think inside jokes need to be tailored to the world at large?

                    2. You assume such a “joke” would stay on the listserv.

                      It clearly didn’t.

                    3. Yeah so you expect everyone to tailor their jokes to the sensibilities of randos because it might get out. That is obviously ridiculous.

      3. I think it says more about the perceptions of the people ideologically opposed to the Federalist Society. I am wholly unenthused with conservative or Trumpist nonsense, but the Federalist Society has long-served as a liberal boogeyman.

        All that said, the flyer was pretty damn funny.

        1. I think I saw a few comments on Twitter saying that the only thing missing was mentioning that lunch was going to be Chick-fil-a.

          1. The Federalist Society events I have attended have not uniformly featured Chick-fil-A. Sometimes, a nice plated meal on a linen-covered table at a private club downtown is served.

            But otherwise, plenty of Chick-fil-A, probably for the reason many people eschew Chick-fil-A (it is not the MSG).

            1. I went to law school in Oregon, during a time when they didn’t have any operating Chick-Fil-A restaurants. The key to appealing to law students in Portland was to offer good beer. The food didn’t matter.

      4. Is Aunt Teefah aware of the fact that over half the US House, arguably in good faith (although I will dispute that) impeached the President for exactly that?!?

    4. I literally understood it as satire within a couple of seconds.

    5. Think about how damning it is to the Federalist Society that people sympathetic to them cannot distinguish parody. Maybe that’s the joke you’re trying to make but can you clarify? Or did you for a moment really think FedSec would make the originalist case for insurrection?

      1. The left apparently has a way higher opinion of the Federalist Society than Armchair does.

      2. This isn’t about the Federalist Society. It’s about what other people who aren’t the Federalist Society, who don’t know them well, might think of such a “joke.”

        We just got done with 4 years where such absurd concepts as “tapes of Russians peeing on Trump” were taken seriously and prompted a 30 million dollar investigation. That should’ve been parody, and dismissed.

        1. Did you figure the ‘paid off pornstars after adultery while his wife was caring for a newborn’ stories were parody as well?

        2. “We just got done with 4 years where such absurd concepts as ‘tapes of Russians peeing on Trump’ were taken seriously”

          By whom, exactly? Your absurdist detail isn’t part of any narrative that was taken seriously by anybody, though you didn’t make it so absurd as to be entirely impossible that it might be true.

    6. It’s not satire if the President was just impeached for an allegation of doing the exact same thing.

      But the bigger issue here involves misappropriation — falsely claiming to represent the Federalist Society when Wallace did not. While I’d be very surprised if this wasn’t a violation of the code of conduct, the bigger issue is it being a violation of the rules of bar ethics.

      Clearly an attorney can’t publicly claim to be representing an organization which he, in fact, is not representing. Imagine the political mischief we would have if an attorney could announce events for groups with which he disagreed — and then claim the defense of “parody.”

      Well, isn’t a 3-L expected to comport himself as the attorney that he hopes to soon be???

      1. “Well, isn’t a 3-L expected to comport himself as the attorney that he hopes to soon be???”

        That’s a good question for the complainer too. The profession tends to look down on people who file frivolous cases and motions for sanctions.

        1. I don’t think the complaint was frivolous — and an adult at Stanford would simply have told Wallace to send another email stating that it was a parody and that the Fed Soc hadn’t hosted such an event.

        2. “You did indeed make an originalist case for insurrection.”
          If so, then you’re a sucker for BS.

      2. It’s not satire if the President was just impeached for an allegation of doing the exact same thing.

        The President was impeached for actually inciting a real life insurrection. That is not “the exact same thing” as presenting an academic discussion of how originalism supports insurrection.

      3. “the bigger issue is it being a violation of the rules of bar ethics.”

        Hint: Bar ethics apply to bar members. Which bar member is it that you believe acted unethically?

        “Clearly an attorney can’t publicly claim to be representing an organization which he, in fact, is not representing.”

        Which rule would this be violating?

    7. To be parody, he’d have to have done something like Photoshopped Hawley in a tank (i.e. the Mike Dukakis photo), said that Paxton was bringing the Texas ANG with him, and offered a ride in a F-15 instead of the grubhub coupons.

      THAT would have been parody.

      1. I know writers who use subtext and they’re all cowards, every one of them.

        1. Some of the responses Rep. Crenshaw is getting to his call for ‘stories of military people and situations clingers would dislike’ are magnificent. One: ‘My unit has a fat-positive soldier, another I think is a Jew, and one guy sounds a lot like Garfield. Plus I am pretty sure our battle tank is actually an RV. Also my sergeant calls me Francis EVEN THOUGH I SPECIFICALLY ASKED HIM NOT TO CALL ME FRANCIS. This is no way to maintain military discipline! I sure hope you can do something about all of this woke stuff Mr. Crenshaw.’

          1. I think I saw that movie!

      2. “THAT would have been parody.”

        Your expertise in this subject is exceeded only by your expertise in any other field.

  2. it’s weird because this isn’t right of center. Right of Center is George Bush. FedSoc pushes the trump agenda which is really far right.

    1. Both Bushes — the whole Busk clan — are LEFT of center…

      1. How long have you been confused about where the center is? Decades, obviously, but just how many?

  3. Thanks for another object lesson on just how far it’s possible to miss the point.

  4. Man it must just suck to be a conservative.

    *** sniff ***

    1. But it is great to be a culture war winner!

    2. “Man it must just suck to be a conservative.”

      Why do you think they’re always OUTRAGED! by something or other that just doesn’t seem that important?

  5. It is amazing—but not surprising—that Josh Blackman would turn a story about conservatives behaving badly into a story of conservative victimhood. Personal responsibility!

    1. While this is reasonable, the way the media reslants many stories that reflect badly on the left to “Republicans pounce” makes turnabout fair play. Unlike perceptions of the news media, where many on the left think the Times, the Post, or NPR are neutral, and many on the right think of Fox as “fair and balanced”, I don’t know many readers here who think of Blackman is a neutral party in any way.

      1. Oh, I don’t think he’s ever claimed to be neutral. But I also don’t think “turnabout” is fair play solely because of some perceived cultural slight, filtered through ones own cognitive biases. I’d imagine most people engaged in bad behavior can come up with a flimsy justification for why it’s really just getting back at the Evil Other Side that does Much Worse Things.

        1. The problem is that apparently a large number of people never got a lecture from mom (and/or dad) around the age of ten that misbehavior by other people DOES NOT excuse your own misbehavior. “but they were doing it” is not an excuse, regardless of what “it” was or who “they” are.

    2. You’re being an idiot. This sort of thing happens no matter the group of people in question and it has nothing to do with personal responsibility, unless you believe Blackman had something to do with the complaint itself.

      Armenians justified the extrajudicial killing of Talat Pasha because of his orchestrating the genocide. AOC excused rising crime in NYC by blaming poverty. A conservative windbag is talking about how a malicious system doesn’t work for his group so they shouldn’t try to use it. Literal communists extolled the Bernie bro fucko who shot congressmen because the system excludes them. The choices are endless and you can find one from every group because anybody who condemns their entire in-group over something a small group within it did has nowhere to go but down, especially in politics.

      1. My point is that Blackman isn’t interested in the merits of the Stanford Federalist Society’s gimmick. What he’s interested in is making this a story about how poor, maligned conservatives can’t get a fair shake when they engage in bad behavior to highlight what they see as countervailing bad behavior. Blackman is implicitly arguing that the complaint would have been justified if it worked, but such complaints will never actually work because conservatives are victims.

  6. I am not sure I agree.

    The long term the goal is to change Policy and Procedures (P&P). I am unconvinced that the faculty who write the policy and procedures, and who see themselves as morally superior in every way (fighting against monstrous racists, obviously), are open to persuasion.

    Because people see themselves as having the morally superior position, no matter what tactics are employed, some backlash and alienation will be inevitable. Even staunch defenders of the right to counsel cringe when a serial killer gets a good defense attorney. Defending the obviously racist and monstrous Federalist Society is only slightly less cringey in the current environment.

    This kind of hit-and-run tactic against the school falls under guerilla tactics, and I think that the same criticisms can be made of any guerilla tactics. Guerilla tactics are time-honored tools against a much larger enemy force. It’s been proven effective for thousands of years against a much larger force.

    At a minimum, using the P&P against the leftists will force the school to change the P&P, else become overwhelmed. The best revenge on the bureaucracy is to follow that P&P
    to the letter. A lawyers greatest superpower is to turn a merits question into a procedural question. That includes school policies about speech.

    1. The more smoke you create, the more those who control the levers of power will get away with crushing dissent. We do not want the public to shrug their shoulders and say “A plague on both their houses!”

      1. I’ve been in the trenches — have you?
        This complaint should have been filed.

  7. The two-page complaint filed at Stanford was ill-advised, and was poorly thought through. It did not reflect the sophistication I would expect from Stanford FedSoc member. (And from what I’ve gathered, this complaint was filed by an individual member of the organization, and not the organization itself).

    If Prof. Blackman had read the complaint more carefully, he would have noticed that the complaint ends with, “And we, as officers of the organization, feel that our individual reputations have been harmed.” If the complaint was filed by a single individual, it was an officer of the Standford Federalist Society claiming to speak for other officers.

  8. ” I wanted to address the issue at a high level ”

    The lofty aspirations of South Texas clingers . . .

  9. “We should learn from this incident, and do better next time.”

    Do you mean do better as in: we should refrain from doing morally dubious things like trying to ruin someone’s career, costing them money, and causing them stress over student BS?

    Or do you mean do better an in: we need to pick better targets to crush?

    1. Suddenly concerned about cancel culture when it effects your “side” eh?

      1. Where as you think it’s cool when it does?

  10. Has it occurred to anyone that Stanford may have deliberately sabotaged the FedSoc in both how they handled and reported this?

    First, a “diploma hold” doesn’t mean that a student *can’t* graduate, it just means that he can’t get his diploma until certain things have been cleared up, usually a bill but this routinely includes conduct charges.

    Second, nowhere does it say that Stanford was actually going to do anything — they were just going to spend more time thinking about it, and *that* is not the fault of the FedSoc. Stanford already had two months and hadn’t done anything…

    Third, assuming this was satire — which I dispute — they ought to have known it was Constitutionally protected in March and not have to wait until now.

    No, the more I think about it, Stanford sought to sabotage the FedSoc and people ought to look at Stanford.

    1. You really are deranged.

    2. The progressives who came up with this policy and then enforced it are not smart enough to play 3 dimensional chess like this. Chances are they held about 50 zoom meetings trying to figure out what to do. Heck, progressives cant even write good satire.

      1. I disagree — and suspect that they had several Zoom meetings before doing anything.

    3. That’s some impressive kettle logic.

  11. Shorter Blackman:

    Conservatives’ misbehavior proves conservative victimhood.

  12. “I wanted to address the issue at a high level.”

    Yet you chose to publish this instead . . .

    1. No one forced you to read it, much less to comment on it.

      1. Nor you my comment. If you disagree with me and think that Josh did address this issue at a “high level”, feel free to say so.

  13. As a control, someone should send a satirical email with a flyer about a seminar on how best to kill un- or recently-born babies, and see the university’s reaction.

  14. satire or real:

    Stanford should thus commit itself to a proactive process of retrospective justice, where each and every one of us in the Stanford community accept responsibility for Stanford’s onerous past and its legacy today. The wealth and privilege we gain from attending Stanford were created by the sacrifices of previous generations, including the unpaid labor and genocide of California Indians. We are all a part of this school’s collective history and are thus morally indebted to it, no matter how removed the violence of centuries past may seem.

    1. I’d call that all too real.

  15. One possible benefit to the Federalist Society bringing this case would be to establish a well-known precedent that can be later used in their own defense. Under that rationale, the greater publicity is a good thing — by all means, let the progressives rally to the cause of protected free speech. The Federalist Society should now come out with a statement saying something like, “We understand and accept the decision and fully expect that it will establish a rule when university processes are used to suppress conservative speech.”

    1. By using someone else as an unwitting guinea pig. Really classy FedSoc. That’s not deranged or sociopathic at all.

      1. I’m NOT saying that they did that or should have done that (in my opinion, they shouldn’t have done so mendaciously and I have no knowledge that they did) — I’m only pointing out that inducing progressives to rally around campus free speech in a well-publicized case may have at least some positive results.

  16. –> Yet, that story received zero press.

    Oh boo-hoo! This story is popular because it involves a student’s graduation being threatened over an obvious satire by none other than Stanford Law School. The irony is rich… and it helps that the satire is funny too.

    That’s hardly comparable to Rutgers instituting and then rescinding an indiscriminate if ill-advised student-group policy… with a mere $250 at stake.

    The fact that you found a way to mine this issue for right-wing victimhood points is astounding. Have you considered a career as a Newsmax commentator?

  17. “Conservatives cannot expect to use liberal institutions to fight for conservative causes.”

    Wow oh wow. That’s far reaching. If conservatives feel that the entire government is a liberal institution, what then? How bad does it have to be before we come to this: “But when a long
    train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

  18. Update: turns out it was the chapter President and two VPs who organized the complaint. Not exactly rogue agents.

    1. Bonus: they’re all going to be federal appellate clerks too

      1. Hope they do better as federal appellate clerks then they have recently done as FedSoc chapter officers.

  19. “FIRE helps FedSoc, crickets. FIRE attacks FedSoc, national headlines.”

    Was it an attack?

    1. Doug,
      Of course it was not. But let’s play along and buy into his narrative. From Josh’s perspective, he’s being really evenhanded here. (Yeah, yeah; I know. I said, “From Josh’s perspective.” I did not say, “From reality’s perspective.)

  20. Josh is right, the real story here is how unfair it is that when Fed Soc violates the free speech and anti-cancel culture values that it purports to stand for in order to punish someone for making fun of them, they run the risk of others mocking them for being hypocritical children.

    My favorite part is that, as expected, he has no criticism for the infants at Fed Soc who threw a tantrum and suffered from the predictable Streisand Effect. The problem isn’t that they wanted to be censorious hypocrites; no, the problem is that sometimes liberals try to infringe on speech too.

    1. when Fed Soc violates the free speech and anti-cancel culture values that it purports to stand for

      It’s worth noting that the complaint came from an individual member of the Fed. Soc., not the organization as a whole.

      1. It came from the chapter’s president and two Vice Presidents. Who spoke on behalf of the chapter.

      2. “It’s worth noting that the complaint came from an individual member of the Fed. Soc.,”

        It is even more noteworthy that this assertion is a falsehood.

        1. No. It is not noteworthy at all.

      3. It’s worth noting that the complaint came from an individual member of the Fed. Soc., not the organization as a whole.

        That is what Prof. Blackman thought, as he said, but he was wrong. I quoted from the complaint in a comment above that it was an officer of the group, claiming to speak for other officers, that filed the complaint. Apparently, others have found out more details that it was the group’s campus leaders that are going to be clerking for federal appeals court judges. (Highly sought positions for a law school grad.)

    2. Josh is right, the real story here is how unfair it is that when Fed Soc violates the free speech and anti-cancel culture values that it purports to stand for in order to punish someone for making fun of them, they run the risk of others mocking them for being hypocritical children.

      Conservatives are projecting when they talk about “snowflakes” on the left. They often cry more loudly than anyone on the left about being treated unfairly, and with much less justification.

  21. I wish these fledgling Federalist Society members from Stanford well as they prepare for careers as Prof. Blackman’s teammates on the Washington Generals.

  22. ” (And from what I’ve gathered, this complaint was filed by an individual member of the organization, and not the organization itself). ”

    Is Prof. Blackman going to correct this falsehood?

    Is this blog going to hire an editor?

    1. The blackman kid started this piece with “I am still in the process of learning more about the specific facts”.

      A lot his pieces start with similar language, such as “I’ll have more to say about this later”.

      An editor couldn’t do much with such wishy-washyness.

      1. The important thing is that all of his pieces start with “I.”

  23. “On Jan. 25, Wallace sent an email to a student listserv, borrowing from previous emails advertising Federalist Society events, purporting to invite students to attend an event — to be held 19 days earlier, on Jan. 6 — at which two Federalist Society members, Sen. Josh Hawley and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, would be the keynote speakers. The event, the “Originalist Case for Inciting Insurrection,” would discuss “doing a coup” and the “classical system of installing a government.” The email further said Hawley and Paxton would discuss “violent insurrection” as “an effective approach to upholding the principle of limited government.”

    The FedSoc members should have responded by actually scheduling such a presentation. Preferably on July 4th.

Please to post comments