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Berkeley Law Dean ‘Stunned’ by Students Radicalized at Schools Like Berkeley

Berkeley Law Dean ‘Stunned’ by Students Radicalized at Schools Like Berkeley

A participant holds a placard as students gather during a "Walkout to fight Genocide and Free Palestine" at Bruin Plaza at the University of California–Los Angeles on Oct. 25, 2023. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images)

John Seiler

John Seiler

11/3/2023

Updated: 11/9/2023

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Commentary
What did he expect? Erwin Chemerinsky helped radicalize three generations of law school students. Now, he’s shocked! Shocked! They’re holding far-left, antisemitic protests around the country.
He’s now the dean of the University of California–Berkeley School of Law and one of the most influential legal theorists in the country. He’s a friend and fellow Harvard Law alumnus of Attorney General Merrick Garland; both are proteges of famed Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe. Previously, Mr. Chemerinsky was a founder and dean of the University of California—Irvine (UCI) School of Law and a law professor at the University of Southern California, where he became one of my contacts regarding free speech law, on which he has long been a good source. He always returned my calls and is a charming fellow.
Mr. Chemerinsky just wrote a heartfelt op-ed in the Los Angeles Times.
“Nothing has prepared me for the antisemitism I see on college campuses now,” he wrote.
Mr. Chemerinsky is right to be outraged.
“I am a 70-year-old Jewish man, but never in my life have I seen or felt the antisemitism of the last few weeks,” he wrote.
He cited several antisemitic incidents that he has suffered through or witnessed over the years.
“But none of this prepared me for the last few weeks,“ Mr. Chemerinsky wrote. ”On Friday, someone in my school posted on Instagram a picture of me with the caption, ‘Erwin Chemerinsky has taken an indefinite sabbatical from Berkeley Law to join the I.D.F.’ Two weeks ago, at a town hall, a student told me that what would make her feel safe in the law school would be ‘to get rid of the Zionists.’ ...
“I was stunned when students across the country, including mine, immediately celebrated the Hamas terrorist attack in Israel on Oct. 7. Students for Justice in Palestine called the terror attack a ‘historic win’ for the ‘Palestinian resistance.’ A Columbia professor called the Hamas massacre ‘awesome’ and a ‘stunning victory.’ A Yale professor tweeted, ‘It’s been such an extraordinary day!’ while calling Israel a ‘murderous, genocidal settler state.’”
I now live in Irvine, whose UCI Law grads he influenced for a decade. On Oct. 29, as I was coming home from church, at 3:30 p.m., I witnessed a large group of demonstrators on Jamboree Road west of Barranca Parkway waving Palestinian flags.
Protesters wave Palestinian flags in support of Palestinians in Los Angeles on Oct. 12, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Protesters wave Palestinian flags in support of Palestinians in Los Angeles on Oct. 12, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Mr. Chemerinsky, like his two fellow Harvardians, is a liberal professor who has undermined, in my belief, the rule of law in America, despite his correct beliefs on free speech. He has pushed radicalism at almost every turn.
Conservative author Christopher Rufo has been a leader in resisting “wokeism” and critical race theory. His latest book from July is “American Cultural Revolution: How the Radical Left Conquered Everything.” On June 29, Rufo posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, “EXCLUSIVE: Berkeley Law School dean Erwin Chemerinsky explains how he has secretly enacted a policy of racial discrimination in faculty hiring—which is illegal in California.”
You can see the video, in which Mr. Chemerinsky instructs his students on how to get around laws banning affirmative action in hiring, such as California’s Proposition 209 from 2016. Also on June 29, but after the classroom filming, the U.S. Supreme Court banned almost all affirmative action in a case involving Harvard.
Mr. Chemerinsky instructs: “What I mean by unstated affirmative action is, what if the college or university doesn’t tell anybody, doesn’t make any public statements, about doing so? I’ll give you an example from our law school, but if ever I’m deposed, I’m going to deny I said this to you. When we do faculty hiring, we’re quite conscious that diversity is important to us, and we say diversity is important, it’s fine to say that.
“But I’m very careful when we have a faculty appointments committee meeting. Any time somebody says, we should prefer this candidate, or this candidate, because this person would add diversity—don’t say that. You can think it. You can vote it. But our discussions are not privileged. So don’t ever articulate that that’s what you are doing. Well, that works more easily with regard to faculty hiring. With regard to student admissions, it becomes more difficult because there’s a statistical measure.”
The comments below the post are interesting.
Mr. Rufo wrote: “This man must be sued, deposed, fired, and sent into retirement. He’s a virulent, proud racist—and an enemy of equality. If you’ve recently applied to Berkeley Law as faculty and received a rejection, which you suspect might have involved discrimination, send me an email at chrisrufo@protonmail.com. I will connect you with public interest lawyers who might want to sue.”
Scott Adams wrote, “He wouldn’t be qualified for his own job under his plan.”
Mr. Rufo responded, “And, as such, his employment should be terminated immediately.”
Erwin Chemerinsky speaks onstage at Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Awards honoring 2017 recipients at The Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles on Aug. 7, 2017. (Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Hugh M. Hefner Foundation)

Erwin Chemerinsky speaks onstage at Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Awards honoring 2017 recipients at The Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles on Aug. 7, 2017. (Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Hugh M. Hefner Foundation)

Hiring Radical Chesa Boudin

Chesa Boudin was the district attorney in San Francisco, where he often refused to prosecute criminals, plunging that once charming city into a morass of crime. He was so bad that even America’s most liberal city recalled him on June 7, 2022.
A year later, Mr. Boudin was appointed to head Berkeley Law’s new Criminal Law & Justice Center—by none other than Mr. Chemerinsky. At his appointment, Mr. Boudin brought up his parents, convicted Weather Underground terrorist-murderers Kathy Boudin and David Gilbert.
He said in an interview: “My earliest memory is visiting them in prison, but I didn’t see the trial or anything like that. My mother negotiated a plea deal, and my father went to trial. I think one thing we notice in their case that kind of stands out is how, in some ways, arbitrary the outcomes in the criminal justice system can be. And they did basically the same thing, identical thing.”
Mr. Boudin’s mom got out early on a plea deal, whereas his dad got an extra 55 years with a trial. His personal experience and family radicalism obviously influenced his decision-making as district attorney and is the sort of thing Mr. Chemerinsky obviously seeks to advance.

Settler Colonialist States

Mr. Chemerinsky wrote in his recent op-ed: “An oft-repeated mantra among some is that Israel is a settler colonialist country and should be forced to give the land back to the Palestinians. I have no idea how it would be determined who is rightly entitled to what land, but I do know that calling for the total elimination of Israel is antisemitic.”
He’s a smart man—smarter than me. So he knows darn well America itself is also called a “settler state.” If you haven’t heard of it, here’s a definition from the radical left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center:
“We can begin by defining settler-colonialism as it relates specifically to Indigenous peoples of North America. The goal of settler-colonization is the removal and erasure of Indigenous peoples in order to take the land for use by settlers in perpetuity.
‘This means that settler colonialism is not just a vicious thing of the past, such as the gold rush, but exists as long as settlers are living on appropriated land and thus exists today,’” according to Laura Hurwitz and Shawn Borque’s Settler Colonialism Primer.
So does that mean everybody in America who isn’t a Native American will have to leave?
Members of the public receive weapons training at the Caliber 3 shooting range, in Efrat, Israel, on Oct. 15, 2023. (Leon Neal/Getty Images)

Members of the public receive weapons training at the Caliber 3 shooting range, in Efrat, Israel, on Oct. 15, 2023. (Leon Neal/Getty Images)

Dean Chemerinsky and Guns

I recently wrote in The Epoch Times about how Israel’s strict gun control left its people unarmed before the Hamas terrorist attack on Oct. 7 in the article “Are California Leaders Willfully Blind on the Need for Guns Against Terrorists?” And I wrote about how they abandoned that policy on Oct. 8 and armed their people.
Well, for America, Mr. Chemerinsky is a big gun controller. In another L.A. Times op-ed, on June 23, 2022, he decried the recent Bruen decision of the U.S. Supreme Court affirming a strong personal Second Amendment “right to keep and bear arms” and to carry such arms in public.
He wrote of the decision involving a New York law: “California has a similar law that requires a permit for possessing a concealed weapon. Getting such a license requires, among other things, showing that having a concealed weapon is necessary because the person or a family member is in danger. These laws recognize that concealed weapons in public pose a grave danger, including to law enforcement officers.”
You know what’s also a grave danger? Hamas terrorists gunning for your family. They aren’t following any gun-control laws.
On Oct. 31, FBI Director Christopher Wray testified before the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs committee: “We assess that the actions of Hamas and its allies will serve as an inspiration the likes of which we haven’t seen since ISIS launched its so-called caliphate several years ago. ... The ongoing war in the Middle East has raised the threat of an attack against Americans in the United States to a whole other level.”
On antisemitic attacks here, he said, “I will say that this is a threat that is reaching in some way sort of historic levels.”
It also has to be said that Mr. Wray, as well as Mr. Garland, have done next to nothing to close America’s open borders. We have no idea how many actual Hamas terrorists may have entered the country. But ABC News reported on Oct. 23 that “militants associated with the Israel–Hamas war ‘may potentially be encountered at the southwest border,’ U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials in San Diego recently warned in an internal intelligence notice.”
“‘Individuals inspired by, or reacting to, the current Israel–Hamas conflict may attempt travel to or from the area of hostilities in the Middle East via circuitous transit across the Southwest border,’ reads the notice, sent Friday, in part,” the report reads.
Protesters wave Palestinian and Latin American flags in support of Palestinians and Hamas in Los Angeles on Oct. 12, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Protesters wave Palestinian and Latin American flags in support of Palestinians and Hamas in Los Angeles on Oct. 12, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Change of Heart?

Mr. Chemerinsky promotes lawlessness in U.S. cities, then complains about antisemitic lawlessness? Doesn’t he see the connection? Perhaps he will.
David Mamet is a well-known playwright, scriptwriter, and director. Two decades ago, he became a conservative. On Oct. 23, he wrote an op-ed in UnHerd, “How the Democrats betrayed the Jews: The sick thrill of antisemitism has a price.”
“Why do Jews vote Democratic?“ Mr. Mamet wrote. ”Partly from tradition—conservatives have heard a Liberal Jew, when asked to defend or explain various absurd or inconsistent Democratic positions, shrug and joke: ‘I’m a Congenital Democrat.’ I understand, for I was one, too.”
And on Oct. 22, Konstantin Kisin wrote: “When Hamas terrorists crossed over the border with Israel and murdered 1,400 innocent people, they destroyed families and entire communities. They also shattered long-held delusions in the West.
“A friend of mine joked that she woke up on October 7 as a liberal and went to bed that evening as a 65-year-old conservative. But it wasn’t really a joke and she wasn’t the only one. What changed? ...
“Many people woke up on October 7 sympathetic to parts of woke ideology and went to bed that evening questioning how they had signed on to a worldview that had nothing to say about the mass rape and murder of innocent people by terrorists.
“The reaction to the attacks—from outwardly pro-Hamas protests to the mealy-mouthed statements of college presidents, celebrities, and CEOs—has exploded the comforting stories many on the center-left have told themselves about progressive identity politics. For many years, they opted for the coping mechanism of pretending that the institutional capture of universities, corporations, and media organizations by the woke mind virus was no big deal. ‘Sure, students shutting down events they disagree with is annoying,’ they would say, ‘but it’s just students doing what students do.’
“October 8 was a wake-up call for those who didn’t appreciate that the ideology of the campus has spread to our cities, supercharged by social media.
“We woke up on October 8 to the clamor of street protests in cities across the West condemning Israel even before any major Israeli response to the attacks. We watched celebratory crowds brandish swastikas and chant ‘gas the Jews’ at events purporting to be about the loss of Palestinian lives. We saw Black Lives Matter chapters lionize terrorists.”
Some of us, such as yours truly, have been warning about such dangers for not years, but decades. Perhaps, it’s Mr. Chemerinsky’s time to wake up to the damage of his own radicalization of three generations of students.
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John Seiler

John Seiler

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John Seiler is a veteran California opinion writer. Mr. Seiler has written editorials for The Orange County Register for almost 30 years. He is a U.S. Army veteran and former press secretary for California state Sen. John Moorlach. He blogs at JohnSeiler.Substack.com and his email is writejohnseiler@gmail.com

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