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Nicholas Wallace, Stanford Law School

From January 2021 to June 2021
Stanford Law School (Private college or university)
Stanford, California, United States

Identity of Speakers

  • Nicholas Wallace
    Student
    Other

    Nicholas Wallace was a law student at Stanford Law School.

Resources

Additional Information

  • Incident Nature:
    Social media
    Other
  • Incident Responses:
    University investigation not issuing in sanctions
    University administration changed university policy as a consequence
  • Incident Status:
    No litigation
  • No protest Occured
  • Did not involve Speech Codes

Summary

Nicholas Wallace was a third-year law student at Stanford Law School. On January 25, he emailed a mock flier to a Listserv forum for law school students satirizing the Federalist Society, a prominent conservative group with a chapter at the law school. The flier promoted a discussion about the January 6, 2021 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol with the mock title of “The Originalist Case for Inciting Insurrection.”

On March 27, the leaders of the Stanford Federalist Society filed a complaint with the university, alleging that the flier had caused significant harm and led other organizations to cancel their events with the group. On May 22, with graduation just a few weeks away, an unidentified Stanford Federalist Society officer pushed the school to initiate a formal investigation. Stanford then placed a hold on Wallace’s degree, prohibiting him from receiving his diploma at graduation on June 12.

On Tuesday, June 1, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education sent a letter to Stanford urging the school to “immediately abandon its investigation and commit to procedural reforms to protect the expressive rights Stanford promises to its students.” On June 3, the university announced that Wallace would be allowed to graduate on time after the university’s legal counsel concluded that the matter involved issues of protected speech. The school also stated that it would review its procedures for placing holds on student diplomas in judicial cases close to graduation.