Commentary: How Yale Law School pressured a law student to apologize for a Constitution Day ‘trap house’ invitation

Aaron Terr
Foundation for Individual Rights in Education

Excerpt: Free speech is in jeopardy yet again at Yale University, where law school administrators met with a student multiple times to pressure him to apologize for language he used in an email that offended some of his classmates. The incident illustrates how university officials can seek to intimidate students into silence and conformity through obscure procedures and veiled threats of punishment.

Put yourself in the shoes of a law student. You’re repeatedly told you should issue a public apology if you want the matter to “go away.” You’re told the issue might “linger” even after you graduate and that the “legal community is a small one.” And right before you leave one of these meetings, the administrators imply that the matter could somehow wind up before the state bar. A bar that requires you to pass a searching review of your character and fitness.