The decade's most triggering comedy
Columbia University law students and alums threw a tantrum over the mere mention of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh on a school Instagram post, with students calling him a rapist as administrators egged them on.
The incident, which followed a similar outburst at Stanford University’s School of Law, raises questions about whether high-priced, elite law schools are infantilizing people in their 20s and 30s and turning them into hardcore radicals with dubious grasp on the law and inability to even be near people with differing opinions.
The outrage was over Columbia Law School simply noting on an Instagram post that some students who were part of the Federalist Society had gone to D.C. and spoke with Kavanaugh about the practice of law.
Virtually all of the school’s many race-based groups said they will refuse to help the school recruit diverse students because of the post.
“We believe that our school’s choice to platform Justice Kavanaugh is symbolic of a pattern of behavior that our organization does not and will not support and will not be affiliated with,” the Black Law Students Association wrote. “We thank LALSA, NALSA, EWOC, OutLaws, QTPOC, IfWhenHow, APALSA, SALSA, and others, for joining us in this advocacy and struggle. We look forward to continued collaboration. By joining us in this effort, you have all helped put the administration on notice that we have a strong and growing collective,” it continued.
The law school’s Empowering Women of Color group said it was “withdrawing our participation from Columbia Law School recruiting events” as a result of the post, demanding that “It is time for Columbia Law School to sharpen its politics.”
“We cannot condone complicity with a man who is credibly accused of sexual assault,” it wrote. “The insinuation from the Communications Office that the post was neutral and just the Law School’s way of highlighting activities students are participating in is laughable and untrue. A post of this kind, with its caption, is a terrifying stamp of approval.”
Luke Cronin, who was named a Davis Polk Leadership Fellow by Columbia and is an editor of the Columbia Law Review, commented on the law school’s post: “Kavanaugh sexually violated Dr. Ford.”
There is no credible evidence that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted Christine Blasey Ford, who could not even recall basic details of her own allegation, much less the standard of evidence required of a lawyer. Kavanaugh recently survived an assassination attempt from a far-left activist. Her accusation made headlines during Kavanaugh’s contentious confirmation hearings in 2018, when Democrats tried to block him from ascending to the high court.
Ilana Dutton, a law student who the school last year named one of its “Public Interest/Public Service Fellows,” wrote: “Embarrassing. To every CLS survivor who sees this, I believe you and am so sorry that this school doesn’t seem to care about the harm that this man caused.” The fellowship award boasts that Dutton “aspires to a career … abolishing immigration detention in the United States.”
Law schools allow far-left students to attend for free by doling out “public interest” scholarships, while others attend the expensive institutions knowing that if they work for a nonprofit law firm for 10 years, their loans will be forgiven under federal law. Hannah Rosner received a full scholarship from Columbia Law for “public service” but did not appear grateful, writing: “This is disgusting. I wish I was surprised to see it still up after a week but unfortunately as an alum I am not.”
Columbia Law School Dean Gillian Lester called Rosner and another student “accomplished and ambitious leaders who exemplify the spirit of public service,” in announcing the scholarship. “Rosner, who grew up in Connecticut, studied history at Columbia College, where she wrote her senior thesis on the civil rights movement,” the award said.
Bryson Malcolm, who received a “2018 1L Diversity Fellowship” from McGlinchey Stafford PLLC, wrote: “Read the room @columbialawschool. As an alumnus, this is shameful and unnecessary on so many levels.”
Nima Binara, a Columbia Law grad, lawyer for Google, and former Department of Justice national security lawyer, asked, “Did the discussion touch upon judicial temperament, or the outrageousness of having a man credibly accused of sexual assault making decisions about women’s bodily autonomy?”
Jen Morton, a third-year law student and former summer associate at white-shoe law firm Ropes & Gray LLP, wrote: “As a current 3L—this is so incredibly shameful and disrespectful, especially to SA survivors in our community.”
One commenter claimed there was a “swastika found in the men’s bathroom at the law school over the weekend” and it must have been drawn by a member of the Federalist Society.
But the most notable comments came from the official Instagram account of an academic office of Columbia University: The Center for Engaged Pedagogy, housed in Barnard College, Columbia’s women’s college.
“WTF is wrong with you,” the Center commented.
“Ah yes. Every day I wake up wondering what is the day in the life of someone who strips people’s rights away,” it said in a second post.
The Center, which says it helps design curriculum and methods of teaching for all disciplines, promotes “Abolitionist Pedagogy Resources for Instructors, Staff, and Students,” referring to the idea the police and prisons should be abolished.
“The CEP invites faculty, students, and staff to participate in a spring discussion group and incubation space focused on using abolitionist thinking to challenge our existing pedagogical practices and the way we live our lives. Participants will use abolitionist values to create personal and pedagogical praxes, come up with actionable plans toward a meaningful material transformation of the world,” it said.
It refers students and staff to works like “CLOSE THE PRISONS! OPEN THE BORDERS!: How Abolition is Shaping Queer and Trans Politics,” and on March 24 pushed students to become political activists with a session focused on “Identifying projects and making commitments: How do we put our abolitionist frameworks into action?”
“The ‘carceral state’ describes the governing and legal institutions, as well as the policies and practices that organize and enact capture, punishment, and policing. The carceral state normalizes gendered antiblackness and racial-colonial violence while simultaneously maintaining these as the foundational conditions required for social order and racial capitalism,” a teaching guide promoted by the Center explains.
“The United States, the world’s largest jailer, is also the world’s greatest perpetrator of war and the most extensive purveyor of human rights atrocities,” says one paper promoted by the Center.
It instructed how professors should “develop an anti-racist agenda.”
“You may sit with the question of what accountability means to you and what practices you can create as an instructor for students to imagine themselves—both individually and collectively—as accountable subjects within a society structured by multiple and interacting forms of domination and exploitation,” it added.
“What practices, values, and commitments do students and instructors have to become accountable to when they draw from legacies of black feminism?” it asked. (Barnard is only five percent black.)
The Daily Wire sent an email to Melissa Wright, the Center’s interim executive director, asking about the propriety of an academic institution asking “wtf is wrong with you” of a law school for posting a picture of a Supreme Court justice.
She did not respond, but appeared to forward the email to a group of people who used it to target a journalist. The email was opened 68 times all over the country, while during the same period, the email address and phone number in the request was signed up for hundreds of spam email accounts.