November 30, 2022

FIRST YALE, NOW THE UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS FACING JUDICIAL PUSHBACK OVER FREE SPEECH: Kansas Supreme Court Justice Caleb Stegall resigns KU Law teaching position over free speech issues.

On Oct. 19, the KU student chapter of the Federalist Society invited Jordan Lorence, the senior counsel and director of strategic engagement at the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), to speak to KU Law students about the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause.

Associate Dean Dean for Academic and Student Affairs Leah Terranova fired off an email to the entire staff and student body of the law school, decrying the talk as “hate speech” 90 minutes before the start of Lorence’s talk.

On November 25, Kansas Supreme Court Justice Caleb Stegall, who has been teaching appellate advocacy at KU Law as a member of the adjunct faculty, submitted a scathing, six-page resignation letter to Dean Stephen Mazza, head of the law school.

Stegall wrote that he had sensed “a dampening of the spirit of open inquiry I have so loved and benefited from at KU Law. A spirit that — going all the way back to my days as a law student — always existed within Green Hall. But events this fall have brought an unwelcome clarity to what before was only a vague and foreboding feeling. So I write to let you know that, as a result, I will not be renewing my teaching relationship with KU Law next fall.” . . . Stegall said he was concerned about a “closed and fearful environment, brimming with hidden hostilities and carefully nursed grievances.”

Directly referencing the controversy over Lorence, Stegall said he was “disappointed to hear from KU Law students who recently came to me to express concern over administration actions surrounding a lunch-hour event sponsored by the student chapter of the Federalist Society.”

According to Stegall’s letter, after the announcement of the Lorence event, there was a “significant uproar” among students and faculty.

Stegall wrote that when members of the KU FedSoc expressed concern about what might happen at the event and asked the administration to provide security, the students were instead told they should cancel.

Good for him. Educrats have no business launching personal attacks on student organizations that they oversee, and Dean Mazza needs to discipline the Associate Dean.

Much more at the link.

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