Fed judge urges ‘careful’ consideration before hiring any Yale law student who shouted down speaker

A federal judge cautioned his colleagues against offering future clerkships to Yale Law School (YLS) students who shouted down a guest speaker at a bipartisan free speech event, calling into question their own commitments to the First Amendment should they act otherwise.

Judge Laurence Silberman, representing the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, was responding to an event hosted by the Yale Federalist Society (FedSoc) where attorney Kristen Waggoner of Alliance Defending Freedom was offered an opportunity to speak on high profile First Amendment cases like Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission.

According to FedSoc members, the purpose was to “illustrate that a liberal atheist and a conservative Christian could find common ground on free speech issues.” However, the preplanned protest demonstrated that for some woke activists, there is no such thing as common ground.

After learning of the protest, where YLS students had to be reminded of the University’s three-strike rule on disruption before they vacated the gathering, Silberman is reported to have sent an email out to other Article III judges with his thoughts. The letter was shared by Slate senior writer Mark Joseph Stern.

“The latest events at Yale Law School in which students attempted to shout down speakers participating in a panel discussion on free speech prompts me to suggest,” Silberman wrote, “that students who are identified as those willing to disrupt any such panel discussion should be noted.”

The statement went on to say, “All federal judges-and all federal judges are presumably committed to free speech-should carefully consider whether any student so identified should be disqualified for potential clerkships.”

According to Stern’s reporting, the colleagues offered a mixed response to Silberman’s position on the protesters. While Judge John Walker, appointed through the terms of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, responded that he “couldn’t agree more,” Judge Donald Graham had apprehensions about the blanket policy.

Graham, a Bush appointee, suggested there ought to be “a finding that a student acted inappropriately at least” before their career opportunities are discarded. He added that such an investigation was beyond his willingness in the hiring process.

Perhaps more concerning than the fact that these law students feel the need to silence those with dissenting opinions is the manner in which they are reported to have assembled their protesters. According to the Washington Free Beacon, group chats and emails revealed organizers shaming those who weren’t active in condemning the event.

“It feels wild to me that we’re at this point in history and some folks are still not immediately signing a letter like this. I’m sure you realize that not signing the letter is not a neutral stance,” one student wrote in a forum for her class.

It is not difficult to imagine the kinds of attorneys or judges these law students might make if they can be manipulated into taking a position by their peers. Waggoner also noted the unbecoming behavior of the students, “It was disturbing to witness law students whipped into a mindless frenzy. I did not feel it was safe to get out of the room without security.”

An official statement from YLS provided to Fox News Digital expressed that while students exited the event after University policy was read to them, “Members of the Administration are nonetheless in serious conversation with students about [Yale] policies, expectations, and norms.”


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Kevin Haggerty


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