A Kansas Supreme Court Justice On The State Of Free Speech At KU Law

So you will understand why I 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. My understanding, from participants, is that after the KU Law student chapter of the Federalist Society announced that a lawyer from the Alliance Defending Freedom would speak in Green Hall, there was a significant uproar from members of the student body and faculty. Concerned about what might happen at the event, the Federalist Society student chapter President asked the administration to provide event security. In response, the administration asked to meet with the entire student board of the chapter.

At that meeting Associate Dean Lea Terranova and Professor Pam Keller pressured the students to cancel the event….

Now, knowing the people involved, I can well imagine that there was no intent to threaten or coerce board members of the student chapter. I can even see this effort was likely an ill-conceived attempt to protect those students….

Following this meeting, but before the lunch event occurred, I and the entire KU Law community received an email from the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Committee. The email described the speaker—by his association with the ADF—as a practitioner of “hate speech.”

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Caleb Stegall | November 25, 2022


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