By Nicole Silverio
Law students heckled and shouted at conservative legal scholar Ilya Shapiro to disrupt a Tuesday event, organized by the Federalist Society, at the University of California, Hastings College of Law.
Law students immediately heckled and interrupted Shapiro entering the podium during the event, “The Battle Over Justice Breyer’s Seat,” which the institution scheduled months in advance to hold a debate between him and U.C. Hastings professor Rory Little about the Court’s nomination process. The demonstrators held signs stating “I Am Not Lesser,” “Support Black Women,” “Black Women Matter” and “Kentanji Brown Jackson” in preparation for Shapiro’s lecture, footage shows.
“Black lawyers matter! Black lawyers matter!” the students repeatedly chanted. When Shapiro attempted to talk, the students slammed the tables and shouted profane language.
“You’re a f*cking coward!” a demonstrator can be heard yelling.
“You’re not welcome here!” another attendee shouted.
“We’re not going to let you talk,” one protester said.
Another demonstrator can be heard yelling, “We don’t want you here!”
FIRE is investigating the disruption of yesterday’s student-run @FedSoc event at @UCHastingsLaw, featuring Ilya Shapiro. Free speech entails both the right to speak and to listen, and UC Hastings must ensure students can do both without fear of a heckler’s veto. https://t.co/uomIaQ5Dp7
— FIRE (@TheFIREorg) March 2, 2022
The demonstrators went on to chant “Get out” and “Black Lives Matter” repeatedly. They then applauded as Shapiro exited the room, never having the ability to speak.
Shapiro was put on administrative leave from Georgetown Law School in late January for his Jan. 26 tweet criticizing President Joe Biden’s vow to appoint a black woman to the United States Supreme Court. Despite the incident, he became the executive director and senior lecturer for Georgetown Law Center for the Constitution on Feb. 1. (RELATED: Judge James Ho Defends Conservative Scholar Ilya Shapiro Against Charges Of Racism)
The school denounced the behavior of the protesters in a letter to students, saying shutting down the event is a “violation” of their code of conduct despite their personal emotions about his presence on campus.
A relatively strong statement from the UC Hasting administration, sent to the student body just now. The question is, given that the activists violated the code of student conduct, as this email explicitly acknowledges—what will the consequences be? pic.twitter.com/XfCc1YjgmV
— Nate Hochman (@njhochman) March 2, 2022
“We understand the genuine pain felt by students who have been personally and negatively affected by Mr. Shapiro’s speech,” the email said. “Disrupting an event to prevent a speaker from being heard is a violation of our policies and norms, including the Code of Student Conduct and Discipline, Section 107 (‘Harmful Acts and Disturbances’).”