Letter to the editor: Free speech at KU

To the editor:

As an alum of the KU School of Law, I read with interest the recent article concerning Kansas Supreme Court Justice Caleb Stegall’s decision to quit the faculty in protest. From what I can determine, it appears the good judge was miffed that the law school had the temerity to let its students protest the appearance of a speaker whose views they found odious. Judge Stegall termed their actions, and the school’s response, as attacks on free speech.

Judge Stegall’s position notwithstanding, exactly the contrary is true. The scheduled speaker was allowed to proceed with his lecture, despite the controversial nature of his topic. This is free speech. The students with differing views were allowed to present them fully and peacefully. This is also free speech. What, may I ask, is the problem?

In a recent trial, our soon-to-be attorney general, Kris Kobach, demonstrated his lack of knowledge of the rules of evidence. In response, the presiding judge ordered him to take a remedial class on that topic. It’s too bad there isn’t a judge who can order Mr. Stegall to do the same on the subject of the First Amendment, about which he seems to have little understanding.

Jeff Southard,



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