Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law's Response to the Federalist Society Student Organization Event

Dear Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law Community:

Tomorrow, the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law chapter of the Federalist Society will be hosting a virtual event featuring John Eastman as a speaker. While we respect our students’ First Amendment right to host events like this, we believe Mr. Eastman is beneath the standards of ASU Law. We condemn his involvement in the recent events at the Capitol and his inflammatory statements about the presidential election.

While ASU permits registered student organizations to host guest speakers and use university facilities for student events, we want to be clear that ASU does not endorse the views of any invited speaker. It is important to emphasize again, the university does not have any legal recourse or option to cancel these types of events. Every faculty member who was approached to be part of this discussion has voluntarily withdrawn their participation. In addition, all faculty including faculty advisors have urged the students to reschedule or postpone this event.

Despite all of these discussions, the students have made their own independent decision to move forward. I respect the right, although vehemently disagree with the judgment, of our students to move forward with this event. They made the invitation long ago—and they wish to “honor” that invitation. What is important to note is that one person does have the power to stop this event from happening and that is Mr. Eastman himself. No faculty member will appear with him yet he is insisting the event should proceed. As of this writing, he has selfishly chosen not to cancel. I urge Mr. Eastman to do the right thing and give our students the opportunity to reschedule this event.

While we at ASU Law cannot cancel the event, members of our community may, of course, exercise their right to voice disapproval of Mr. Eastman’s involvement and not attend tomorrow’s event.

Dean Sylvester