Law student’s graduation in jeopardy as Stanford investigates satirical email lampooning Federalist Society, Sen. Hawley, and Jan. 6

Foundation for Individual Rights in Education
Foundation for Individual Rights in Education

Excerpt: Stanford University law student Nicholas Wallace was set to graduate this month, but his degree was temporarily in jeopardy. After receiving a complaint about a satirical email that Wallace sent to his peers in January, Stanford launched an investigation into Wallace. His degree was on hold while the university determined whether he violated school policies by mocking Sen. Josh Hawley, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, and the law school’s chapter of the Federalist Society.

Stanford’s Office of Community Standards informed Nicholas this evening that the investigation will be closed and the hold on his diploma released, belatedly determining that his email was protected expression. Stanford’s statement says that it followed “normal procedures” and “consulted with legal counsel after we obtained the relevant facts.” If “normal procedures” and review by a university attorney let an investigation into political satire proceed, something is wrong with the procedures.