If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
There’s an open assault on “free speech” out there trying to recharacterize the time-honored defense of minority viewpoints to stand up to the dominant discourse. Rather than a “right to protest” as it’s more classically been known, cynical actors are spinning the rhetoric of “free speech” into “the freedom of the speaker with the megaphone to speak to a silent, docile audience of BS receptacles.” It’s quite the switcheroo!
And for the folks pushing this effort, Yale Law School provided the blueprint.
Yale hosted a representative from a recognized hate group. This prompted student protest because students, by and large, don’t really like hate groups. The protest followed all of Yale Law’s existing rules governing the proper conduct of a protest and the event proceeded as scheduled, but that didn’t stop right-wing media from bloviating that by daring to question someone with a microphone, the students mounted an attack on “free speech.” That in turn inspired some judges to newsjack these stories to boost their own profiles by publicly declaring that they won’t hire future Yale Law grads for clerkships over it, despite the fact that this would only hurt right-leaning FedSoc students (shrug emoji!). The Yale Law administration then issued some half-baked “reforms” to appease the nonsense complaints and actually invited the two judges to campus to talk about it in a desperate bid to get back in the good graces of obviously disingenuous actors.
Pretty much game, set, and match for the “new free speech” crowd. So why not take this plan and spin it up again?
Texas A&M’s Federalist Society invited a different representative of the ironically named Alliance Defending Freedom, the same hate group from the Yale story, to give a little chat on religious liberty. And this is going to keep on happening as folks realize there’s an eager audience for “LAW SCHOOL GOES WOKE — HOW IS IT FREE SPEECH IF STUDENTS DON’T SIT QUIETLY AND LISTEN!” stories. Just keep pushing the envelope with hate groups and wait until the barest whiff of dissent can be spun into a Washington Examiner story.
We haven’t heard any reports on whether or not there was a protest, but we have heard that multiple students have requested an official statement from the administration. As of yesterday evening, they still hadn’t received one.
And that’s a win for FedSoc in and of itself. Yale’s administration embarrassingly bent over backward to disavow students for standing up for LGBTQ+ rights and still got roasted in the media and called out by federal judges. If the experience sufficiently chilled another administration into burying its head in the sand then everything’s going according to plan.
So expect to see someone from ADF… or any of the other groups on here head to your school soon! The playbook is set: invite extremists, wait for response, vilify if necessary, bully administrations into silence or compliance.
Rinse and repeat.
Earlier: Yale Law School Invites Boycotting Judges To Campus… Totally Not Cowardly Desperation At All!
Yale Law School Responds To ‘Free Speech’ Complaints By Cracking Down On Free Speech
James Ho Cancel Cultures Yale Law FedSoc Because Other Students Are Mean To Yale Law FedSoc Students
Yale Law Students: ‘Maybe Don’t Invite FedSoc To Parties.’ Right Wing: ‘Doxx ‘Em And Snitch To Employers’
Yale Law Professor Suggests Punishing Students For Following The Rules
Yale Law School Free Speech Crisis Mostly Fake News
Banning Law School Protests To Protect Free Speech Marks New Orwellian Heights
Joe Patrice is a senior editor at Above the Law and co-host of Thinking Like A Lawyer. Feel free to email any tips, questions, or comments. Follow him on Twitter if you’re interested in law, politics, and a healthy dose of college sports news. Joe also serves as a Managing Director at RPN Executive Search.