Ken Klukowski, senior legal editor for Breitbart News Network, was met with protest from several law students in the UNC chapter of the National Lawyers Guild while giving a lecture at the UNC School of Law on Tuesday.
The students attended the lecture and held up signs condemning Breitbart during Klukowski’s lecture. Some signs read “Breitbart = hate news,” “Breitbart anti-Semitism is not welcome” and “Breitbart is the 21st century ‘Der Stürmer,’” equating the publication to a former Nazi tabloid.
Klukowski, who is also general counsel of the American Civil Rights Union and senior counsel and director of strategic affairs at First Liberty Institute, was invited to the school by the Federalist Society at UNC. Klukowski’s lecture focused on the impact of Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation as a justice on the U.S. Supreme Court and was followed by a statement from Professor Andrew Hessick, the associate dean for strategy at the UNC School of Law.
“I believe, for the first time in decades, you have a majority on the U.S. Supreme Court that, at least, publicly professes that it regards itself as bound by the text of federal law and by the original public meaning of the Constitution that the court is interpreting in its decisions,” Kluskowski said.
Klukowski said this majority will have the potential to “move the direction of the law on a different trajectory,” and in his lecture, he spoke specifically about some past cases and their relation to the U.S.Constitution.
Audience member Jaelyn Miller, president of the UNC chapter of the NLG and student in the Juris Doctorate program in the School of Law, said she thought Klukowski was not a welcome speaker to the UNC School of Law for many students.
Miller, the organizer of the protest, said she was alarmed by the Federalist Society’s invitation for Klukowski to speak, as the NLG considers Breitbart an unreputable, alt-right news source that spreads propaganda. She said she thinks nothing in Klukowski’s lecture was particularly special and could have instead been covered by somebody “less problematic.”
“(Breitbart) is very homophobic, xenophobic, racist, anti-Semitic and misogynistic. The list goes on and on,” Miller said. “I think (the protest) got the message across that he is not welcome here at this law school or at this university at large.”
Miller said she believed only a fraction of the audience members were there to hear Klukowski speak while most were there to protest.