The End of Debate?

Yarelyn Mena, a 29-year-old graduate of CUNY and Fordham University, served as a lawyer for Johnny Depp in the  Depp–Heard   trial.  A high profile case like this represented a big opportunity for a fairly recent graduate, and she apparently did a very good job in her cross-examination of Heard.  Jonathan Turley says of her cross-examination:  “It was considered the turning point of one of the most famous trials in modern history. It is something that should be a matter of great pride for the CUNY community and, not surprisingly, the website did an article on their graduate…It is an extraordinary story for a woman who came with her family from the Dominican Republic. She proceeded to graduate from CUNY and then received her law degree from Fordham University. That is a quintessential American story of achievement that any institution should relish and highlight. She noted in the interview that “(Law) was the first career that I knew of before I even really understood what it was.””

But many students were outraged, and the article was removed from the website with an apology:

We understand the strong negative emotions this article elicited and apologize for publishing the item. We have removed it from our CUNYverse blog. The article was not meant to convey support for Mr. Depp, implicitly or otherwise, or to call into question any allegations that were made by Amber Heard. Domestic violence is a serious issue in our society and we regret any pain this article may have caused.

Turley:  ”

“The “pain” caused by the article was an account of a graduate doing her job as an advocate. We have gotten to the point that people are incapable of recognizing that everyone is entitled to a rigorous legal defense and that the lawyers are fulfilling essential roles in protecting the rule of law.  The only thing that matters is that the lawyer represented someone accused of abuse (even though the jury clearly found that Heard lied with malice in the trial). Even lawyers defending a client must now be cancelled to protect others from the pain of dealing with a trial on spousal abuse.”

The reaction of the angry students represents a rejection of the whole concept of adversary proceedings in the legal process.  Apparently, a sufficiently-unpopular plaintiff or defendant must not have representation because we know they’re in the wrong…no need to hear evidence, no need to see what the statute books and the precedents actually say.

The class of people displaying this attitude is by no means restricted just to college students and to cowardly administrators.  Two lawyers at the law firm Kirkland & Ellis, who won a major gun-rights case before the Supreme Court, were told that they had to abandon such clients.  According to one of these lawyers:

We were given a stark choice: either withdraw from ongoing representations or withdraw from the firm,” Clement said in a statement. “Anyone who knows us and our views regarding professional responsibility and client loyalty knows there was only one course open to us: We could not abandon ongoing representations just because a client’s position is unpopular in some circles.

Again, one would think that a law firm would be proud to have two of its lawyers win a major Supreme Court case…evidently not.

The attitude that there can only be one view expressed is not limited to law.  The Cancellation of speakers, the suppression of unapproved views by social media…these are all aspects of same basic phenomenon.  It is somewhat similar to the old traditionalist Catholic position that Error has no rights…the number of people claiming that they have the authority to decide what is an “error”, and what is not, is now much larger.

Your thoughts as to causes, and remedies..if any?


20 thoughts on “The End of Debate?”

  1. Um, the cause is that commies have taken over the universities and the media and the Democrat party.
    The remedy is we need to call a spade a spade–this is coming from one side, it is not universal. Reading this post one would think this is a general thing that everyone’s doing equally, some sort of culture-wide effect. No. This is the crazy lefty commies doing this. Say that, is the first step.
    Then it requires a “have you no shame?” moment, and some powerful follow through. The media must be broken. The universities must be broken. People in power need to show some spine and get to work, we little shmucks can’t do this ourselves. We have to support those who will stand against this. The filthy commies on the left get away with anything, and what does the right do? “Oh, that Lauren Boebert and Marjorie Taylor Green are just not the right sort of people, we can’t possibly support them…”

  2. the same outfits take pride in defending gitmo detainees with terrorist ties, and denying the cases of law abiding citizens,

  3. I’m a big believer in reciprocity and game theory. Or what Taleb calls the “Silver rule” (which, incidentally, though not the common “nice” interpretation, is a valid interpretation of the golden rule).


    Make helicopters great again.

  4. I suspect that at least some of this has to do with the excesses of ‘self-esteem building’…when self-esteem is raised artificially, it is likely to be fragile. There are a lot of reports of younger employees who can’t stand any critiques. It seems likely that these seem people are threatened by any disagreement with their opinions.

  5. Fragile teenagers or twenty-somethings who can’t bear the thought that someone — anyone — might disagree with them, or have an adverse opinion to what they have been told is good.
    Frankly, I’m glad that I’m in a position where I don’t have to deal with them. I’d likely be brutal to their self-esteem and assumptions of superiority.

  6. Part of it is an attempt by the regime and its supporters to make it such that anyone who defends against prosecution by the State or its allies is making themselves as much of an enemy of the State as the chosen victim.

    Subotai Bahadur

  7. We are a tribal species. That has translated into grouping through social media and that is where this comes from. My tribe vs your tribe is what is happening.

    Here you have a place your tribe groups around, and decries the actions and expressions of other tribes. This is normal, and we have no real way of dealing with this phenomenon as it expands into almost every part of modern society.

    The people who’s views you oppose, are happy to oppose you, as that’s what gives them meaning, and of course the obverse is true.

    I suspect what is coming for us all, will take care of some of this as things become more difficult for everyone.

    Me, “I am the cat who walks by himself, and all places are the same to me.”

  8. Part of the woke assault on traditions, including on Anglosphere legal customs that protect underdogs and mitigate the power of mobs, is standard left-wing tactics. But part of it is the Left’s exploitation of the naïve ineptitude of many men in arguing against women. In modern feminized western societies women who argue against men effectively have an emotional veto on rational discussion. A guy who starts crying when he’s losing an argument is a figure of contempt. A women who starts crying in the same situation can bully men into submission. Much of wokeness is the authoritarian political preferences of UMC white women, as imposed on everyone else by various types of bullying.

    Richard Hanania has a good discussion of this problem.

    It was necessary to have a female lawyer cross-examine Heard. The lawyer did an excellent job, yet Heard is still defended by leftists who assert that Heard’s testimony deserves deference on account of her sex.

  9. Yes and that means that her sex is fragile and fragility of this kind in this time in this place has greater power than strength. This is not the way to build a strong, independent, reliant person or society. Women should be embarrassed by such reasoning, should resolve to set standards for themselves of strength and competence.

  10. Prof van Creveld foresees a return of strict gender roles, even separation or segregation in some areas of life–maybe not a return so much as a synthesis of Handmaid-style dream/nightmare and neo-Islam from the stew of cultural possibilities.

    Pen Gun is right about tribalism, what Wolfe called ‘back to blood.’

    There are times when one’s only choice for survival–and no guarantee–is to pick a tribe and stick with it.

    That time is coming, all over the world.

  11. The western Left used to assert the superior productivity of socialized production and the moral superiority of centralized authoritarian rule. Now the Left takes for granted the economic abundance created by laissez-faire economics and asserts moral superiority through competitive victimhood. Reality and experience have done a good job of discrediting leftism. Conservatives, with notable individual exceptions, have been slow to catch up.

  12. do they, i would need proof, if you consider all the aspects of their regulatory agenda, which affects every aspect of human behavior, it’s only that the managerial class is ‘soaking in this statism’ re esg,

  13. Pretending that the “left” of today is about economics is to completely miss what’s going on.
    Today’s “left” is the party of bureaucrats, the “new class” as Dilas and others have written about.
    Academic and corporate HR nazis don’t care about how to run an economy. They care about establishing power, and entrenching themselves in their organizations as completely and overwhelmingly as possible.
    The “competitive victimhood” thing is their internal power struggles from universities, where they took over a few decades ago, burst out into wider society. Their verbiage sounds like an alien language, because it is to normal humans, and it was intentionally designed to be as opaque as possible, in order to establish in-group dominance in academic circles.

  14. It was necessary to have a female lawyer cross-examine Heard. The lawyer did an excellent job, yet Heard is still defended by leftists who assert that Heard’s testimony deserves deference on account of her sex.

    The Republicans wisely chose a female prosecutor with extensive experience in sex crimes to interview Blasey Ford. “Rolling stone,” of course, disapproved.

  15. David, check out his blog “As I Please.” He is a scholar of feminist and gender ideologies on the side, and has put his views out there in long and short form. His site is packed.

    I’m summarizing-simplifying the last post of his on the topic that I recall.

  16. Part of all of this appears to be generational as the schools have increasingly become leftist indoctrination mills, and as ubiquitous social media use has fostered group-think and made young people increasingly vulnerable to criticism and public shaming.

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