A bipartisan panel on civil liberties at Yale Law School was disrupted last week when more than 100 law students tried to drown out and intimidate the speakers, who eventually needed police to escort them out of the building, according to reports.
The school’s Federalist Society hosted the March 10 panel, which featured Monica Miller, of the progressive American Humanist Association, and Kristen Waggoner, of the conservative Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF). About 120 student protesters showed up with signs attacking the ADF to shout down the speakers, with one reportedly recorded on audio telling a member of the conservative group that she would “literally fight you, b—-.”
“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,” Waggoner told the Washington Free Beacon.
A member of the Federalist Society said the panel was supposed to show that a liberal atheist and a Christian conservative could agree on issues of free speech.
Miller and Waggoner reportedly discussed a recent U.S. Supreme Court case that dealt with freedom of religion and free speech on college campuses. The case, Uzuegbunam v. Preczewski, involved a Chistian student, Chike Uzuegbunam, who was prevented from preaching at a public college in Georgia. The ADF, American Humanist Association, along with other progressive groups supported Uzuegbunam. The ADF, which has won several Supreme Court cases establishing religious exemptions from civil rights law, argued the case.
The event’s moderator, Yale Law School Professor Kate Stith, had to pause the event due to the intensifying commotion. Stith can be heard reminding those present of the school’s free speech policies, which prohibit any protest that “interferes with speakers’ ability to be heard and of community members to listen.”
But the student protesters continued to jeer Stith and the speakers, with some raising their middle fingers, according to the Beacon. Stith reportedly responded by telling the students to “grow up,” which drew intensified verbal attacks from the protesters.
Stith could then be heard on audio telling the students that if the commotion continued, “I’m going to have to ask you to leave, or help you leave.”
As the protesters exited the event, one student was heard yelling “F— you, FedSoc,” the report said. The chaos reportedly continued in the hallway, with protesters stomping and clapping while raising chants of “protect trans kids” and “shame, shame.”
Police officers arrived to escort Miller and Waggoner out of the building, which caused further condemnation from students. More than 400 students – 60% of the student body – signed an open letter supporting what they called the “peaceful student protest,” which they claimed was put in danger due to the police presence, according to Yale Daily News.
“The danger of police violence in this country is intensified against Black LGBTQ people, and particularly Black trans people,” the Beacon quoted the letter as reading. “Police-related trauma includes, but is certainly not limited to, physical harm.”
The Federalist Society told the paper it they did not call the police.
My hot take: Good lawyers win with civility & persuasion, not physical intimidation and threats of violence. We aren’t afraid to engage with people and ideas we disagree with. Apparently many of the students missed this lesson.
— Kristen Waggoner (@KWaggonerADF) March 16, 2022
Waggoner later tweeted: “My hot take: Good lawyers win with civility & persuasion, not physical intimidation and threats of violence. We aren’t afraid to engage with people and ideas we disagree with. Apparently many of the students missed this lesson.”
Yale Law School responded to Fox News Digital’s request for comment with a statement: “We regularly work with student groups for various events and speakers. When visitors to the Yale campus bring their own security, as in this case, University policy requires the Law School to inform Yale Police. We then work with the police to determine the appropriate level of support for the particular visitor and/or event.”
The statement continued, “The Law School follows the University’s free speech policy and procedures, which includes a three strikes rule. As soon as the moderator read the University’s policy for the first time, the students exited the event, and it went forward. Members of the Administration are nonetheless in serious conversation with students about our policies, expectations, and norms.”
Fox News also reached out to the Federalist Society for comment but did not immediately hear back.