During a discussion in March, Trump-appointed Judge Kyle Duncan found himself confronted by associate dean Tirien Steinbach, while a group of students expressed their support by snapping their fingers.

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Recently, it was revealed that the students after the incident were forced to undergo free speech training after the incident. The University organized a training session on free speech for its students earlier this week, according to a report by the Washington Free Beacon, as a step toward a new beginning.

Who is Kyle Duncan?

Kyle Duncan is a United States Circuit judge serving on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. He was nominated to the position by President Donald Trump in 2017 and confirmed in 2018.

The 51-year-old held illustrious positions before being appointed to the bench. He demonstrated his mastery of appellate issues while serving as Appellate Chief for the Louisiana Attorney General’s office from 2008 to 2012. 

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Following that, from 2012 to 2014, Duncan served as general counsel of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, where he oversaw their nationwide public-interest litigation efforts. Since 2012, Duncan has been active in the Federalist Society.

In an instance at Stanford Law School, associate dean for diversity, equity, and inclusion Tirien Steinbach abruptly approached Judge Kyle Duncan. Steinbach offered a prepared six-minute critique of Duncan’s professional achievements during this encounter, focusing in particular on his stance on LGBTQ+ rights. Some of the students taking part in the conversation snapped their fingers to demonstrate their support.

Stanford University President, Marc Tessier-Lavigne, publicly apologized to Judge Duncan after the incident and pledged to put new measures in place to safeguard and advance free expression on campus.

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After the incident, As a part of free speech training, students were provided with a six-week timeframe to watch a series of five prerecorded videos, each lasting approximately an hour.